When we're not in the office designing skis or on the slopes testing them , we're stopping into our favorite accounts giving them our hands on touch to selling our skis. Spending time with our accounts is our favorite way to connect with the people selling our skis and the cliental who are purchasing them. On a recent trip through the great white north, Icelantic artist Travis Parr and Western Sales Manager Ashley Hart stopped in to hang with Jay Vaughan and Tyler Henderson of Mountain Cultures our Flagship account in Calgary, Alberta. After working the sales floor, eating mass amounts of poutine and hyping up Icelantic to every customer, Ashley and Parr dug in deep to get the dirt on everything Icelantic from the crew at Mountain Cultures in our first ever Icelantic Shop Profile. Enjoy the interview and photos below.
Mountain Cultures Royal Oak Park Mall
8120 8650 112 Ave NW
Calgary, Alberta, T3R 0R5
Located near the corner of 112 Ave & Country Hills Blvd. Next door to Tim Hortons!
Hours Of Operations:
Monday - Friday : 10am to 9pm
Saturday : 10am to 6pm
Sunday : 10am to 6pm
Ashley: Many of our readers are stuck at desks either in school or at work, dreaming about skiing. You've made outdoor recreation your business. When did you pick one vs the other?
I would say we didn’t pick this, it picked us. I would say yeah we had the idea of starting an online store about 8 years ago now. Sales grew drastically over the first 4 years and the last couple years that local pickup was so popular that it was a no brainer to open up a shop in our own town that we had been operating out of. It’s a huge ski town, tons of skiers and our location caters to all the people around here.
A: What makes Mountain Cultures unique to your competitors?
I think the fact that we started online. Most people open up a shop first We opened an online store first. Opening online we certainly started up backwards to most models.
Yeah you could call it a backwards approach, or a new day approach the way web sales and stores are becoming one. I think that’s what we’ve done. We’ve created a little bit smaller of a retail setting but we’re going just as far as our website. So we’re catering to customers not just in Calgary but all over America.
I think what also makes us unique is that we started out right off the bat with a team. We sponsor freestyle athletes all over Canada and actually have an athlete in France. They’ve helped to grow our brand more than anything cuz our team riders supporting us and wearing our brand all over the ski hills and the videos. That’s what makes us unique to other stores.
Parr: I heard somewhere that you were really involved with coaching and being up on the mountains more than most shop owners does this help add to the uniqueness of your account?
Yes, I coached at all levels of freestyle skiing for the past 18 years from Club level all the way up to some World Cup Half Pipe events. The amount of relationships I have gained in the ski industry along the way is priceless. Most of my contacts have transferred to customers because they trust the knowledge and expertise we can offer.
Parr: What's your bread and butter at Mountain Cultures?
Icelantic Skis are definitely a good chunk of our bread and butter complimented with a side of Dynastar/Look/Lange, Surface, Bataleon, Hart, etc...
P: When did you start selling Icelantic skis? Why?
2010. Because we fell in love with the bomber construction, cool art and the great peeps behind it.
P: What is your top selling Icelantic ski?
That would be a tie I think between The Da' Nollie, Keeper and Nomad RKR.
A: What is your number one selling ski brand in your account
Tie between Icelantic & Dynastar.
A: What would you like to see from Icelantic in the near future? (Ski, Apparel, Shoes, Hats, bikes, whatever…?
A: What happens if It snows 3 feet of snow…? (Where are you the next morning? Who runs the shop? etc…)
here are a few of us in the shop so it is kind of a lucky draw who gets the time off when the storm hits.
A: What is the most enjoyable and most challenging in the day to day operations of running a ski shop?
We really enjoy the service/Tuning end of things and its always a good feeling to send a customer out the door with their stoke on….People love ski shops. We sell fun J
A: Give me one of the craziest experiences that you've had with a customer in your account? How did you handle it?
We had a lady recently come into our shop…tell us how the brands we sell suck, the prices are too expensive….blah, blah ,blah then continued on to ask us for a job? I guess you could say she never got a follow up email for the position.
A: What does the future hold for Mountain Cultures?
I think the future holds a ton of growth via our website and new awesome Location in Royal Oak, Calgary, NW
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