Kim and Kyle Vines started Kush Climbing from the back of an RV during a climbing trip. Photo: Courtesy of KushThe saying goes that luck is the intersection of preparation and opportunity. But what about when opportunity comes knocking and your door just happens to be attached to an RV?
According to Kim Vines, you just start scribbling your ideas down on the back of a guide book and get to work.
“My now-husband [Kyle Vines] and I were on a climbing trip about a year ago, and while we were driving from Colorado to California we started throwing out business ideas,” she explains. T
he duo saw the need for a better crash pad — a foldable, portable cushion that acts as a type of safety net for bouldering, giving a rock climber a place to land should they fall off the rock — and began discussing ways to create a sustainable, artfully designed version.
Customizable designs and hemp materials made Kush’s crash pads more artful and eco-friendly. Photo: Courtesy of KushAnd why wait? Kim and Kyle found a place to park and got down to business, founding Kush Climbing.
They began sketching, sewing and stuffing their first crash pads right in the back of their RV. Using hemp and discarded fishing nets as materials, they crafted a more eco-friendly crash pad with one very cool feature: an interchangeable top panel that can be replaced should it wear out so a climber doesn’t have to abandon their entire pad.
Kim and Kyle now operate out of a Denver office, but their original pads were sewn and stuffed in their RV. Photo: Courtesy of Kush“The best part is that you can now carry a work of art to your favorite bouldering spots,” explains Kim, who says the duo works with a graphic designer and artist around the world to create colorful works of art for each pad.
Customers can even submit pictures and customize the design of their pad. Want to climb over a mountain landscape? A gaping shark’s mouth? A giant taco? Now you can.
The couple is knee-deep in funding their business on Kickstarter with just days left in the campaign.
The Vines have an office in downtown Denver and have hand-delivered their crash pads to a bevy of happy customers. It’s different from the late nights spent cutting fabric in their RV (where they still live), but the motivation is the same.
Kush’s hemp crash pads are now being funded on Kickstarter. Photo: Courtesy of Kush“I love climbing and being outside,” says Kim. “I don’t want to have to be doing something I hate. I wanted a job that let me follow my passion. It’s all about sticking with it, even through the hard parts.”
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