Divas Outerwear In the News
Queen of the Mountain
While she’s poured her heart and soul into her Divas SnowGear business,
Wendy Gavinski means serious business on the hill too! Sure, there’s women riding in the mountains,
but how many sit behind the bars of a 162-inch, turboed-out Yamaha Nytro? The sight of Wendy looking over her shoulder
is a pose many of us are all too familiar with.
Doesn’t seem like too bad of a day at the office, Wendy!
Divas SnowGear owners offer tips to make Facebook work for businesses
Divas SnowGear has more than 75,000 likes on its Facebook page. That success helped company owners Wendy and Travis Gavinski earn a spot on the 2014 Facebook Small-Medium Business Council, and the duo shared their insights during the National Retail Conference at the 2014 Dealer Expo.
More than 30 million small to medium businesses have active pages on Facebook, and the Gavinskis outlined tips that tend to generate not just page likes, but also fan engagement – adding up valuable likes, comments and shares that help a Facebook page get more exposure.
Small usinesses step up holiday social media game
Divas SnowGear will use Facebook to promote a "buy one, give one" program to increase sales of women's snowmobiling wear from its website. Customers who click on a link on its Facebook page will be taken to the Divas SnowGear website; when they buy a jacket, the company will donate one to charity, says Travis Gavinski, who handles social media for the Madison, Wisconsin-based company.
If the company doesn't get the results it wants, Gavinski can pay Facebook to send postings to users likely to buy from Divas SnowGear - for examples, women whose profiles say they like snow sports.
"My opportunity to get out in front of our audience is much greater on Facebook than on our website," Gavinski says.
Divas invites retailers to Facebook Fit event
When Wendy and Travis Gavinski of Divas SnowGear were invited to be panelists at a Facebook Fit educational workshop in Chicago, the husband-and-wife duo knew the event would be a great marketing and networking opportunity for their business. But when they accepted the invitation, they did so with a different goal in mind — sharing the workshop with a few of their retail partners.
Smooth Sledding: Area woman feminizes snowmobiling fashion
In Business Madison
When Wendy Gavinski, an avid snowmobiler since the age of 4, launched her women’s snowmobile apparel company, Divas SnowGear, in 2010, she had absolutely no experience in fashion design. “There were plenty of other companies making women’s snowmobile apparel,” she admits, “but I was frustrated with what was available.” Snowmobile suits, she said, tended to be unflattering and unfeminine.
Starting with a sketch on the back of a napkin, she decided to pursue her passion, learning everything the hard way. For example, factories wanted spec packs. What, she wondered, was a spec pack?
She knows now. “You call out everything you want to use. What brand and type of zipper you want to use, the exact fabric, insulation. ... I had no idea.”
Investing $30,000 of her own money into the business, Gavinski sent her designs to about 40 different outerwear factories and found only one willing to help her learn the ropes. Wanting to prove her theory that female snowmobilers wanted functional but more feminine outerwear, she began attending trade shows. She started small, peddling casual wear (long-sleeved T-shirts, hats, and yoga pants) under a pink tent, but she used the opportunities to survey the female snowmobilers who stopped by. “I wanted to put in as little investment as possible until I knew for sure,” she said. From their reaction, she knew her idea had merit.
Strategies: Facebook entices small firms with mobile ads
The most compelling reason businesses find Facebook effective is that ads can reach a narrowly targeted audience. A company like Divas SnowGear of Oregon, Wis., maker of outerwear for women snowmobile riders, previously had a hard time identifying and connecting with those women.
"We did traditional advertising through magazines, print, race booklets, banner ads on snowmobile websites," said Wendy Gavinski, Divas SnowGear founder and president. "But 99% of that readership is male.
Gavinski also can target women who like certain snowmobile manufacturers or athletes.
Facebook's targeting enables other advertisers to find prospects in almost limitless ways — recent college graduates, people who've just moved into a neighborhood, customers with children of a particular age, those in specific professions and much more. In this way, companies can focus all their marketing dollars on the most likely prospects, including those in who sell business to business.
"If you're going to invest in your business, invest in ways that reach the people that matter to you," Levy said.
Facebook launched my start up
Wendy Gavinski, an avid snowmobiler, came up with the idea for Divas SnowGear out of sheer frustration. "This is still a very male dominated sport," she said. " I just couldn't find attractive, flattering clothing for women who also enjoyed the sport."
So in 2010, the Madison, Wis., native started her own line of clothing for female snowmobilers with $30,000 of her own money. She turned exclusively to Facebook to market her company and sell to customers.
"It was the only way I could reach my target customers," she said. "If I put an ad in an industry magazine, or a banner ad in a forum, the readership for both are men."
The company's Facebook page launched in 2010. Today the startup is profitable and has over 43,000 likes. They use the site for targeted regional advertising, specifically aimed at women from 20 to 50 years old.
Divas SnowGear announces brand ambassadors
After receiving over 1,700 impressive applications, Divas SnowGear (DSG) is excited to announce the 28 brand ambassadors selected to represent DSG during the 2015-2016 season. Every application we received was extraordinary. All the women who applied showed great dedication to the sport of snowmobiling in addition to wanting to get more women involved in the sport. Due to such high-level applications, the selection process was a daunting and difficult task. The selection committee sorted through applications and chose our final ambassadors based on geographical region, riding experience, and involvement in snowmobiling.
Our brand ambassadors will be representing DSG at trade shows, events, and while out riding in their favorite locations. They will be keeping everyone updated on their adventures through our Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, and blog posts. Our ambassadors are scattered across the US and Canada, so everyone will have the opportunity to see riding pictures from across North America.
We are also excited to present a new aspect to our brand ambassador program. For the first time, DSG is proud to be able to add two young ladies to the team as youth ambassadors. Adding these two remarkable team members is a monumental step for the sport. Their role as youth ambassadors will be to encourage other young women in backcountry snowmobiling by hosting a youth backcountry ride in their respective area. Look for more details in the future!
Austin Gavinski brings style to snowmobiling
Wisconsin State Journal
Divas SnowGear founder Wendy Austin Gavinski has been an avid snowmobiler ever since she was "a really little kid." The Dodgeville native would trek out to her grandparents’ farm in Darlington with her dad and her younger sister, and they would jump on their snowmobiles and ride.
Today, Austin Gavinski, her husband, Travis Gavinski, and their two children ride their snowmobiles most winter weekends, whether it’s on land near their Oregon home; at their cabin in St. Germain, in northern Wisconsin; or in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, “where the snow is super deep.”
So it may not be a total stretch of the imagination to think the sport that’s held Austin Gavinski’s passion for virtually all her life would become her bread and butter.
An experienced salesperson — at U.S. Cellular and at Shred-it — with a degree in communications from UW-Whitewater, Austin Gavinski started Divas SnowGear in 2010 to sell outerwear and accessories to women who ride snowmobiles. According to the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association, there are nearly 1.4 million registered snowmobiles in the U.S., and about 35 percent of the riders are women, Austin Gavinski said.
Wisconsin had 224,716 snowmobiles registered last winter, No. 2 behind Minnesota. Michigan came in third.
Divas’ business has snowballed quickly, and now includes an office and warehouse at 327 Market St., Oregon, three employees in addition to Austin Gavinski, and, with this snowy winter, is expected to draw sales of “well over seven figures” this season.
Finding the Right Fit for My Specialty Clothing Line with Facebook
Growing up in Wisconsin, I've been snowmobiling since I was very young. But as I grew into adulthood, I started to get frustrated about how limited the choices were for women's snowmobile gear and apparel.
A few years ago, I decided if someone else wasn't going to do something about this void in the market, I would. That is how Divas SnowGear was born. I wanted to make women feel like they have a place in this sport by giving them their very own brand to be proud of.
I started out with some colored pencils, hand sketching an idea for one outfit including a jacket, pants and gloves. I found a manufacturer willing to work with me on the specs and create my first sample. Feeling good about my idea and having a way to produce a product, I began to do market research.
I started with a line of casual wear and visited trade shows throughout the U.S. and Canada in 2010. I wanted to test the trends and design details I was working on, as well as understand what was most important to women when buying snowmobile apparel. I was encouraged when I learned that brand name didn't matter much, but warmth, comfort and feminine fit did. That meant there was room for us to enter the market and give these women a better product and a company they could relate to: for women, by women.