Gearing up for growth, Glade Optics invests in product and people with expanded team
January 24, 2022
Making the best mountain gear by hiring the best mountain people
BRECKENRIDGE, CO /OUTDOOR SPORTSWIRE/ – With Winter 21/22 already shaping up to be another sold-out season, Glade Optics is positioning itself for continued expansive growth by bringing in new talent where it matters most: product and people.
Founder Curt Nichols started the company with the dream of creating a mountain oriented brand run by mountain people – the same ski bums, river rats and free spirits that inspired him growing up.
Furthering Glade’s commitment to quality products that connect the customer to their experience, Michael Barker has joined Glade as Head of Product and Sustainability and works directly with Nichols on future planning and strategy.
Barker joins Glade after 17 years with legacy paddlesports brand NRS, where he spent the last 8 years leading its product development process and spearheading NRS’ sustainability efforts as its first Sustainability Officer.
“Curt and I are excited to build a business that prioritizes a deep connection with the consumer,” said Barker. “From a product perspective, larger brands in our space have continually added distance and friction between themselves and the end user of their products. Large scale operations and conglomerate shareholders create an environment that prioritizes and celebrates unsustainable growth … with messaging and products that are out of touch with the typical outdoor user’s experience.”
Nichols and Barker know that the best plans mean little without the best people. With this in mind, Drew Weingart was hired to focus on customer happiness and creative after 3 years at Topo Designs. Growing up skiing Breckenridge not too far from Glade’s headquarters, Weingart’s mountain roots run deep.
“Drew’s genuine attitude connects well with our customers, and his creative mind has already been a boon for our marketing efforts in photography, graphic design and social media,” said Nichols.
“I couldn’t be more stoked to have landed at Glade,” said Weingart. “Glade is in an exciting position – the brand is blowing up and the people working here are all friends, all excited to be doing this together and wearing a lot of hats.”
With these hires, Nichols is doubling-down on Glade’s customer-centric and community building ethos. With real mountain enthusiasts running and driving the business, the brand is on a mission to bring authenticity back to the outdoors and to develop and curate attainable goods that don’t skimp on performance.
These two key hires are just the beginning, as plans for more growth are coming soon.
Based in Breckenridge, Colorado, Glade is a community-driven, value-minded optics brand that strives to deliver maximum stoke at a price that everyone can afford. Glade offers goggles with interchangeable and photochromic lenses, ski helmets, and a soon-to-expanded line of sunglasses. To keep on the latest, get first dibs on new releases and be entered in a monthly giveaway, sign up for the Glade insider’s list at www.shopglade.com.