SOS Outreach alumnae design limited edition Nordica skis to support organization’s mission
Christy Sports is selling only 50 pairs of the skis, with all proceeds going back to SOS Outreach and its mission to get underrepresented kids outside
Combining life skills, a love for the outdoors and big ambitions, four SOS Outreach alumnae recently got the opportunity to design a pair of skis for Nordica. One hundred percent of the proceeds from these limited-edition Nordica Unleashed Outreach skis (available only at Christy Sports) will go back to supporting the programs at SOS Outreach that these four young women grew up with.
“We are always looking for unique opportunities to bring to SOS participants and alumni that help further develop skills and this particular example was a great integration of our corporate and brand partners as well,” said Seth Ehrlich, executive director of SOS Outreach.
“These four young women were chosen for this project because of their passion for design and to represent the growing inclusivity in these mountain communities.”
The unique partnership and opportunity falls within the organization’s Career Development Pipeline program, which it launched in 2021 as a way to incorporate industry introductions, career mentoring and training.
As Ehrlich put it, the benefit is not only to expose its participants to career opportunities, but also to “encourage companies to meaningfully invest in a more equitable and inclusive outdoor industry.”
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The skis were unveiled over the weekend of Jan. 14 to 16, 2023, at SOS’s MLK Powder Challenge in Silverton, which is one of the organization’s largest annual fundraisers. At the event, two of the four young women spoke on the design experience and were able to see their own designs on the skis for the first time.
“Their awe and stoke was unbelievable,” Ehrlich said.
The skis are now on sale in a limited capacity at Christy Sports, with proceeds supporting the furtherment of SOS Outreach’s mission. Only 50 pairs were produced in the Nordica factory in Austria.
“Thanks to the generosity of both Nordica and Christy Sports, 100% of the proceeds directly support SOS programs and the 3,200 youth we serve across 15 communities and 24 mountain resorts,” Ehrlich said. “We are honored to walk with organizations who believe in our mission and are dedicated to expanding our impact. Together we will create more opportunities and experiences like this to increase the potential for youth to thrive.”
The design process
The four young women — Frida Quintero, Heidy Hernández, Veronica Saint Jane and Delaney Muro — are all under the age of 22. Each has participated in various SOS programs in four of the 15 communities that SOS serves: Seattle, Salt Lake City, Truckee and Denver.
Muro is a high school senior in Denver and has participated in programs with SOS for the past six years, including holding internships with SOS partners Smartwool and Tecnica Group.
She jumped at the opportunity to participate in his ski design not only because of her love of snowboarding — and “soon skiing,” she said — but also for the opportunity to further her personal growth and career aspirations as well as give back to SOS programming.
Guided and mentored by a team from Nordica, the cohort selected a ski to design — choosing the Nordica Unleashed 108 — and began brainstorming ideas for the design.
“I think the concept of SOS itself really fueled a lot of the intimate details featured on the skis,” Muro said. “We also created several mood boards and trial color palettes to feel out the vision that we had for the ski.”
Muro described the process as a lot of trial and error. The group brainstormed designs inspired by everything from graffiti to monotone blue sky concepts and even had ideas to make the skis glow in the dark.
“I think a large part of this variety comes from the passion of the cohort ourselves. We wanted to do everything possible on this ski, and I’m glad we filtered it down to what it ended up being,” she said.
Muro said the process of working together with this group was “amazing.”
“Especially with the two older and more experienced girls; they weren’t that much older than me but they had bountiful insight that seemed endless,” she said. “I think as one of the younger, more out-of-the-box, members I definitely needed my creative juices reeled in by those with more experience.”
Ultimately, the design that ended up on 50 pairs of the Nordica skis is one inspired by Silverton itself, paying homage to SOS’s connection with the mountain and town. The ski features blue sky patterns, a topographical map of Silverton, the SOS logo, and Muro’s personal favorite element, a compass with all four of the young women’s names. Additional “Easter eggs” give nods to Silverton, Christy Sports and SOS.
“I was so excited when I finally saw it on the ski, it feels like I’ve finally made a dent in contributing to SOS Outreach,” Muro said.
For Muro, the impact of SOS on her life has not only been through the career and philanthropic connections she’s made but also personally and socially.
“I was very reserved when I first started SOS Outreach, if we add on that I was also insecure, it makes for a very introverted person,” she said. “I think being pushed to not only take risks but endure them has helped me with how driven I am.”
She added that her SOS experiences have helped with her inner monologue on days when she has a hard time getting out of bed. To switch mindsets, she said she pretends she is putting on her snow gear.
“It’s like preparing for something that is difficult but fun and enjoyable. This way I can view my day as ‘I get to experience this,’ instead of ‘I have to do this again,’” she said. “When we view life from the lens of a child that is always learning, we can actually experience life instead of simply enduring it.”
The Nordica Unleashed 108 Outreach skis are now available at Christy Sports. To learn more about the skis and SOS Outreach, visit SOSOutreach.org.