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Shop Talk: Willi’s Ski & Board on Ski Shops as Conduits and Founding Winter Divas

Ep. 224

Kristin Sinnott and Kara Williard caught up with Kjerstin Klein, co-owner of Willi’s Ski and Board. They dove into Kjerstin’s adventurous background as a model and sponsored snowboarder (among several other amazing things); and what it looked like for Kjerstin and her husband Greg to take on Willi’s and maintain it as a family-owned ski shop. Kjerstin explains how to successfully jump into a family business; techniques for how to stay innovative; what it means to truly grow the sport; why ski shops are “conduits” within the ecosystem that is the ski industry; and we learn a lot about the Winter Divas program, a women’s focus group that Kjerstin founded to grow women’s presence and leadership in the industry, plus a whole bunch more.

TOPICS & TIMES: 

  • Kjerstin’s Background (4:18)
  • Being a Model & Sponsored Snowboarder (9:31)
  • Jumping into a family business (13:12)
  • Staying Innovative (19:01)
  • Advice for family-run small businesses (21:50)
  • Ski shops as conduits (23:19)
  • Families that ski together stay together (26:55)
  • Women-specific gear taking shape (33:07)
  • Winter Divas (49:40)
  • Specialty Retail (1:01:40)
  • Skiing Meets Our Basic Needs (1:04:54)

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