I discovered (a little bit by accident) Core Concepts at the Outdoor Retailer show this year. Much like my experience with Switch Sunglasses, I was prepared to not be impressed and almost didn’t visit their booth at all. So, so glad that I did. A small company out of Idaho, Core Concepts prides themselves on making “core” (get it?!?!) pieces that work for your entire life (skiing, playing, going out to dinner, etc.) You will see on their site that the number of pieces they have is actually quite few. It’s the quality over quantity motto that keeps them going. I was so pleased to have a chance to interview Noah , the founder of Core – this is certainly a company (and gear) worth knowing more about. ***Want to win some of their gear? Enter here!! Good luck!**
“Core Concepts is a small outdoor manufacturer using cutting-edge design and the best materials to produce some of the best technical apparel in the outdoor industry. If you haven’t heard of them yet, you’re behind the curve.” – Michael Lanza, author of “The Big Outside“
Also, make sure you read all the way to the end to see a couple reviews of their gear that we love.
1. Please tell me how Core was started. What was your motivation?
My motivation for Core was pretty simple, I had a background in the apparel industry but the genesis really came from simply being a frustrated consumer. Every free moment I had in my pre-Core Concepts life, I was spending outside. This meant I was a big consumer of gear from all the big name outdoor brands. The quality and utility were great but I reached a point of frustration in wondering why gear from every major manufacturer needed to have the same “mountaineering” aesthetic. Core Concepts was formed on the idea that apparel can be fun to wear off the mountain without compromising performance and functionality.
2. I love that the sheer amount of products Core carriers remains small and very intentional. It is obvious from our own gear-testing that there has been plenty of thought that goes into each piece. Can you tell me more about that?
Core Concepts is one of the few founder run apparel companies in our space. As a young, fast growing company we have to be really focused on a small number of things we think are really important to our customers. We recognize that in order to compete against the big guys, we have to be very focused and produce things that are special.
3. Who do you target as your audience? The every-day outdoor enthusiast? The hard-core skier? Someone in between or all of it?
Core Concepts is built for the outdoor enthusiast who is passionate about their sports and needs top performance from their gear. However we recognize that the target Core customer has a job and a real life, they probably aren’t traveling to Everest basecamp for the climbing season every year. We strive to build apparel for our customers that can move seamlessly from active to everyday life – because no one gets to play as much as they’d like.
4. What are your top-sellers? If someone was going to try one product, what would you direct them towards?
The Whiskey River is our top selling style across the company. The Roundhouse Sweater is a key piece on the ladies side, stylish with just the right amount of performance from the Tech Wool fabric. For outerwear, the January Jacket and the Builder Jacket are two signature styles for the brand.
5. Any other special or unique stories about Core as a company? We’d love to help our readers relate on a level besides just the gear!
We continue to build on our Made in the USA story, that’s something we’re very proud of. We’ve increased the amount of Core Concepts product produced in the US by 50% for 2013.
Incredible gear for the outdoor-minded consumer:
- Men’s and Women’s Toaster Jackets Review
- Men’s Whiskey River Hybrid and Women’s Mirror Ball Hybrid: We love love love these shirts. Soft on the outside, bright colors on the outside and liquids just completely roll off of them (think spilled beer…or grape juice!….) Shirts that definitely will last and are worth the $89 price tag (if you will wear them again and again and again.) Only tip? Size up for the women’s!