Interview: A Passionate Climber on Founding The American Mountain Co. and Why "Made in the USA" Matters
|Take a close look at The 907, one of two jackets |
designed by Brad for The American Mountain Co.
It's not your typical shell.
Brad: Growing up, my family was not remotely what you would call the outdoor type. My parents took me camping once and I ended up sleeping in the tent alone with my dog as they sought shelter in the car from a storm that rolled in during the night. It was completely my choice. Despite their lack of understanding, they were always encouraging of my outdoor pursuits. I think it was me wanting to find something thrilling or the adventure of it all that drove me to climbing. As I got into the sport, I fell in love with the motions of moving up the rock and the indescribable feeling the sport gives you. That first step off the ground as you adjust to the feeling of the cold rock against your fingers or the sound an ice axe makes when you strike it above your head is something you have to experience to understand the appeal.
Brad: Given my climbing obsession, you may think that growing up in Michigan was a disadvantage, but I think it was a good thing. It forced me to continually seek out new climbing areas and a good road trip always adds to the experience. I spent almost all of my free time in high school and college traveling around the country. The trips always seemed to begin with either a flip through Rock and Road or a copy of the American Alpine Journal in hand to provid the inspiration for the next endeavor. While it is certainly hard to pick a favorite, Devil's Tower is great, as is Yosemite and the Joshua Tree, or Rainier and Grand Teton, but if I had to I would say the greatest trip was to the Black Hills of South Dakota.
|The No. 307, one of two items currently available |
for pre-order. It features the most advanced
windproof fleece available.
Brad: I tend to like things that are old rather than new. Old things just seem to have a different draw to them. As a climber, I need and want all of the technology and performance of gear today, but one day, I began to notice that everything being made by the big brands was exactly the same. It all looks very technical, almost to the point of being futuristic. And they all use the same fabrics, the same zippers, and the same components. No one is trying to do something new and different. So, I decided I would. I wanted to create a brand that was reminiscent of a time when climbing was in its purest form, sort of like my trip to the Black Hills, something that represents mountain sports at their core. To do this I wanted to blend all of the technology and performance needed for the most rigorous mountain sports with a classic style. Optimum performance combined with classic style, while leaving neither lacking.
|The No. 907, created to meet the most extreme|
conditions in the mountains
Brad: First, our products are made in the USA and always will be. This, combined with the features and design elements we incorporate, allows us to bring a level of quality to customers that no other brand can offer. While every brand out there likes to claim quality, we put our money where our mouth is and guarantee our products for life. And I don’t mean some arbitrary time frame like the “life of the product.” I mean "for as long as you own it." The second is technology and performance. We don't use the same fabrics or zippers other brands do, and we integrate them with unparalleled fit, design and features. Lastly, style. Our mountain wear is the only line out there that will give you a classic look along with all of the technology and performance you need.
Why is having your products made exclusively here in the USA so important to you?
If you're interested in helping support Brad and The American Mountain Co., or if you're just looking for a super cool new jacket for the upcoming season, here's your chance. Click on any of the pictures in this post, or here, to pre-order the jackets pictured in this post on Kickstarter!