Help­ingH ands

Wool + Suede cre­ated the per­fect pair of af­ford­able shear­ling gloves for Al­berta’s harsh win­ters. And ac­cord­ing to their Kick­starter-gone-vi­ral, peo­ple can’t wait to get their hands in them

Alberta Venture - - The Briefing -

>>> In­no­va­tion of­ten starts with a need. For Nik Sered­itch and Josh Le, it was a case of cold hands. “I had no gloves this win­ter and the op­tions were too ex­pen­sive,” says Sered­itch. “So I thought, let’s just make our own.”

The pair grew up in Ed­mon­ton and have been friends since high school. After grad­u­at­ing, they both pur­sued busi­ness ed­u­ca­tion: Sered­itch went east to the Ivey Busi­ness School at Western Univer­sity and Le grad­u­ated from the Univer­sity of Al­berta’s School of Re­tail­ing. Sered­itch’s busi­ness savvy along with Le’s keen in­ter­est in men’s fash­ion made for the per­fect match, and to­gether they de­signed the per­fect pair of shear­ling gloves: warm yet stylish with fit­ted fin­gers and a full elas­tic cuff to keep the heat in and the cold out. “When we saw the photo of the sam­ple, I knew this was it,” says Le. He put in his two weeks’ no­tice at his job in Mon­treal and flew to Ed­mon­ton to fi­nal­ize the prod­uct and film the pro­mo­tional video for their soon-to-be Kick­starter project un­der the brand name Wool + Suede.

The goal was to reach $10,000 in seven days. Within the first 12 hours, Wool + Suede hit $8,000. In less than 24 hours, they reached their $10,000 goal. “The morn­ing when we hit our goal, that’s when we knew this was le­git­i­mate.” At the time of pub­li­ca­tion, Wool + Suede’s Kick­starter had 376 back­ers with $42,674 raised. Back­ers have come from Canada, Ja­pan, the U.S. and the Nether­lands.

Sered­itch cred­its their suc­cess to their ex­ist­ing net­work, a great prod­uct, fair pric­ing and “serendip­i­tous tim­ing.” The day they launched their Kick­starter, the tem­per­a­ture in Ed­mon­ton dropped and snow hit the ground.

Now that Wool + Suede have crushed their Kick­starter goal, they’ll be busy ship­ping or­ders and tran­si­tion­ing to their e-com­merce store. Even­tu­ally, they hope to break into the men’s ac­ces­sory scene with the same tenac­ity as they have with their warm and stylish gloves.

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