Former Steamboat telemark racer slides into innovative business opportunity
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Former telemark ski racer Loren Paley has seen the clutter that has a tendency to accumulate in the entryways and garages of mountain homes.
“What we are trying to do at Real Adventure Design is to make aesthetically pleasing solutions so that when you are coming through the entryway, there is not a pile of ski gear laying there and the ski rack is not super ugly,” Paley said. “We wanted to make a rack that was super functional and that would kind of showcase your skis or winter gear.”
The Dartmouth graduate and former member of the U.S. Telemark Ski Team has joined forces with her boyfriend, an electrical engineer, to create Real Adventure Design, which is based in Park City, Utah.
The company produces unique ski racks featuring branch-like holders that clamp the skis tightly using strong rare-earth magnets that keeps the skis closer to the wall so they will not get knocked off. The company is also producing a smart-looking boot dryer with a style that complements the racks.
Paley will be back in the town where she grew up to show off her new company and new products as part of the Holiday in the Rockies Artisan Market, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Strawberry Park Elementary School, 39620 Amethyst Drive.
She said the idea for the ski racks was the result of her own experiences growing up, and the influence of local teacher Johnny Walker, who helped inspire the racks’ natural appearance.
“I spent a lot of time figuring out where to put all of my gear in the garage when I was growing up,” Paley said. “You stack them in the corner, then you lean them against the wall because you want to grab the right pair and then they all fall over … there is no reason for a person to buy $600 to $1,000 skis and boots, or a $5,000 bike for it to be stored clumsily against the wall where it can fall over and break, or to have it stored in a really ugly way.”
After graduating from Dartmouth, Paley spent a couple of years working at a robotics company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She eventually left that company to strike out on her own.
“Everywhere that I’ve ever lived I’ve just been making my own storage solutions because I feel that nothing out there really fits my aesthetics and they just are not functional,” she said.
But this 25-year-old entrepreneur has more than just ski racks planned.
She is already working on systems for mountain and road bikes that take up as little space as possible, and she also wants to make systems that don’t require the user to lift the bike.
Paley no longer skis competitively but has channeled her energy into more recreational skiing activities and mountain biking. When she isn’t coming up with some new concept, she volunteers for an organization called Continue Mission where she teaches mountain biking to veterans.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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