Destroyer Equipment launches in Park City
Business targets skateboarders, snowboarders and mountain bikers
Some kids never grow up. At Destroyer Equipment, business partners Mike Nelson, Brock Harris and Jeremy Jones believe their youthfulness is the lifeblood of the company.
Each of them said they grew up breaking norms. They were skateboarding as 6-year-olds before it was seen as a legitimate sport, and were snowboarding soon after.
“We were outcasts, but we were making trends when we were in elementary school,” said Harris, product director. “We’ve carried that all the way into adulthood.”
The business, an online retailer which specializes in gear for skateboarding, snowboarding and mountain biking, officially re-launched in Park City in July. Nelson, founder and CEO, originally started the brand in 2010, but had a license deal with a parent company. When the major company dissolved two years ago, he contacted his friends and talked to his wife about leaving his job as a product designer and taking back Destroyer. Jones and Harris were doing product design for other companies.
“We sat on the idea for about a year,” Nelson said. “We were thinking, ‘Do we really want to do this? Do we want to leave the comforts of a safe, secure job?’ But, we decided to do it.”
Nelson, who moved from California to Park City one month before opening the shop, said sales have been a little slow as the team troubleshoots the normal issues of starting a business, but that is what they expected and were prepared for. Resilience is one of the values of the Destroyer brand.
The brand’s logo includes strike marks, which reference WWII bombers who would get marks on their planes after returning from a successful mission, Nelson said. The marks represent the state of mind of both the business team and their clients.
“The mentality of the strike marks is similar to that,” he said. “You are making note of the things that you have accomplished that you didn’t think you could — whether it’s a trick or a hike…whatever. These marks are representative of that state of mind.”
“There are always obstacles in front of you, and we are obstacle destroyers,” Harris added.
Nelson, Harris and Jones are all used to pushing past barriers. They competed professionally in the sports that the brand represents, which is part of the reason they launched the company in the first place. Jones, senior brand ambassador and content creator, is still a professional snowboarder.
They felt there was a niche to fill within the skate and snowboard community that focused on simple and sleek gear that did what it needed to do and nothing more. As active participants in their sports, they are fed by their desires to see the products they want.
“If we don’t need it, we won’t make it,” Harris said.
The company currently sells helmets, pads and soft goods, such as hats and hoodies. They ultimately hope to see the brand become a style that transcends sport, with customers wearing Destroyer gear in everyday life. Because that is how the founders use it.
“We don’t want to know the difference between work and play,” Jones said.
He, along with Nelson and Harris, loves being able to work for a few hours then go straight to the mountain with his bike without having to change his clothes.
They are currently perfecting their products, but hope to be the place active sport players come to find everything they need.
The trio, which has a combined experience of product design and development with 15 different companies, is confident that they will succeed. They said it would be easy to return to corporate jobs, but their rebellious, self-driven spirits are finding exactly what they need where they are.
“We want to make our own rules, set our own standards and go out and push what we knew we were capable of doing,” Harris said. “It’s the challenge of it. Pursuing the challenge and then hunting it down and destroying it.”
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