Robin Hall is one of the creators of Town Hall Outdoor Co., a Steamboat Springs-based outdoor apparel
When Robin Hall and her partners first started talking about the creating sustainable children’s clothing company Town Hall Outdoor Co., they knew they wanted to create more than just apparel.
“We didn’t just start this to earn fast and go big,” Hall said, who was looking for something to do after working for 11 years at Smartwool, which left Steamboat in 2018. “We started this because we love this community. We just want to give back and keep jobs here and then help the environment and teach kids about the environment.”
Hall created the company with Joe Solomon, owner of Iconic Adventures, and another silent partner who also had worked for Smartwool.
When the time came to make a choice considering Smartwool’s departure, she chose not to leave Steamboat. It was her love of the community and her experience in the outdoor apparel business that led to the new company’s creation.
The new company’s products will be made from recycled sustainable materials, she said. And once the demand created by COVID-19 begins to ease, her hope is that Town Hall will be able to source 100% of its materials from recycled sources.
“We’ve got a ski jacket, ski pants, an all-mountain jacket and a puffy — there are four pieces in the line — and they are all sustainable,” she said of Town Hall’s initial product base, which will be available this fall.
“From a supply perspective we just have to wait and be patient, but we’re anxious to get to 100% recycled when we can,” Hall said.
Town Hall Outdoor Co.’s website launched Friday, and Hall said Town Hall will have a booth at the Main Street Steamboat Farmers Market on July 24 that will offer logo-bearing gear for children and adults.
Town Hall’s main product line, however, will focus on children.
“We feel like there’s space in the market for kid’s outdoor apparel, and there’s not many American companies that are doing pure kids play,” Hall said.
The products will be produced outside of Steamboat, but Town Hall already has a warehouse in Copper Ridge and distribution will be locally based. Town Hall’s commitment to the environment has inspired the founders’ children, including Hall’s two sons, to use their bikes to make deliveries in Steamboat.
Along with being made from sustainable material, Hall said the products are made to last and are intended to be passed down within families.
“We are calling them ‘hand-me-ups” because we want these to be coveted like it’s not a hand-me-down, but it’s hand-me-up that can be passed along in their families, and we’ve got a place inside where you can write down the kids that had the jackets and the adventures that they had,“ she said.
Town Hall has partnered with local businesses to be part of the Steamboat community, including Ohana. The company also used a local designer that came up with the branding and local photographers for marketing.
“We’ve got a lot of resources in town and we are really lucky,” Hall said. “We’re trying to keep it all in the family and in the Steamboat community.”
It’s the kind of company that John Bristol, director of economic development serving both Steamboat Springs and Routt County, was hoping to inspire with the Steamboat Rise Showcase, created in the wake of Smartwool’s announcement that it was departing Steamboat.
“The idea was to plant that seed that former Smartwool employees could stay in Steamboat and start a business,” Bristol said. “Smartwool hired tremendous folks, and they had tremendous talent and insight into the way outdoor gear companies operate.”
Bristol said the Town Hall serves as a great example.
“I’m so excited for them,” Bristol said. “I look forward to watching them year-to-year just to see what happens with them, where they go and what they do. I know that the community, as well as the broader business community, will embrace them and support them.”
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.