Topographical maps are one of my favorite designs. The way the lines ebb and flow, the unique shaping and appearance, it is really amazing to me. A good friend of mine knew of my fondness for topographical products, so he picked up a hat for me from a small Colorado company, Kind Design. That was a little over a year ago, but more recently I was able to connect with Damon Redd, Founder and CEO of Kind Design to learn a little more about his company, their products, and give one of their newest hats a try!
Company Story + Gear Review:
Damon started Kind Design after 10 years of experience as a ski and river guide here in Colorado. With his passion for the outdoors and an eye for design, he decided that he wanted to create some products that featured some of the ideas that he had come up with over the years. Taking that motivation, he started Kind Design as a small t-shirt company in Vail Valley, and not long after began to ramp up production and move into Boulder around 2012.
Then, in 2013, disaster struck and the floods in Boulder all but destroyed their shop and wiped out almost their entire product line. This was obviously a devastating blow, but Damon took this as an opportunity to rebuild something better than before. To kick things off, he put together one of their first hat designs using a snow and water design to represent the Boulder community. This design took off and ended up bringing in enough revenue to save the company. This rollercoaster of a season helped Damon realize he was onto something, but he needed a focus area. He needed a look and feel that would be unique to the brand but would be something he could consistently build on over the years.
Insert: Topographical Design.
He took this idea and ran with it. Now, nearly every product that Kind Design makes features a salute to topographical design.
Now heading into its 10th year, Kind Design has grown into a company that produces shirts, hats, shorts, ties, posters, and much more. They have also developed an amazing network of non-profit partnerships with their products. A great example is their newest product line, the Colorado River Shorts, which contributes $2 for every pair of shorts sold to the Western Resource Advocates – keeping the West beautiful! This example is only one of many Kind Design products that are produced in collaboration with a variety of non-profits.
All in all, Kind Design believes in giving back to the community that helped them become who they are, and I love that.
Damon was kind enough to send over the awesome Rocky Mountain National Park Hat for us to give a try. The dark, bold blue paired with the leather National Parks patch creates a classic outdoor look. It is a trucker style with a mid-profile design, and with the adjustable strap back, everyone should be able to get the sizing just right. I’ve worn the hat regularly, from casual neighborhood walks to rainy fly fishing trips, and its held up like a champ. Plus, I’ve received more than a handful of compliments on the looks.
This hat is from the National Parks line that also features:
- Grand Teton
- Grand Canyon
- Great Smoky Mountains
- and Olympic National Park
If you’ve got friends or family who love the outdoors, you should definitely consider a Kind Design National Parks hat as a great option for a surprise gift. Bonus points – each hat is paired with a non-profit that supports the park represented, so you’re also doing your part by conserving our National Parks!
That wraps up this week’s review, but be sure to keep an eye out for a few more, we’ve got a few in the pipeline for you. In the meantime, remember, get out there and unleash your adventure!