words:: Todd Lawson // photos:: Courtesy Noso Patches.
We’re all about using gear that makes total sense, and doesn’t break the bank. This is where Kelli Jones and her company, Noso Patches, truly shine. Originally designed to instantly repair snags, rips, holes and tears in down jackets, Noso Patches allow customers to choose from hundreds of funky shapes and designs to repair and personalize all their outdoor gear — instead of using ugly duct tape ‘band-aid’ solutions that are baaaad news for specialty fabrics.
Headquartered in Jackson Hole, Wyoming gives them an added outdoor advantage — many of their hardcore customers have the best testing ground in the world and the constant feedback keeps Kelli and her team on track.
Easily one of the best pieces of gear that we’ve come across in the last two years, Noso Patches are one of those must-haves to slide in your pack for any multi-day outdoor adventure. We caught up with Founder and CEO Kelli Jones to give us the skinny on how these little patches are making a big impact.
Name: Kelli Jones
Title: CEO, Eco Boss Babe
Company: Noso Patches
1. Favorite thing to do outside?
I have a lot of favorites. Favorite adventure this past week… my friend and I hike around a lake and then swim back to the trailhead.
2. You are going on an epic five-day summer hike in the mountains, but can only take five things with you (not including clothing). What would you bring?
Salt and vinegar potato chips, gummy bears, lip gloss, first aid kit, and my Spot.
3. Who are your outdoor idols?
I don’t have outdoor idols, but my swimming idols are Amanda Beard and Janet Evans.
4. Tell us about your ‘aha’ moment.
I hopped a barbed wire fence wearing an expensive Patagucci coat, and I didn’t want to use duct tape because it’s for repairing ducts on houses, not coats… so I thought, Why not try to make something cuter made of fabric? I did extensive research in my garage with different fabric and adhesive combos… and came up with the right formula. I’d wear patches on my snagged gear in the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort tram line and people started to ask about them… that is where my ‘aha moment’ was – in the tram line – everyone wanted to know where they could get one, so I decided to make these patches available for everyone.
5. You started with patches to repair puffy down jackets. Can people also use them for other outdoor gear, like tents and backpacks?
Yes, we now work with a variety of fabrics. They’re great for a lot of different things. Tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, puffies – some of our customers even use them on their motorcycle seats, canvas bags, and Louis Vuitton bags – Nosos are so haute couture … ;).
6. How do you want to make a difference in the outdoor world?
Our mission is to be a leader in the sustainability movement. We want to build a business that allows the consumer to look good while doing good. We’re saving the planet one patch at a time which reduces textile waste. We want to work with large manufacturers and help them design from a place of circularity. For instance, you get an extra button with a new sweater – why not get an extra patch that matches your jacket at the point of sale? Using Noso Patches as an ingredient extends the life of gear by keeping it in use. Noso is more than a patch that makes gear last longer; Noso makes caring cool. And it turns out, wearing a Noso Patch on your sleeve is a conversation starter about sustainability. Our patches are small, but we plan to have a big impact on the world.
7. You have a pretty active Instagram presence. Is this the most effective way to keep in touch with your customer base?
Yes, we get anywhere from 700-3,000 views on our IG account daily. We like to share current events, inspirational topics, and promote sales or new products on IG. We get a ton of feedback from our customers, they help us design patches, vote on color ways all via the IG tools, like polls and asking for feedback regularly. It’s really important to me that Noso inspires a DIY movement. We want to empower our customers to take action for the environment and patch their gear. I always say, little things can have a big impact – and that is exactly what our patches and our people do.
8. Entrepreneurship in mountain towns has been experiencing some great growth, with small businesses like independent breweries and ski-makers taking a chunk of market share from the big players. Do you have any advice for our readers looking to take that first scary step towards entrepreneurship?
Yes: tap into your community resources. Living in a small mountain town people really care about one another and they want you to succeed.
We’ve worked with the Wyoming Business Council, Central Wyoming College and our local entrepreneurial community Silicon Couloir. All of these organizations have great resources for small companies.I’d also recommend creating a good support system. I lean on my business coach and board of advisors to help me with the big picture stuff, and with the day to day I’m grateful for my friends who have small businesses in which I strategize best business practices. I try not to bring my work home with me, but if I do, I know my partner and family are there for me with open arms full of support and love.
Lastly, building community is really fun and my favorite thing about starting Noso. We’ve worked with a bunch of athletes and ambassadors to spread the word about Noso from the get go – this was all grassroots as we didn’t have a large budget – but, we had a big vision people could get behind, in exchange for patchesJ From the beginning, the idea of Noso Patches came to me, but I knew it wasn’t about me at all – it was about building a community working together for the greater good.