An Entrepreneurial Origin Story

September 2017, the rivers were once again fishable, bike trails very rideable, and the fire bans had just been lifted. Chris Bivona, Vail Valley local and well-known ski bum was hatching a plan and Ski Town All-Stars, premium and custom hat company, was born. A little over a mile from Gondola One at Vail, Chris shoved a sewing machine and a hat press into his small kitchen; with a little spill over into his living room. His idea was simple. The lifestyle ski-town people live is the epitome of “living the dream.” Why not make a brand that embodies the attitudes and values that ski-towners hold dear to their hearts? That way whether you’re a 150-day local, or a city liver who takes their one ski trip a year, you can show the world you belong to the team and do your best to chase the dream.

Early on the STAS brands deep roots in the ski industry led to big wins with organizations like The Lindsey Vonn Foundation, High Fives Foundation, and Vail Valley Foundation. It also helped to have people like Aspen local Chris Davenport and Vail local Mikaela Shiffrin being spotted in STAS lids. The brands early successes and top-notch media content gave way to an ever-increasing Instagram following (@skitownallstars) and assisted in the growth of the company. In August of 2018 Ski Town All-Stars made their first location change and moved into Bivona’s new garage. With the increase in space the company was able to add another hat press, a t-shirt press, and hire on a couple more employees. In true ski town fashion these employees were all part time, all had at least one other job, and all enjoyed skiing and partying more than any of their 2-5 jobs. In the new and larger office, Bivona and his crew of ski bums began cranking out hats by the hundreds; then by the thousands. It wasn’t long before that garage was starting to get crowded.

By March of 2019 the brand was really starting to catch on, and the Ski Town All-Stars DM’s were being filled daily with pictures of STAS rocking their lids and the lifestyle all over the world. Babes in Switzerland, studs in Moab, and ripping skiers in Portillo were all eager to share their adventures and hopefully get a feature on the STAS Instagram. Bivona and the STAS workforce were having trouble keeping up with all the orders flying in. It was time to expand. Coincidentally a commercial space was available right down the road in East Vail.

As of May 2019, Ski Town All-Stars is headquartered in Pitkin Creek Plaza in East Vail. They have a retail space and custom hat bar in the front of their office and their manufacturing shop in the back. Their own had this to say:

“At Ski Town All-Stars, we are believers in Monday Missions, in shot skis and dawn patrols. We believe in days spent on the river, and nights laughing around the campfire. Most Importantly we believe in giving back to the places that have given to us.”

Feature image by Victoria Caffrey Photography.