1817 has long been synonymous with a breed of localism that is as inclusive as it is genuine to its roots. Monday Minutes, the trick-loaded anthems. “Stay Spooky” adorned shirts and patched beanies, the badges of bond. While the heritage of 1817 is decidedly Midwest, Minnesotan specifically, the bright green moniker is hallowed by snowboarders from regions across the globe–all who identify with the sense of community that 1817 embodies. This winter, 1817 frontmen (and behind-the-scenes men) Joe Sexton and Jake Olson-Elm are further expanding the humble empire they have nurtured along with lensman Riley Erickson. With the release of the first Monday Minute of winter, new softgoods dropping on the site and the brand new 1817 Park at Buck Hill (along with more news), 2017 is looking like it may be 1817’s year.
First off, you guys just dropped a new line of 1817 gear. Can you fill us in on what’s going on with 1817 goods?
Joe Sexton: Yeah, we just dropped a new collection of clothing. I am stoked with how this stuff came out! In addition to the new line we are starting another focus this year, which instead of the standard seasons and pre books, we have decided to focus on what we feel we are good at, which is making snowboard edits and bringing the community together. With that being said, we are releasing a “staple ” line which will include more traditional branded clothing, but we will also be releasing limited edition pieces throughout the winter to coincide with each Monday minute drop.
Jake OE: We also changed up the logo back toward the old house logo. Follow 1817's new Youtube page to get sneak peaks of what's dropping next!
You guys just partnered with Buck Hill to make a season-long 1817 park. How did that partnership come about? 1817 is a very community-driven brand/entity and providing a park for everyone to ride is a pretty epic way to give back to the scene. How do you guys see this fitting into 1817’s overall involvement in the Minnesota snowboard community?
JS: After probably way too much coffee, Jake and I came up with a crazy idea for an 1817 Park and it worked out pretty organically. We always want to work with people who are like-minded and community focused, and the new Buck Hill owners are exactly that. We feel really fortunate that they are giving us the opportunity to do this and we’re pumped to see what the future holds. We hope that the park provides a place for kids to just have fun snowboarding.
OE: We're trying to build a platform to help snowboarders film edits. At the end of the day, all we care about is seeing cool stuff go down and we are so stoked to provide the snowboarders we love with a park and filmers to create the edits they want!! There are so many insanely good snowboarders living in Minnesota and I would love to show this to more people. Partnering with Buck Hill just happened naturally and we are so stoked to work with them!
What was the process of creating the park in terms of the actual features that are in it (and will be in it throughout the season)? Did you guys get involved in the design process?
OE: We were lucky enough to work with Buck Hill and hire a few main guys, Matt "Boody" Boudreaux, Cody Trapp and Ben Klosterman. Our design process was getting them into the boss position and them telling us whats cool!! Now we just work with them and the riders to make cool stuff!!
JS: We are really fortunate that Buck Hill hired and let us hire the best people to maintain and manage the park. First of all they hired Cody Trapp, who is this awesome Midwest dude who worked for a bunch of resorts and is amazing at what he does. From there we were able to hire Matt Boudreaux (BOODY) who is a Midwest legend, and knows what is cool and how to build stuff. Ben Klosterman is another amazing Midwest dude and he recently came on to manage and work on the parks. We feel very fortunate to have all these dudes helping us out! We trust them and love to kick around ideas, but these guys know what is actually doable out there.
What, in each of your opinions, makes for a fun park? What kind of things did you want to see in the 1817 park?
OE: A fun park has flow and low impact!
JS: For me, a fun park doesn’t have to have anything crazy: a couple good down rails set up properly, a fun line here and there, and I am good. I like to look at parks as sort of training facilities, so if it is set up proper and realistic and I can bring that trick to a spot, then that is really awesome!
We hear you’re making an 1817 movie this year! Can you give us any leaks on what to expect?
OE: Nope. =)
JS: Sorry, no leaks. ;)
Over the years since the moniker “House of 1817” was coined, 1817 has evolved into a brand with its own line of products (and of course, you've always had prolific edits) but it’s always been more than that–something along the lines of a casual movement born out of the Midwest that plenty of people in other regions are super stoked on. For you both, considering the new projects you’re kicking off right now, how do you see 1817 continuing to evolve?
OE: We are taking a step back from clothing and focusing more on producing videos. There will always be stuff for sale on our site and new pieces dropping after edits, but I want to spend more time working on the park, creating videos and being involved in our local scene to help riders do what they want! 1817 is our passion and we're going to continue to try and grow into something bigger and bigger. There's plenty of coffee driven ideas in the works!
JS: Number one, we’ve always wanted to be more than just a clothing company. We’ve wanted 1817 to be something more than that; we always wanted to be something that brought people together. Even from the early days that is how we always felt. I am stoked that after all these years that passion has never died and that we are continuously finding things that keep us sparked. At the end of the day, it has always been about snowboarding and trying to do cool stuff, film cool people, make cool shit. As long as we continue to have a passion for this, we’ll always continue to evolve.