We’re Open: Ripton & Co.
In our continued effort to keep the local residents informed on which businesses remain open, The Aspen Times has started the “We’re Open” feature to profile local businesses working through the coronavirus crisis. We want to connect consumers with the work businesses are doing to stay open.
You can also find our continuously updated “What’s Open” list of businesses that are operating on our website at http://www.aspentimes.com.
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Business name: Ripton & Co.
Address: 233 Gilbert St. No. 24, Aspen, CO 81611
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Aspen Times: How have you gotten creative during this time? What have you done to keep your customers engaged?
Ripton & Co.: We’ve been riding our bikes in small groups, in a responsibly cautious manner to all trail users. But getting outside a lot during this warm spring and producing a lot of photography of the brand. Social media has its downfalls, but sharing our time outside in Aspen with each other has been inspirational during the pandemic.
AT: What’s the most important thing the community can do to support you?
RC: Try a pair of “Action Jorts” or if they sound like something a friend would like, pass our information along. Lots of ski bums and mountain town people have embraced the aesthetic of the jort through the years, but we’re just making it super thin, stretchy and high performance. The outdoor industry has really built a lot of excitement for the company, but Aspen as a whole doesn’t know it exists yet.
AT: Where can we find your most current offerings and updates?
RC: At this point we are only online. We produce our shorts in L.A., so the cost is quite high and so direct is the best model for us. Once things open back up around town, we can likely coordinate a fitting. But we also take returns or you can order multiple sizes and swap.
AT: What has been the best customer experience or comment you’ve had since the crisis started?
RC: The young people in Aspen rallied together this fall to preorder 200 pairs of jorts. At the time I was overdrawing my bank account and had zero money to actually produce anything/start a company. This massive local vote of confidence financed our first 300 units of fabric and got the company off the ground. I’m not sure if this could have happened anywhere else — the closeness of the community via the mountain, the trails and the compact city made trying something new in e-commerce an exciting success. Since then, I’ve had a lot of comments about action jorts changing the way people felt when they ran, hiked, skied, biked. Because they’re stylish and light-hearted, it somehow makes something that can seem like a struggle more fun and more light.
AT: Is there anything else you’d like to add regarding your business during the pandemic?
RC: Our factory that’s producing our preorder pushed our next 1,000 units aside to produce masks, which of course we can’t complain about too much. But we’ve reorganized our website to be preorder. In the age of Amazon, I know it seems strange to wait for a product, but it’s essential in our small, scrappy style. If you’re willing to place a preorder, it creates a more stable cash flow and lets us grow toward the future.
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