When in 2006 we developed the FBC Cozy, I didn’t realize it would become as popular as it did. It was a crazy, fun time back then.
But with 3 children, who require a lot of my time, I found it hard to find time to sew like I had before the two youngest were born. About two years ago we handed over the production to our long time friend Dani. Recently, we decided to hand over the patterns, rights and our blessings to her, so that she could continue the FBC Cozy on under her brand, Valhalla Outdoors.
I met Dani on a hike in the Olympics. It was like meeting the sister I never had. We went on to do many, many hikes together, including a crazy PCT section that we still dryly laugh over 😉 We both met our husbands while hiking – and her husband married Kirk and I! (I’m the shortest in the photo, Dani is to my right in the photo in the black bandana, and her husband is second to the far right – though they hadn’t started dating yet).
Dani was on the trip with me when I first used my cozy prototype. It was October of 2006!
Dani helped me at the PCT Trails Fest in 2007, where I made my debut (my tablescaping did improve after this show….).
So as you can see….Dani has been part of this since the start, so it was to us the right choice to hand it to her, and say good luck! I didn’t want the cozy to die out, and with her comes new ideas, new fabrics and more. She’s got plenty of plans!
To get one of the new FBC Cozies, head over to Valhalla Outdoors store.
And a little from Dani herself:
The cozies, for me, were started as support and encouragement to my good friend and hiking partner, Sarah Kirkconnell. In 2006, I had a change in employment that allowed me to hike in the early afternoons. We would spend those hours cruising the trails around Cougar and Tiger Mountains, discussing life, recipes, gear, and the idea of the cozies. She took it live and I watched in happiness as she gained success. I tagged along for the first PCT Days and TrailFest shows and enjoyed the heck out of talking with other gear vendors and being around hikers all day long. No campfire needed.
A move back to my home stomping grounds on the Olympic Peninsula in 2007, had us parting ways for the daily hikes, but with the Internet, no one is truly all that far away, and meet ups for hikes and backpacks were planned and implemented.
With a fortuitous trip together in 2012 to VeggieFest, it was discussed and agreed that I would take over the sewing side of the cozies. With my habit of living in sub-700 sq. ft houses, this proved an adventure in organization and planning, but I found my way and was off and running.
I have had a dream of working with gear, of designing and selling, and bringing it all together for the masses since at least 2000, when I had plotted a design for a rain skirt. Crazy idea, right? Seeing it out there along with several other ideas I had thought about and actually prototyped made me want to get out there and just do it. Obviously the designs were valid. I thought I needed a bunch of money for a start-up, backing, and a team. I was wrong.
Earlier this year, I went to Sarah, as I often did with my crazy ideas, and pitched another idea. I didn’t know it, but the timing would have been perfect had I followed thru. I was finally done with just talking and with Sarah’s help, support, encouragement, and blessing, took over the cozy side of the business.
Valhalla Outdoors was born here on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, as I, myself, was born. One of the most pristine and verdant locations for all sorts of outdoor recreation, I grew up rambling the woods, following game trails, with the sounds and smells of the ocean on the air. It would have been so easy to take for granted, but even as I child, I knew that I was in a special corner of the world.
For a time, when I was living in the Seattle area, weekends were for coming back here to sluff off the weeks worth of noise and dust and re-emerse myself back into the pattern of nature. Backpacking the river valleys of the Elwha, Hoh, and my favorite, the Bogachiel isn’t just about getting away from it all, but about coming home…