Why we are making Photography Gloves
The story behind Vallerret Photography Gloves
It was a September 2014 in Copenhagen. Just the usual Autumn Copenhagen cloudy day and Carl and I were sitting in our tiny flat cramming our coffee cups and talking rubbish. Not really the best part of year around Denmark, so we were daydreaming about travel adventures, winter missions and the newfound hobby: business ideas.
In a casual chat around the usual subjects of snowboarding, photography and our previous Winter in Swedish Lapland, all these topics merged into one when Carl unexpectedly suggested: "Why don't we make awesome photography gloves for snowboard photographers? Wouldn't that be cool". Just like that our heads were buzzing with ideas of how this could work and potentially extend to become a community far beyond gloves, thus turning one coffee into a caffeine festival!
Co-founder Carl van den Boom | Photo: Kenneth Fossen
When you love snowboarding, have a passion for photography and have chased snowfall around the globe you know all about how sensitive your hands are to the cold. As many winter-loving photographers before us, we'd struggled to keep our hands warm enough to get the shots we wanted. Most sessions turned into a battle of comfort versus results, often opting to head inside for the warmth or leaving the camera in the bag altogether.
For a couple of years we had searched for some sweet looking and functional photography gloves, but with no success. I don't need to describe what we could or couldn't find out there, but indeed there was room in the market for a photography glove combining quality materials, functionality & style.
"So why not make a glove customized for snowboard photographers – a glove we want to wear?"
That's how the idea of Vallerret Photography Gloves was born in October 2014. If you want something, you have to go get it, right?
The snowball took us…
That coffee fest I mentioned earlier. It snowballed into a massive brainstorming session: What defines the perfect photography glove? What is missing in existing solutions? What is the real problem of cold hands? How can we design a glove that is particularly awesome for photographers who like to get amongst the mountains?
Carl and I were so excited about the idea and the pure joy of creation made us want to kickstart the production right then and there. We wanted the gloves we envisioned. Many of our photographer friends wanted the gloves we envisioned.
We were determined this was going to be a business and not just a hobby, so after thorough customer validation and market research we fired up the sewing machine.
Design. Test. Adjust. Design. Test. Adjust.
If you would have come into our Copenhagen apartment at that stage – well, first you would have been held hostage by our furry husky pup – then trying to get our attention would have required a great deal of effort and patience (sorry friends:-).
There was a kind of organised chaos to the productiveness going on in the apartment. I kept my eyes focused on the hammering needle of the sewing machine trying to navigate my way around new glove patterns, scattered pieces of scrap material laying strewn all over the floor. Whilst In the next room Carl was busily designing the next pattern and set of graphics. Not sure if what I could hear over my sewing machine was the speakers cranking music or Carl's CAD and design programs making the old and beloved Macbook Pro hum like a fighter jet. Either way, it was "glove time".
Since the inception of Vallerret photography gloves, we've tested prototypes in arctic Sweden, put them to the test through Norway and moved to a little Norwegian town called Voss where we have registered the business. It's a magical small town buzzing from extreme sports and winter fun all year round.
That initial phase, hatching the concept in our tiny Copenhagen apartment in Denmark, is one to be remembered.
First Edition on it's way!
Our first edition glove will be produced in an exclusive 100 pairs (expected early November 2015). The order is placed and the Merino wool has been shipped all the way from downunder, New Zealand.
What we'd like to achieve at this stage is to get your feedback. We have designed this first edition glove based on our experience and have carefully selected materials, which we trust will perform the best for you on the mountain. But what are your thoughts? Could we tweak it and make it even better?
We are super excited to receive customer feedback and further develop the glove concept. We aim to launch a Kickstarter Campaign in November/December 2015 to rise funding for a larger order, which manufacturers require. Exciting times indeed! But more on that on a later date.
Photo | Stine Lyng Jørgensen
More than a glove company
It's the adventures that you take that you remember, not the ones you don't.
There's just nothing like hitting the mountain with likeminded photographers and riders, who are willing to go that extra mile to get the right shot. You learn so much and it's awesome to share the buzz you get after a killer shoot.
That's why we strive to build a community of adventurous winter-loving photographers who share, seek and capture the adventure together – our products helping the adventure to be a smooth ride. We are planning to launch our first event for ski photographers this coming Winter. You can get involved by signing up for our newsletter. This way we make sure to keep you up to date on events and products.
Go seize the adventure – and capture it.
So that's our story.
If you share just a fragment of our excitement about the upcoming gloves, then you're stoked! If you have any questions, inquiries or suggestions regarding the gloves or our Team Shooters, don't be shy, we'd love to hear your input.
Stine Lyng Jørgensen, Vallerret Co-founder
Vallerret is founded by Stine Lyng Jørgensen and Carl van den Boom.
Carl is from New Zealand. Having completed a degree in landscape architecture, opting for winters abroad and a backpack instead of a career he has continued to design, explore, capture and create.
Stine is from Denmark. She has an allergy towards hot places but a desire for exploration. It never takes too long for her to implement the next adventure. Stine has a background in digital marketing.