When looking for awesome businesses in Reno, Moment is Exhibit A. The moment you arrive at their shop in Sparks, you can tell that Moment has its own Culture. Not only is every car in the driveway a Subaru with Moment stickers, but within a few minutes I met Rom, one of the employees from Truckee, who had brought in his new Chickens to show off to Luke and Casey in their office. The culture and vibe is one that I am more than familiar with: Die-Hard Skiers. Tahoe, home-town skiers making skis for Tahoe skiers. This week I got an exclusive inside look at the manufacturing process and background stories of Reno’s own Moment.
Casey Hakansson, CEO of Moment, started experimenting with making skis while he was working with his family’s Gardnerville Masonry business. From my take, the real fireworks began when Casey met Luke.
Luke Jacobson was a student at the University of Nevada, Reno studying Mechanical Engineering when he met Casey. Their great passion for skiing and learning how to make great skis for themselves began a fantastic story of Ski-Business Success. Luke is an intelligent young man who loves the opportunity to tap both sides of his brain in technical engineering and equipment maintenance as well as his creative artwork graphic design as Vice President.
At first it was all about trying new shapes and seeing if they could get ten skis together in a week and sell them for a few hundred bucks to their friends. They borrowed money from family and pulled together personal savings to keep the dream alive. Luke told me that it has been a constant process of try it and refine it. Today Moment is a production facility doing in excess of $1 Million in annual sales and pumping out more than 30-pairs of skis per day. They have the most high-tech edge grinders, automatic CNC machines, full-scale printers, and they fill shipping containers full of skis and gear monthly.
Creating their business in Reno/Sparks and integrated with the Tahoe Culture has been key for Moment. “Athletes in Tahoe and the West Coast are pushing the envelope, riding the fattest skis, doing the most backcountry and dropping the gnarliest cliffs. Being here in Reno has definitely been key to our success,” says Luke. They love the ability to take their new products up to the ski hills (less than an hour away) and test them out; even the same day they are pressed. Unlike many ski companies, Moment doesn’t have to send product back and forth to Austria or other parts of Europe; if they want to try something new, they just do it. And they’re often successful at it (have you seen their signature square-tipped skis?).
This last Friday April 20th, when I visited Moment’s shop, it was a-buzz with activity and their manufacturing process seems like a pretty well-oiled machine; they’re definitely going places. In catching the tour with Luke, I was really surprised with how much they use American-made materials. Most every part of the skis, with the exception of the edging (which does come from Austria), is from the good-ol U.S. of A. I’m not sure that many (or any) other ski manufacturers can claim that. Moment even recycle the paper they print designs upon as packaging material for the skis. These guys rock.
To me, Moment is a prime example of a Reno business making waves in the international community, drumming up a huge following of raving customers, and building a culture around their business right here in the Truckee Meadows. Over the past few years I’ve ridden their Bibby Pro’s, Night Trains, Tahoe, and Reno Rocker’s and I love everything about representing our local brand. For me Moment is definitely one reason I love living in Reno.
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