Steamboat startups: Dog lovers give back through Adventure Hounds clothing
Established: December 2015
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Dog lovers give back through Adventure Hounds clothing
Steamboat Springs — Two aspiring dog owners are the driving force behind Adventure Hounds, a new adventure clothing company that donates a portion of their profits to animal shelters across the state.
Competitive ski racer SaRa Gezon and longtime friend John Bowers attended high school together in Michigan before they both moved to Steamboat — Gezon to ski and Bowers to attend Colorado Mountain College before transferring to Colorado State University.
Despite their young age, both friends had the entrepreneurial bug and dreamed up Adventure Hounds last November.
They pooled $1,000 and used Gezon’s uncle’s screen-printing company to complete their first order of about 100 shirts and 30 sweatshirts.
“We were working on just a college budget, so we had to start small,” said Bowers, who graduated this spring from CSU.
Gezon, who also remotely runs a transportation company in Northern Michigan, knew that the duo would learn best by doing.
“The greatest education you can have in business is not inside a university,” she said.
To give back, the company is working with a new animal shelter every two months, donating 20 percent of their profits to each shelter. Past beneficiaries have included Animal House in Ft. Collins, Boulder Humane Society and Routt County Humane Society.
There are now 12 designs in the Adventure Hounds product line — each in several colors — and Gezon is working to create a new fleece jacket.
Gezon said it’s important the company creates products they would want to wear themselves before trying to sell them, and Bowers added that the versatile clothing is good for adventures with your dog or activities around town.
“You can wear the shirt from the trail to the bar,” Bowers said.
The young entrepreneurs spread the word about their new products through Facebook, their website and on Instagram, and they use brand ambassadors to promote the company.
While the two friends love dogs, neither Bowers or Gezon have a pup of their own just yet, citing their busy, nomadic lifestyles.
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