Sessions Dealer Highlight: Invasion VT

"One of the biggest aids right now I think is social media. And of course company's doing exactly what Sessions is allowing us to do right here." - Pete Ripley, Invasion VT owner.
Sessions Outerwear, Invasion snowboard shop
Invasion has a sweeping name and reputation from East to West Coast…before the Internet how did Invasion do it? 

Before all the social media it was hard to get your name out there. Mostly it came from word-of-mouth and a whole lot of sticker placement. We also kicked off our first season with a shop team, video premieres, parties and I got on the hill to promote as much as possible. 

Beside Vail and the like, most snow business is small business, what is the largest obstacle in small business right now?

One of the biggest obstacles we have right now is garbage brands being sold to unknowing customers online. After, we get them in asking why their set up is wrong for them or is broken. Some people think it's the best way to go, until they buy new gear for the wrong reason. Living in a ski town, I do my share of shopping from Amazon. But when you are trying to have the best possible time on the hill, you should know something about what's under your feet.

mount snow, invasion snowboard shop, sessions outerwear

How about the biggest aid?

One of the biggest aids right now I think is social media. And of course company's doing exactly what Sessions is allowing us to do right here. Not only posting pics of new gear that just came in, but then those companies reposting for us - in turn, showing kids following us what we just got in and where to find us. Very small efforts from both parties helps out very much. 

Many boast, “snowboard shop for snowboarders by snowboarders,” but Invasion actually is that with Pete Ripley’s story! How’s that translate into brands and products invasion carries? 

As a real rider owned shop, we get the chance to actually test out the goods before we put any order in. I wish it was more, but I'm still out there about 3 mornings a week getting that fresh park, or on a good day a little pow. Most of our lines are also rider owned/driven products. Either owned by riders or at the least, support riders. This makes for great lines in the shop and great relationships with the owners/sales managers. 

Maybe not obvious, but many snowboard companies are not run by bonafide riders. How does that effect your perception of a brand when they are or are not? 

I think when most kids walk through the door they can tell its a rider owned shop. From the relaxed atmosphere to the locals just watching movies in the back. When anyone walks in the door my first question is usually,"how was the hill," not only cuz it starts a conversation, but I honestly give a shit if they had a rad time or not. 

Who on the look out in VT: any riders turning heads and stacking ladies numbers?

We have had a pretty great team through the years. These are guys who ride every day and contribute to snowboarding. We don't just look at talent, but your overall attitude. Just how it turns out this season they all work on park crew at carinthia as well. So, they are in it for the love and to ride all day every day. You know, they have Sessions back, and we have them all hooked up with companies we carry here. It's a great way to get feedback. 

I can’t remember the last time I got a number, what the secret to unlocking an East Coasters heart? 

I don't know how to get numbers either. Sometimes in a ski town, you don't want em. But I need to look into it a little, and see if it exists. I think I need to start a tinder just for snowboarding to meet up and ride. That could help. 

Resort: where do you ride? What’s legit about it?
 

We started in '04 in Manchester and then moved to the base of Stratton. Although, when Mount Snow was starting their Carinthia Park, we thought we would do best here. We have been at Mount Snow for 9 years now and doing better each season. We are located 2 miles from the biggest park on the east coast. Not a bad place to be. 

Sessions is obsessed with skateboarding, snowboarding, and rock & roll - where do we skate before, and where do we party after in your hood?

Skating is the hard one. Mount Snow has a mini, but there really needs to be something indoor. Trust me, we are working on it. As far as the après, there are a bunch of places. Just depends on what your in the mood for...

Pete is a testament to drive, desire and unyielding passion, amidst a difficult economic climate for brick-and-mortar. What keeps his (The Invasion) dream alive?

Right now it's the kids. It's seeing them come in and get the gear they need and knowing they will have a great time on it. And not to sound cliche, but it is the passion - the love of snowboarding. Also, I really don't know what else I would do [Pete]. After having your dream job I can't see myself doing anything else. 

The website is really well designed. Just saying. Does this knack for branding translate to in store merchandising and displays? 

Good story, we have always struggled a little on an actual logo or font for the shop. Once we did our new website last season, the women who did it designed it. Everyone in town loved it so, we put it on shirts, hoodie, business cards, our sign out front and our stickers. It's nice to have a uniform look.

OK - why Invasion? All the shops, ECOMM dealers, etc, Ready - Set - Boast! 

So, again not to sound cliche, but we are your local shop. We hire local, knowledgeable staff. We are the place to come on your way off the hill to hang out and maybe buy something. Right when you walk in, you know there is no pressure and you can just relax. Tell us about your day. We want to know what jump you learned your first 3 on, or what woods trails were kick ass today. 

sessions outerwear, invasion snowboard shop

For more on Invasion VT check out the website HERE. For more on Sessions full line, visit our catalog.