An outdoor clothing company has announced plans to move its headquarters to Western Colorado.
SheFly expects to open its headquarters at the ICELab at Western Colorado University in Gunnison. The facility serves as a business resource center and coworking space for small businesses and student entrepreneurs.
SheFly plans to create 24 jobs over the next five years with an average annual salary of $65,075. That will include positions in design, marketing and management.
SheFly pants feature a patented zipper design. In addition to the regular zipper fly that allows women to take pants on and off, a second zipper extends from beneath the first zipper to the back of the waistband. This design allows women to unzip only as far as needed to maximize privacy on the trail, in the woods or anywhere else nature calls.
Georgia Grace Edwards, chief executive officer and co-founder of SheFly, said she developed the idea for the pants while working as a glacier guide in Alaska. When she returned to Middlebury College in Vermont, she shared her idea with fellow students Bianca Gonzalez and Charlotte Massey. Through a four-week entrepreneurship class, they built the idea into a business model and began sewing pants in their dorm rooms.
Edwards said they discovered Colorado through the Moosejaw Accelerator, an eight-week business mentoring program for early-stage outdoor recreation companies guided by the ICELab. Moosejaw promotes diversity and inclusivity in the outdoor recreation industry.
“I can think of few places better suited for an outdoor apparel brand focused on increasing accessibility and empowerment in the outdoors,” Edwards said. “As a
100 percent women-run company, SheFly is incredibly lucky to be able to scale our startup in a place where we have access to capital, a wide variety of product testing grounds and activities, business mentorship, resources, education and networks, a work force that’s passionate about improving outdoor spaces and experiences, a constant stream of our core customer segment and a chance at the work-play balance we all strive for. Some of the outdoor industry’s heaviest hitters came from rural Colorado communities, and it’s an honor to be able to follow in their footsteps.”
The Colorado Economic Development Commission increased its strategic fund incentive to $156,000 to secure the SheFly headquarters. The town of Gunnison will provide $75,000 to support the move.
“We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with OEDIT to bring SheFly to the City of Gunnison, and we look forward to seeing the great results that will come out of this,” said Gunnison Mayor Diego Plata.