Avid surfers and skiers Kathy Thomas and Sara Zilkha have nine children between them and are often on the lookout for activewear for the whole family. With a lack of options and a growing resentment towards buying outdated male-oriented websites, they decided to launch their own e-commerce destination: Salt + Snow, which officially launched today.
“With the boom in the active lifestyle apparel market coinciding with the growing demands of our daily lives, we have seen firsthand that this is an unmet need in the online market. “, says Thomas. “Niche brands and big brands are focused on expanding their activewear, and there was no single destination to access a curated view of what these brands have to offer. Often the experience with many outdoor retailers can be overtly masculine in aesthetics and messaging.
Thomas was also tired of spending long days shopping on multiple sites and not finding what she wanted, both in quality and quantity. With a barrage of e-commerce sites in existence, there really wasn’t anything that stocked all the sportswear she wanted to see and, rather, buy. “Women want to simplify their shopping experience and save time in their day instead of scouring online to find the information they need to equip themselves, their partners and their children for any outdoor activity. what they plan to do,” she adds.
For now, Salt + Snow is starting small, with a curated assortment of 20 brands. The co-founders decided to emphasize a mix of big names and up-and-coming talent so buyers could experience an element of exploration at every turn. Some of these names? Alps & Meters, Amundsen, Anemos, Cynthia Rowley, Dinoski, Dip, Eugenia Kim, Kasia + Surf, L’Etoile Sport, Left on Friday, Matuse, Powder Puff, Revo, Rhone, Sea Star, Seasta Surf, Seea, September and Xcell. But in the fall, they plan to expand to over 40 labels for the new season. “A key part of our excitement for the launch of Salt + Snow is our partnership with amazing brands who want a larger platform to share their product with consumers,” adds Thomas. “These ‘discovery brands’, as we call them, are innovative and forward-thinking, and are driven to make the world a better place, and we’re happy to provide them with an additional marketing platform to build on.”
With Zilka’s experience working at Goldman Sachs before moving into the nonprofit sector, and Thomas’s work as a former director of music marketing at Sony and Principle Management, as well as an advertising producer at Wells, Rich , Greene BDDP, the two put their combined knowledge together and hired the best of the best in retail to join them. Ashley Bryan takes the COO role after successful stints at NET-A-PORTER, Moda Operandi and Maisonette, while former Ralph Lauren retail expert Brooke Gerschel is the merchandising director from Salt + Snow. As for the marketing and editorial director? Old vogue Staff member Brooke Danielson takes the reins.
“We want women to be more prominently represented and find the community and information they seek without having to dig into highly technical sites that don’t match what we need and want,” adds Zilkha.