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Meet Kim Walker of Outdoor DIVAS in Vail

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kim Walker.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kim. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Born of a void in the women’s outdoor and ski market, we launched outdoor DIVAS on the Pearl St Mall in Boulder in 2002.

Today, we’re located in Vail and are the only women’s ski shop in the country.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
We’ve had ups and downs right out of the gate. We were the first women’s outdoor and ski shop in the country, and initially, we had to ‘sell’ our business model to manufacturers in order to secure products from them. We spent months asking brands to sell to us, only to be shut down because of a lack of belief in our concept. We launched with only lower-tier brands. It took at least a year before brands like Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear and Prana would come on board.

We also struggled with the recession and post-recession marketplace changes. We’ve had to reinvent ourselves multiple times along our journey. We’ve opened stores, launched websites, relocated stores and closed stores over the years. We’ve landed where we think we belong, in the mountains, and are grateful for every step along the way.

Outdoor DIVAS – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We were the first women’s specific outdoor and ski shop in the country (still the only women’s ski shop). We focus 100% of our energy on curating product for women that will make their experiences (primarily skiing at this point) better.

I’m proud that we were able to prove our concept and fill a void in an underserved market. I’m also inspired by the hundreds of DIVAS we’ve employed along the way, and where they’ve all landed.

Our key distinguisher is that fact that we’ve ditched the dude fest and focus only on women – we sell hardgoods (skis and ski boots) and softgoods so we can give them the total package, and we do it in a way that allows women to enjoy the process of purchasing, not be intimidated by it.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
While financial goals are obviously important, to me, a large part of success is the softer side of things. For instance, seeing the impact we’ve had to getting women into various activities that they love. Helping to grow and define an industry has been amazing as well. We’ve been called upon by magazines to test skis, by manufacturers to help design everything from sports bras to ski boots, and by customers to create modifications to products to improve their performance in a given activity.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 520 East Lionshead Circle C-8
    Vail, CO 81657
  • Website: www.outdoordivas.com
  • Phone: 970.476.3888
  • Email: kim@outdoordivas.com

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