Meet two moms to make it easier to enjoy the great outdoors
When Kathy Thomas and Sara Zilkha met, they immediately bonded over a mutual passion for surfing, skiing and style – and their frustration with the time and work spent bouncing from site to site. another looking for the functional yet fashionable clothes they needed to properly dress their active families (they have nine children between them!) for everything from surfing waves to descending the slopes. Together, they began dreaming of a dedicated place to shop for a full range of functional yet stylish sportswear.
This is the origin story of salt + snow, an e-commerce destination that was created to make life a lot easier (and a lot more chic) for like-minded activity enthusiasts. It’s a one-stop-shop for the whole family for all types of activewear from emerging and established clothing brands. But that’s not all. The site aims to foster a sense of community and exploration. It does this by telling inspiring stories of active individuals (like a blind ice climber), as well as educational resources such as gear guides and SPF primers. As the weather warms up and we’re all thinking about planning our own adventures, we asked these two business-minded moms to share their business savvy and tips for getting outdoors with the whole family.
Your business was born out of a personal need and passion. What was the motivating spark?
Kathy: It was two things: first, the discovery of stylish yet functional outdoor lifestyle brands created by people who care about making the world a better place. We wanted to provide a marketplace that sheds light on these brands and increases the number of eyes on these special businesses. Second, it was to provide a solution for the time wasted browsing the web with endless tabs open on your computer because there was no reliable resource through which you could purchase all types of sportswear. for you and for your family.
Sarah: We were tired of buying clothes designed for men and adjusting them to suit women with a “pink it up and shrink it” mentality. We were also tired of sportswear that looked great but couldn’t perform when put to the test.
How important is being outdoors for families?
Kathy: That’s a bonus, especially after locking our families away so much during Covid. My kids’ favorite vacations haven’t been the fanciest, but the ones where we’ve had great adventures together. Keeping kids happy, active, and off their screens over the holidays is so much better for everyone’s well-being. People need to reset. There’s something invigorating and healing about getting out and away from desks, screens, gyms – it helps you refocus and refocus. Outdoor adventure is also a great way to bond.
Sarah: I live in an area with easy access to nature, and that’s something my family doesn’t take for granted. While Covid has been a trying and scary time for all of us, the silver lining for many families has been the discovery of outdoor adventures – bike rides, first camping trips, a long-distance group run – these are valued activities that many women want to continue doing with their families during this post-lockdown period. Personally, it’s a lifeline for my family. For us, it refocuses our balance and helps us focus on the beauty of being present in an activity that doesn’t require a battery.
How does being outdoors bring you happiness?
I need to feel the wind on my face and see the snowflakes glisten. I need to reach my hand into the ocean and feel the sand under my bare feet. I need those rare encounters in nature – bumping into an animal that doesn’t run away, noticing the way the light hits the trees – that make me feel like gifts and take my breath away.
I also need to challenge myself. Surfer Laird Hamilton talks about taking yourself 4% out of your comfort zone. Sometimes it’s terrifying. But once you discover that you can do it, you get an unparalleled sense of empowerment and being alive.
Sarah: I am a nature lover at heart. When I combine being outdoors and getting my heart rate up, whether that’s biking, hiking, or paddleboarding, I get my biggest adrenaline rush. It feeds me and allows me to reset in ways that I have never found when training indoors. Nature and activity therapy is the ultimate adventure for me.
What is the adventure that everyone should have?
Kathy: Any adventure that involves no cell coverage or the ability to be on your phone! It could be family surfing, camping, spending a day rafting, hiking, biking or stand-up paddleboarding, anything you can’t do with a phone at home. hand. If I’m active with my family, I find that we all get along better and listen to each other and laugh a lot (and complain a little) together. And if I’m doing something active and alone outside, I’m so aware of my surroundings that I find myself in such a good state of decompression.
Sarah: Hiking. Setting the goal of climbing that hill, that mountain, that local state park trail and feeling the satisfaction of completing that challenge is such a joy that everyone should and can experience. And it doesn’t have to take place in another city or country or be expensive to participate; it’s something you can experience locally with your friends and family or do on your own. Remember that you always have the option to choose your own adventure.
How has life changed for you after starting salt+snow?
Kathy: I definitely have a lot less free time! But it’s a good thing because it’s good to feel challenged and feel like you’re creating something cool. I am invigorated by our incredible team and what we have accomplished. It’s surreal that it’s live and people love the site. A friend just texted us from her friend with a salt+snow mention in her newsfeed. How did it happen? It just makes me smile. And it makes me want to go out and have other adventures!
Sarah: I find myself in a great moment of gratitude. It was an idea started by a dear friend to help women live their best life. Yes, I’m incredibly busy balancing kids, husband, and salt and snow, but it’s the best occupation I’ve ever had. I have always been a cheerleader for my friends and sel+neige allows me to celebrate and encourage women who may not be part of my entourage, but who I would definitely consider part of my team. .
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