Q & A with Kirsten Chapman Kolter from Niche Snowboards!
January 16, 2018
The newest blog in our series focuses on eco friendly snowboards and the women behind them. Here is a Q&A with Kirsten Chapman Kolter with Niche Snowboards. Where she explains the mothership, what it is like to be a mom in the snowboard industry and why she loves SheShreds.co. Love the interview? Niche will be a sponsor for our upcoming SheShreds Jamboree series at Powder Mountain on February 3 and March 3, where we will be demoing select sponsor skis and snowboards at each event.
Tell me more about the Mothership?I love learning about new Eco Friendly products in the snowsports industry!
We moved our snowboard manufacturing to the the Mothership in 2016, the most environmentally responsible snowboard factory in the world. Located in Feistritz an der Gail, Austria, The Mothership is a 100 percent hydro powered facility, providing all energy for production and climate control resulting in a zero C02 emission release. The facility also includes other progressive capabilities like the use of water-based inks, plant-based resin and solvent-free finishing. In addition, the facility sources raw materials from suppliers in close proximity to reduce the carbon footprint of transportation.
We could not have found a better place to produce our eco friendly boards, than a place like the Mothership. It is inspiring to be around like minded people, who make sustainability a priority in their business model. The Mothership has given us the ability and the encouragement to continue to innovate and push the envelope in eco friendly design.
Want to learn more about the Mothership, check out the video below!
What makes Niche snowboards different from other eco friendly boards We created Niche Snowboards in 2010 with the sole mission of creating beautiful, high-performance boards with more sustainable and safer materials. We have incorporated this across our entire line from day one and make every decision with this as our guiding light. We have proven that you can make high performing, award winning boards made with eco friendly materials. After many years in the making, we introduced the world's first fully recyclable snowboard this year. Not only is the snowboard itself recyclable at the end of life, but more importantly the manufacturing waste is recyclable as well. Our sustainable practices and goals drive us as a company and we love pushing our industry in the right direction!
Being a mom and a snowboarder what are your biggest challenges? What advice would you give to women who shred but also have children? My children, Isla and Luke have brought me so much happiness, love and growth. I have learned so much from these little people, but most importantly I have learned that being a Mom requires balance. I give so much to my family and work, like so many moms, but I have realized that I need time to myself to recharge and increase self awareness and growth. Snowboarding, hiking and mountain biking clear my mind and fulfill my soul better than anything else. Of course it can be challenging getting enough time to escape to the mountains, but I have found creative ways to make time, with the help of many loving family and friends!
Who is your favorite female snowboarder? and why? Oh wow, there are so many inspiring female snowboarders pushing our sport, but Niche Snowboarder Erika Vikander is at the top of my list. I love her style and every photograph I see of her shredding in the backcountry makes me happy! Whether she is winning competitions or enjoying the outdoors, she always has a big smile on her face. She is most importantly a lovely and kind human!
What is a day at Niche like? What is your role in the company? My business partner, Ana Van Pelt, and I pretty much run all operations, design and sales from our headquarters in Salt Lake City. I typically focus my energy on Finance, Accounting, Operations and Logistics. However, running a small business requires us to wear many (all!) hats, so I often end up doing customer service, shipping and lots of heavy lifting when our boards arrive every season!
What is one thing you admire/like/think is cool about SheShreds.co SheShreds has done a phenomenal job at profiling woman in action sports and giving them a voice and platform. The diverse, talented and beautiful women that come across my social media every day are inspiring. It is wonderful to share the stories and photographs of these athletes with my 5 year old daughter.
In addition, it has been thrilling to see SheShreds founder, Gina Duffy's hard work and passion create such an important community and empowering brand. She is a force to be reckoned with!