UK-based Love Inc started out life in 2006 as an apparel brand, but have since shifted their focus to gloves with a top team of riders including Olympic bronze medallist Billy Morgan, Tyler Chorlton and PJ Gustafsson. They still produce pieces of apparel such as their top performing ‘Skiing Is A Bit Shit’ t-shirt. Read on for more on a rider owned and operated brand.
Tell us about the Love Inc.
Love Inc is a premium snowboard apparel company with quality and functionality as its main focus. We are rider owned and driven. The company was started way back in 2006 by me. At the time I was a frustrated graphic designer and snowboarder and was fed up of seeing everyone wearing the same clothing. I knew I wanted to make a difference and knew I wanted it to be in the winter sports industry. The brand started off with just a small t-shirt line which were all hand printed and numbered. Over the years the business has developed and seven years ago we made the jump to specialise in gloves. We now have a full range of gloves that change year on year and a couple of signature gloves for riders on our team such as Tyler Chorlton, PJ Gustafsson and Billy Morgan. Our gloves are all designed and hand made in the UK and address problems where we always felt other glove companies fell short. We aim to produce the best gloves on the market at a competitive price.
Who are the people behind the brand?
The main person behind Love Inc is myself. I have a great team with me in the form of our Pro riders who test the products we sell and their feedback goes into the following year’s range. It couldn’t all come together without the help of people like Tyler, PJ and Bill Cockrell.
What is your USP?
As well as being an independent UK company we believe our USP is quality and functionality. We aim to address design issues that other gloves don’t think about from sewing our liners into our gloves to they don’t come out when your hands are sweaty, to the leather we use. Each pair is lovingly made with Love (pardon the pun).
What is your best-selling product and why?
Our best-selling product is the “Skiing Is A Bit Shit” t-shirt. Last season we were selling them quicker than we could make them. Closely followed by our Full leather G’Love Glove in White. I believe the t-shirts sold so well as it was a bit of light-hearted comedy poking fun at the skier/snowboard divide!
The gloves on the other hand sold really well as they were just bullet proof and we made them in white which always seemed to be popular. The gloves evolved over a number of years making the latest versions the best we have ever seen as all the feedback from previous years went into them.
What is your most successful territory?
Our main distribution countries are the UK and Germany, the UK for obvious reasons and Germany as we have always been popular in Germany. I think the people over there love the British heritage of the brand and the solid craftsmanship. Online we sell all over the world and ship to 52 different countries.
How do you market the brand?
The marketing of the brand has changed over the 14 years we have been in business. To start with it was mainly Gorilla marketing involving sticking stickers on every chairlift in the land and giving away a tonne of freebies. From there we developed a marketing strategy and started to advertise in magazines and online. We are also heavily into social media as we believe it’s where most people see our products, we use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Along with print and digital we couldn’t do what we do without word of mouth and our brand representatives and sponsored riders, they really do get the word out and highlight our brand to people.
Where do you see the best opportunities for growth?
Territory-wise I see the European market as our number 1 focus and would love to crack the US market as it so huge and has so much to offer.
Why should retailers carry your brand?
Retailers should carry our brand as we produce quality, functional products that are fit for purpose and look great and we also have a good team to back up the credentials. We are also rider owned and driven and the mountains are our home. We also sell and ship to 52 countries online so we have proved the business works and there is a market for our products.