Name & Occupation: Sara & Steven Segall, founders of Orsden
Sara & Steven took different paths to being ski-preneurs, but their love of skiing and business backgrounds are the perfect combo for delivering high performance skiwear that doesn't break the bank.
What do you each do for Orsden?
Steven: I do a lot of product testing and give product feedback. I love engaging with our customers at events and on social media. I also advise on finance and strategy. Additionally, I'm an occasional action model on the Orsden site and in our videos. Sara does everything else.
Sara: That sounds about right. I run the day to day operations, set the brand and creative strategy, handle product design and development, and work with our PR team on press outreach. So 24/7, I'm doing something for Orsden.
How did you two meet? On the mountain?
Steven: No, nowhere near a mountain. A swamp actually.
Sara: That's true. We met in DC. We were both working there before business school at Columbia. Steve at a bank and me at a think tank and we met in Georgetown out with mutual friends. Immediately, though, both of our competitive spirits shined through. There were some bets involved early on, which I won. I also think on our first date, Steve had some business ideas he shared, so looking back, it's not surprising that we're now running our own business.
What was the first ski vacation you took together?
Steven: To my family's ski house at Stratton with a group of friends from DC. Probably 6 years ago.
Sara: It was a fun weekend and my first time at Stratton. Little did I know then that it would also be the home mountain for Orsden.
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Best skiing memory?
Sara: Our first Orsden photo shoot last summer at Valle Nevado in Chile. It was a proud mother moment seeing the jackets in action on models at the mountain. During the shoot, it really sunk in what we're building with Orsden and it was wonderful to see something come to life from idea to reality. We were also blessed with great conditions so the whole experience skiing that day was an auspicious start for the brand.
Steven: It was my first day ever skiing in Portillo. We were about to go up the Roca Jack lift. The Roca Jack is a totally unique lift with 5 Poma Disks attached to a cable that flies up the mountain. Skiers often fall off and if they do they usually fall about 1000 feet down the mountain. The slope was so steep it was where the world speed skiing record was set once upon a time. As I was about to hop on this lift for the first time, who hops on with us, but two time Olympic Gold Medalist Hermann Maier. I ended up spending the next week hanging out with the Austrian ski team. It's one of the things I love about Portillo (More on that below)
Favorite place to ski?
Sara: St. Anton in Austria. It's the quintessential alpine town. Supposedly, it's where modern ski technique was invented. It has beautiful terrain, great lodging (I love the Himmelhof), and an active après scene. It has a more accessible luxury feel than a lot of other resorts in the Alps. You can actually afford to indulge in what St. Anton has to offer.
Steven: Portillo in Chile is my favorite. It's a magical hotel up in the mountains where 600 skiers at a time hang out for a week during the North American summer. Given there aren't that many places to ski in the summer and the hotel is small, you'll both hang out with world famous skiers and form close relationships with other guests and the staff. If you go back year after year, you keep meeting with old friends. Oh, and it's also incredibly scenic, has great terrain, and on a powder day they close the road and you have the mountain all to yourself.
Go-to après ski activity?
Sara: You can find me at the spa. Sauna, hot tub, massage. I love discovering new places to relax après-ski. It's the perfect reward after a full day on the mountain.
Steven: There are so many options: swimming, hot tubbing, partying, napping. I guess at my age though I'd have to go for eating. I love good food and there are lots of great local delicacies at any mountain. From the Kaiserschmarrn in Austria to the empanadas in Portillo and the burgers at Honey Pie (near Stratton). I could go on and on with good places to eat, but I guess that is why I also write about food on The Den.