Sego Ski Co
Tired of the same old run-of-the-mill skis?
Ditch those cookie cutter skis and pick up a pair of Sego Skis
To find out more behind how Sego Ski Co got its start and what’s in store for the future, Josh interviews Sego Ski Co founder, Tim and Peter Wells
More about the episode...
Josh sits down with Sego Ski Co founder Tim and Peter Wells. Sego is a truly unique brand because they don’t just design their skis but, also manufacturer on site in an effort to avoid jumping from factory to factory and control the process of manufacturing their skis. We’re insanely excited to follow Sego as the bloom and we’re lucky enough to listen in as their founders give us a closer look at Sego Ski Co
Have an opinion? We want to hear it! Join the conversation and leave a comment, check out show notes, and get all the links mentioned in this episode below
- More about Sego Skis
- A closer look at Sego’s skis construction
- Follow Sego Ski Co on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
Why did you decide to create an actual manufacturing facility?
Tim: “This is our second ski company, the first was Deviation Skis and Snowboards which myself, Peter, and a couple other people helped found. We were with them for several years and after a few years there was a difference of vision and we parted ways...and that was in-house manufacturing, controlling the process, and the product that was coming out the door…”
What would you say are some of the pitfalls you were encountering that a lot of other brands had to deal with?
Tim: “There’s a bunch and a lot of them are small details but it adds up to a big picture. One thing is we really use uncompromised materials which is relatively unique for the industry…”
What ultimately made you decide to start a ski company?
Tim: “...I was living in the basement of a goldminer's daughter out in Utah. I loved being a ski bum. Love skiing and, realized this is my passion and I needed to be part of the ski industry. I started to brainstorm what the best method to be in the ski industry for a long time was…”
What do you attribute your enormous growth to?
Tim: “Having done this once before and having vision and direction of where we wanted to take it. Luck, partly of our own making and partly of just being in the right spot, a lot of like minded people were settled around us, Lyndsey Dyer being one. She’s our premier athlete and she signed with us after being in business for four months and, believed in us and our vision…”
How did you build a connection with Lyndsey and develop a higher quality line of women's skis?
Pete: “We make our womens skis very similar to our mens skis, same materials, same construction fundamentals…
Tim: “When we got to talking with Lindsey, we shared a common vision of the mountains but with women's skis specifically, it just makes sense...we have a full women's line this year, five models, which I think is pretty unique for any boutique manufacturer and they all have awards over the past five years…”
What went into your prototyping process?
Tim: “Sliding down snow is not that rational, it doesn’t make sense until you do it. You can take all the science and material science and make a ski that’s going to be perfect but it’s all about feel and, that’s one of the reasons we have our own factory. We can turn around a prototype in a few hours…”
Peter: “The usual process is one of two things. Either it’s an idea in my head… The other route is I have a very open ear and I listen to athletes. They always have ideas as well the know what they like, they’re often very opinionated...I try to make exactly what they want and try to take concepts that don’t relate to ski making into an actual ski…”
Did you have any mentors throughout this process?
Peter: “Not really. I look to the athletes and their design ideas. As far as design goes I try to live through the athletes.
Tim: “I agree with peter we didn’t have any core mentors. In some ways that’s our detriment but also a large strength...I think the highlighting of women's skis is one of them. Based on the industry and industry professional would have said don’t focus on women. And we did. And it worked…”
What do you do to make sure your manufacturing process is sustainable?
Tim: “There are a couple things. We use a zero VOC epoxy which is great for the environment and also our employees so, you’re not wearing a respirator. It’s a pretty harmless glue as far as epoxies go. We upcycle material. We’ve given skis to Colorado Ski Furniture, artists take scraps from the finishing process. We try to not throw things away…”
What is the culture like within Sego Skis?
Tim: “I guess it comes down to a team atmosphere. We’re perpetuating the lifestyle that we want to live. That’s how Peter and I got together, founded two ski companies and continued to…”
Peter: “The Office folk come in at 9am. That’s sales and Tim, PR and marketing. The rest of the factory crew which is the bulk of our employees roll in around 1PM, so everyone can make turns in the morning and they’re working until 9 or 10pm. It’s pretty relaxed but still a factory, there’s always music playing and beer in the fridge. We don’t take ourselves very seriously but we’re serious about what we do…”
How did you guys come up with your name?
Tim: “We get this question less and less which I enjoy but, it’s a lily that comes up first in the season and springs right through the snow. Pioneers ate it in hard times and so did the native americans. It’s short and memorable which is exactly what we needed and it stuck…”
Peter: “The motivation behind it was myself spending time in south american. I was pretty intrigued by flowers growing through glaciers and the closest flower I could find was the Sego lily, which happened to grow here in Utah as well…”
What has been some of the hardest parts about building Sego?
Peter: “There’s a lot of hard parts everyday. It’s always cash flow and timing, and trying to expand beyond our seams…”
Tim: “Things break. Even though we control all aspects of the company from manufacturing to sales there’s always something going wrong. But we realize we can solve the problem and move forward…”
What have been some of your greatest fears and how do you manage them?
Tim: “One of the reasons I started Deviation at first was I was willing to fail. I just wanted to give it a shot. Of course, you could be nervous but I wasn’t afraid to fail. With that outlook we were able to succeed...I love coming to work everyday, when that stops I will question what I’m doing but, I love what we do, what we’re doing, and how we’re touching people…”
What would you save have been some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Peter: “We make mistakes everyday but it’s hard to point to one big thing. Everything is a growing opportunity and sometimes a mistake just turns right into a success…”
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start a business?
Tim: “Realistic expectations is big and double the amount of money you think you need...it’s a grind, we work hard and, we were fortunate to find employees who share our vision and are also willing to work hard…”
What’s in store for the future of Sego Ski Co?
Tim: “I’d say next year really solid growth both direct and wholesale. Wholesale is really our focus so, taking care of our current partners, growing our relationships, and starting new ones...In the next five years to be a global ski brand and premier North American manufacturer. Those go hand in hand…”
What is the best part about running Sego Skis?
Peter: “The enjoyment of seeing other people having so much fun with our products, that is the best part for me. It makes me giddy and makes me smile every single time...when someone comes back and they’re smiling and they don’t want to give the skis back that feels amazing…”
Tim: “I think back to the lifestyle we created for ourselves and our employees and we sell pleasure products. People get on skis and they have a great time...it is amazingly satisfying seeing people come back to the tent after demoing and knowing that they had a great time…”