Divas SnowGear adds pro riders from U.S., Canada as ambassadors
Divas SnowGear has emerged in the industry as a women-only snowmobile apparel line devoted to outfitting every snow diva’s needs, and the company’s product lineup produced record sales during the 2014-15 season.
Beginning in 2010, Divas began as a grassroots operation, allowing women snowmobilers — whether in the backcountry, mountains, trails or races — to represent an all-female outerwear company. “Women are a huge part of the snowmobile industry, and we wanted to recognize this and highlight it as well,” said Stephanie Schwartz, a pro rider and Divas SnowGear team member.
The highlights continued for Divas over the past season, when the company surged forward despite less-than-ideal riding conditions in some states.
“Even with poor snow conditions and flat sales at dealers, when you own a small portion of the market share, there is nowhere to go but up,” said Wendy Gavinksi, president of Divas SnowGear. “Each year that our brands become more and more established, more women — from petite to plus size — experience the benefits of wearing truly unique outerwear specially designed for female riders.”
This year’s sales meant Divas placed more product in the market than ever before, but Gavinski says the Divas team is prepared to handle the logistics that come with such growth. In addition, Divas participates in numerous events throughout the year to increase brand awareness as well as with marketing and social media.
Specifically, Divas SnowGear’s Facebook page has gained nearly 85,000 likes. “For a women’s-only brand, we find it hard to reach our demographic through traditional means at times,” Gavinski said. “Facebook is a great platform for us to reach our target demographic and easily educate them on our brand.”
The company also uses Pinterest and product contests as additional marketing avenues.
Divas SnowGear launched a brand ambassador program in 2014 with 37 riders to gain insight on what women really wanted from its outerwear line. The 2015-16 applications are now open for new brand ambassadors, with a deadline of Aug. 15. Divas is looking for active female riders who are excited to ride and be advocates for the sport.
In June, Divas signed four top pro backcountry athletes to its Pro Rider roster for the 2015-16 season. The new additions include Amber Holt, Sarah Whipple and Nicole Sullivan from the U.S., and Amy Flowers from Canada.
These riders will collaborate on product development, marketing and brand awareness under the direction of fellow pro rider Schwartz. “Stephanie Schwartz is the person who gets all the credit for bringing these four riders to us,” Gavinski said. “She came on board as a member of our team early and has helped us develop a serious product for the mountain segment.”
Avid Technical, Diva SnowGear’s technical outerwear line, now features a Polartec Neoshell fabric, which balances breathability with maintaining a durable, waterproof shell. Flowers, a backcountry rider, wore the 2016 prototype last year.
“I can honestly say that DSG is making the best outwear I have ever worn. It is durable, comfortable, breathable and warm when riding in the mountains,” Flowers said. “Not to mention the colors DSG are coming out with for 2016 are off the hook!”
“It was very important for us to go out and get these riders this year for credibility to our new line of Avid Technical Outerwear with Polartec Neoshell. The pro riders are on the roster to prove the product works and that there is nothing like it in the marketplace. In addition, they are on board to help us develop the line even further through their feedback and forward thinking,” said Gavinski.
“DSG has really set the bar high with women’s-specific snowmobile gear,” said Sullivan, a rider with 15 years of experience. “DSG’s drive and dedication has made a big splash in the women’s segment of the snowmobile industry, and I’m excited to help keep that ball rolling!”
Gavinski says that Divas has no intention of making men’s outerwear or clothing and that the company focuses solely on women’s designs. Divas SnowGear prides itself on exceptional customer service and advocates for female riders.
“I love that DSG really listens to feedback and is genuinely interested in making the best products for women on the market,” Flowers added.
Holt, owner and master instructor of Backcountry Basics LLC, partners with Divas as a consultant for product development. “Being part of the DSG team is an opportunity to help expedite product development for the female rider,” Holt said. “As an instructor who works with many categories of riders I like the fact that they have moved away from one color and style and now offer multiple colors, material options, layering and styles. So often in the past the female rider was profiled with ‘pink and puffy.’”