After lifting the Colorado ski firm out of monetary turmoil, the Icelantic CEO is specializing in constructing group, getting individuals exterior and empowering ladies.
It’s eight p.m. in New York, the place I stay, by the point I get Annelise Loevlie on the telephone. We’d deliberate to speak hours in the past, however I wasn’t capable of pay money for her. Then I obtained this textual content message:
“Hey, Leslie! I’m sooo sorry. I simply obtained down from a mini-epic hike the place I hauled out a 60-pound piece of rose quartz [the stone of love] for a buddy’s wedding ceremony reward. (Shhhhh.) I simply obtained again to the automotive and might be dwelling in about 30 min. Are you able to do it then?”
I couldn’t blame her. The 34-year-old CEO of Icelantic Skis was actually simply emulating her firm’s motto, “Return to Nature.” And once I did get to speak to her, she was fired up as a result of she had spent the day exterior doing what she loves—huffing her means up a 12,000-foot peak. “I really like train,” Annelise says laughing. “And the summit of Chief Mountain has 360-degree views of the Continental Divide. I principally grew up on that mountain, so it’s this little respite if I simply must get away. My coronary heart is immediately reset.”
Annelise, who lives about 30 minutes away from Chief Mountain’s trailhead in Golden, Colorado, has been with Icelantic since its inception. Her childhood buddies, Ben Anderson, Travis Prepare dinner and Travis Parr, based the ski firm in 2004. And when Ben wanted some assistance on the enterprise facet of issues, he requested Annelise to come back on board. It’s not a shock she stated sure, seeing as she’s the kind of particular person who will carry 60 kilos of rock down a mountain for her buddies. In 2014, Annelise grew to become the CEO as a result of the corporate was in monetary hassle and he or she knew the way in which ahead. She is simply “actually good at navigating shit storms” (her phrases, not mine). Now, with Annelise on the helm, Icelantic has overcome its rising pains and is tough at work innovating, inspiring and constructing group within the ski trade.
Annelise grew up in Colorado’s historic Gold Rush mining city of Idaho Springs. Nature reigns supreme on this nook of Clear Creek County. On the weekends, the Loevlises climbed close by mountains, like Chief Mountain, and skied at Loveland. In addition they traveled internationally rather a lot, which is why Annelise can communicate a bit of little bit of Norwegian, Spanish, Italian and Russian. Annelise says she thinks all that journey made her a great communicator, which is why she does what she does.
Annelise’s mother and father are entrepreneurs. Her Norwegian father, Kristian, is an inventor. He created a sprayable concrete known as Shotcrete, and her mom, Mary Jane, helped flip his invention right into a profitable enterprise. A passionate group builder, Mary Jane cares deeply about Clear Creek County and fights for historic preservation. “My mother is superb. She simply purchased the Argo Gold Mill [in Idaho Springs],” Annelise says. “It was once the most important gold mill on this planet, and he or she goes to develop it into a contemporary resort and convention heart. It’s going to be a extremely good factor for the city.” And for 20 years, Mary Jane has been spearheading the hassle to carry new transportation choices, like a monorail, to Colorado’s unbearable I-70 hall. This, I think about, is the place Annelise will get her grit.
From the start, Icelantic’s mission has been to attach individuals to nature, create change, and encourage curiosity and journey.
In 2004, Annelise earned two levels from the College of Vermont, in worldwide enterprise and Spanish. And about 2.5 seconds after she obtained her diploma, Ben requested for her assist beginning Icelantic. “I used to be positively like, ‘Yeah, Ben, I’ll enable you. You will want a telephone quantity and a checking account and stuff.’ However I used to be simply sort of simply serving to out on the time as a result of he was such a great buddy.”
Ben and Annelise met on the primary day of seventh grade at Clear Creek Center College. Annelise had already began her personal companies promoting sweet out of her locker (shocker!), and Ben, who apparently actually loves sweet, rapidly grew to become her finest buyer. They’ve been buddies ever since.
“Ben has at all times had this skill to make issues occur,” Annelise says. “He’s a dreamer and a doer. And he has no ego.” This explains why he wished to create a distinct sort of ski firm. Icelantic was the primary ski firm to fabricate all its merchandise within the U.S., and every top-sheet has original artwork finished by Travis Parr. From the start, Icelantic’s mission has been to attach individuals to nature, create change, and encourage curiosity and journey. “‘Return to Nature’ is our slogan; that’s a not-so-subtle suggestion-slash-invitation for individuals to return to nature, no matter meaning to them,” Annelise says. “We additionally promote skis, which robotically encourages individuals to get exterior and transfer their our bodies. And the content material that we create with our athletes, the crew behind the scenes, and our group is at all times intentional.” Plus, Annelise says, Icelantic is working with Conservation Colorado to assist shield public lands. (She’s additionally engaged on some cool, inventive initiatives that she will be able to’t actually speak about but. Keep tuned.)
After a few 12 months of “simply serving to out,” Ben requested Annelise to work for Icelantic full-time. It was 2005 and he or she was 23. Seven years later, in 2014, she grew to become CEO and helped Ben save the corporate from chapter. “I did an evaluation of the enterprise and located, ‘That is what is just not working. That is how I see remodeling it.’ I offered it to the board and stated, ‘I’ve to say this or else I can’t be right here anymore.’ That was kind of the impetus for me to take over as CEO.”
Annelise’s introduction to turning into the boss was not a simple one. She needed to hearth a few of her buddies and actually shake issues up. She says it was one of many hardest issues she has ever needed to do. Since then, Annelise looks like she has lastly began to grasp her drive and cause for working for Icelantic. “Without end it was for Ben, then it was to save lots of the corporate,” she says. “Now I’m realizing my objective and what motivates me to being a part of this firm.” Annelise has confidence and delight in her skill to see how issues work. She has a knack for observing a state of affairs, seeing what’s lacking and filling the holes. She is continually inspiring her group of 20 workers and athletes—she and Ben take them on a global crusing journey yearly simply to get away from work and have enjoyable. She doesn’t attempt to change herself simply because she’s the boss, and he or she’s not afraid to drop an enthusiastic f-bomb when she is happy. She’s relatable and enjoyable and, properly, she actually, actually loves snowboarding.
Icelantic has been rising in an enormous means these days. The corporate had record-breaking gross sales in the course of the months of August and September. “After 10 years of doing this we’re lastly getting a bit of momentum,” Annelise says.
A part of the rationale the corporate is doing properly—in addition to the artfully designed graphics, USA-manufactured merchandise and up-to-date shapes—is that Icelandic is taking note of ladies. At first, Icelantic didn’t supply women-specific skis; in 2010, Icelantic launched its first mannequin, the Oracle 110. And this 12 months, the corporate might be providing six women-specific fashions (out of 15 whole) in all sizes.
On the Vail Resorts annual Labor Day sale this 12 months, Annelise cried joyful tears. “I used to be trying out the ski wall and looking out on the girls’ part. I felt so proud as a result of we had extra ladies skis in our lineup than the full variety of skis on the wall. And I really like the skis we’re making for ladies.” Annelise can be psyched to launch Icelantic’s latest women-specific design: an enormous and burly ski constructed for hard-charging ladies known as the Maiden 177. In January 2018, the corporate plans to launch its first women-specific backcountry touring ski known as the Mystic, in addition to a pair extra new ladies’s all-mountain fashions at Snowsports Industries America’s annual commerce present.
“You and I each understand how cool it’s when you’ll be able to ski with different ladies,” she says. “It’s such a pleasure. Girls are moms and decision-makers, and it’s vital to proceed having ladies concerned within the sport. They’re enormous influences on whether or not or not it’s going to proceed to develop.”
As we wrap up our name, Annelise tells me that it’s exhausting for her to quantify or measure her objectives for Icelantic. All she is aware of for certain is that she desires to be part of an organization that positively impacts the world. “I wish to construct a aware firm. When individuals see us or come into contact with us, I would like it to be related to integrity, and enjoyable and nature.” And he or she desires to make use of Icelantic to get individuals outdoor, as a result of in Annelise’s splendidly open thoughts, the extra individuals exterior—no matter gender—the higher.