Lid kids: Corinne Prevot
and friends show off their
Middlebury student and nordic racer Corinne Prevot
turns heads with Skida apparel BY BRYCE HUBNER
At just 19 years old, Middlebury College sophomore and cross country ski racer Corinne Prevot is tackling the business world — one funky
textile at a time.
Prevot is the founder and owner of Skida, a winter apparel company
that designs and manufacturers color-splashed hats, headbands, bandanas and neckwarmers. The company is in its third year of business
and growing fast, and you can find Skida products at ski shops in seven
snowy states across the country.
So how did a teenage ski racer start a successful apparel company?
“I was an alpine skier who switched to nordic a few years ago, and
I wasn’t quite accustomed to the [difference between the sports’] apparel when I started,” says Prevot. “In December of 2007, I was in a
Montana ski shop and bought a really colorful and fun nordic skiing hat,
but it was expensive and didn’t quite fit right. A couple weeks later at
Christmas, my mother and I were stuck inside because of bad weather
and we decided to try and make our own hats that would fit a little better.”
Prevot and her mother, Margie, liked the fateful early prototype and
made a few more for Prevot’s Burke Mountain Academy teammates in
East Burke, Vt., who then donned the hats at races all over New England. BMA parents were soon asking for hats, too.
But Prevot says the decision to fully embrace the design and textile
businesses didn’t occur until she was approached by a fellow competitor.
“I remember, later that winter, a girl from another ski program came
up to me and asked if she could buy one of the hats that I made,”
Prevot says. “I hadn’t
thought about sell-
ing them before, but I
said ‘sure,’ and sold it
for about $15, I think.
We hadn’t even con-
ceived a brand name
adventure was born from that early transaction, and Prevot says she
settled on the brand name Skida, “which is an old Swedish word for
ski,” to pay homage to the brand’s nordic roots and inspiration.
Prevot and her mother were soon immersed in finding fun fabric patterns and stitching together as many hats — then headbands, bandanas and neckwarmers — as possible. Skida started supplying local
shops, and as demand grew to include points beyond, the pair had to
enlist the help of seamstresses in Newport, Vt., who had previously
worked with similar materials at Louis Garneau.
Prevot says her mother helps keep things running smoothly as she
invests herself in studies and skiing at Middlebury — and business is
running smoothly, indeed.
“We sold thousands of products in 2010 and, in general, we’ve tripled
sales each of our first three years,” says Prevot, who says Skida (
ski-dasport.com) grossed $55,000 in sales this past year. “That everything
is made in Vermont is both a source of pride and a real selling point,
especially for a lot of customers in New England.”