Things I Can't Live Without: Josh Reid
BY John Fried
Co-founder of Rome Snowboard Design Syndicate, an up-and-coming snowboard maker. The company sells its boards and other snowboarding gear through nearly 500 retail outlets in North America.
Annual revenue and employees: Less than $4 million (estimated by industry analysts); 12.
Age and home: 38; Waterbury, Vt.
Jumping off the lift: Reid and Rome's other co-founder, Paul Maravetz, are serious snowboarders and college pals who worked together in marketing and product development at Burton--the pioneer snowboarding company. As the sport gained in popularity, Reid says, he and Maravetz noticed the industry was becoming saturated with companies that used a standard formula: Team with an Olympic snowboarder, slap a logo on a mediocre product, and market, market, market. "They didn't really care about snowboarding," says Reid. In late 2001, the duo launched their own company.
Building cred: Rome teams up with boarders to help market its products too, but instead of Olympians, Rome goes for stars of snowboarding videos like Jonaven Moore, whose edgy stunts are popular with hard-core boarders. Today, Rome sells 51 snowboard models, as well as bindings and gloves.
Work and play: Although Reid snowboards much less now than he did when he was a tester for Burton, he still makes getting out on the mountain a priority for himself and his employees. "We're a half hour from the resort of Stowe," he says. "If you get there right when it opens at 8 a.m., you can have fun for an hour and still be at your desk before 10."
Canon Powershot SD100 camera, $300
"I use this to take photos and short videos of my kids. I also take pictures at events to publish on our website."
New Era Red Sox cap, $30
"It keeps the hair out of my eyes. I wear New Era caps because they allow me to not necessarily groom myself every day."
Pierce Brothers organic coffee, $10 a pound
"Coffee provides added fuel for 15-hour days. And their Fog Buster flavor tastes great."
... and What I Covet
A seven-day excursion (by helicopter) to Thompson Pass in Valdez, Alaska, $6,000
"It's the best place to snowboard. It combines amazing lines down large mountains with a safe snowpack. If you see something cool in a video you can actually go do it there."