SnoKart Brand Featured in Boardsport Source Magazine September 08 2015
Boardsport Source Magazine have just published a great article about us in their mag.
See it below or in full on their page here.
SnoKart are a luggage company specific to the snowsports industry, started by founder Christian Williams in 2008 to solve his ski travel needs. Christian previously worked in the fashion industry, bringing with him 20 years or production, buying and management experience, meaning he understands what retailers want.
How did SnoKart begin? Tell us a bit more about the history of the company.
SnoKart was started in 2008 by me (Christian Williams). Whilst on a ski holiday in late 2007 I had great difficulty trying to fit my all in one long ski coffin bag into a small hire car. I finally managed this by taking the skis out of the bag and jamming them between the seats. I then folded the long bag in half and squashed it into the back of the hatchback. This got me thinking and led me to design ‘The Kart 6’ which has become our signature bag. At this time I also saw that snowsport luggage choices were very limited and that there was an opportunity to create and supply more innovative, practical bags for snow sports travellers. So I designed a range of bags, gave them the brand name ‘SnoKart’ and went to market at the London Ski Show at Olympia in late 2008. The bags were an immediate hit with the public, so we launched to the trade at SLIDE 2009. Here we won 2nd place for the most innovative new product.
Who is behind the company and what are their backgrounds?
I am the creator, founder and MD. I have over 20 years experience working in the fashion industry in a variety of senior positions for major high street stores and suppliers. I’ve been a general manager, head of buying and head of production. These roles have been a perfect training ground, given that they combined the design, buying, commercial and sales skills necessary to create and run a brand.
The business could not have progressed without the support of a strong manufacturing base, a solid UK sales force headed by Andy Nicholls and great distributors like Islasport (Benelux), Rojo Distribution (Australia & NZ) and Litada (Lithuania).
What makes SnoKart different from the competitors and why should retailers sell your products? We are a true one-stop-shop for retailers. We supply a comprehensive range of good quality bags for snowboards, skis, boots and accessories at fair prices and generous margin. Our range includes modular all-in-one bags, mid-sized versatile bags, through to boot bags, lightweight lining bags and helmet bags.
The modular function of some of our bags makes them extremely versatile and means that they can also be used for summer holidays, festivals and weekend breaks.
We are very much in touch with the market and are also good at looking ahead. We have our ears close to the ground to pick up on any news or developments in our sector or the general travel market (such as airline cabin bag allowances). We are quick to react to customer needs and requirements. We have some forward order and replenishment flexibility and operate a repair service.
We try and go the extra mile (or km) whenever we can.
Do you support/ collaborate with any athletes and how?
Yes. The athletes we support help give SnoKart its identity. We have worked with British Olympic athletes such as Zoe Gillings and Ellie Koyander and The British Telemark Team in the past. We are currently working with Jamie Barrow (British snowboard speed record holder), Ethan Smith (snowboard grom) and the Snow-Pepper Snowboard Team (based in Landgraaf). We are looking to recruit more athletes and are focusing on a snowboard/ski mixture of young future stars.
The guys we sponsor are great at telling us about their travels to and from the slopes to train, compete or just to have fun. They make videos, post on social media and feedback on the performance of their SnoKart bags, which allows us to make improvements and modifications to our designs.
Our motto is: ‘fast forward to the slopes’ and our athletes embrace that.
We also feel that it good to put something back into our sport by supporting the guys at the SnowCamp charity as best we can.
Is there any other marketing you are running?
We support various competitions on an ad-hoc basis by offering prizes. We also work with various quality specialist magazines.
What are your future plans for the company? Are you looking to expand your product range?
We are stocked by nearly all the major UK snowsport retailers and have great distributors in Benelux, Australia and New Zealand, Lithuania and Spain, with Germany just coming on stream now. We are aiming to increase our presence further in the UK and expand overseas by appointing additional distributors. Primary target markets are Scandinavia and North America.
Our product range is made up of proven best-sellers, but we will continue to make improvements to our specifications where we can. We also plan to increase our offer by introducing specific products for specific markets and territories.
What is important for a company like SnoKart to stay competitive?
To continue to supply good quality, value for money innovative product. To provide top-rate customer service, pre and after sales.