Outdoor Explorer: Creating an outdoor clothing company in Alaska

Jen Loofbourrow founded Alpine Fit with the goal of making base layers for Alaskans. (Paul Twardock)

What does it take to create and run an outdoor gear company? Alaska is an ideal testing ground for outdoor gear and apparel. A surprising number of small outdoor apparel businesses have started and thrive in Alaska, testing their clothing in Alaska’s wind, rain, cold and snow. Jen Loofbourrow started Alpine Fit with a vision of manufacturing base layers for Alaskans. The business survived the pandemic, supply chain bottlenecks, and Alaska’s logistical challenges to become a thriving business. On this Outdoor Explorer Jen discusses the path she took and challenges she has overcome with host Paul Twardock.

HOST: Paul Twardock

GUEST: Jen Loofbourrow, Alpine Fit founder

Alpine Fit website
Alaska Public Media story: “Anchorage women-owned businesses form ‘Outdoor Alliance’ to help each other succeed”
Alaska Public Media story: “Anchorage outdoor apparel company Alpine Fit wins small business award”

Paul Twardock is a Professor of Outdoor Studies at Alaska Pacific University, where he has worked since 1988. He is the author of Kayaking and Camping in Prince William Sound and help found the Alaska Sea Kayaking Symposium/Paddle Sport Fun Day. At APU he teaches a variety of undergraduate classes included Sea Kayaking, Recreation Program Design, Nordic Skiing, The Business of Recreation, and Wildland Ecosystems and Human Impacts.  Paul received his BS in Outdoor Recreation from Western Illinois University, went to work instructing for NOLS in Alaska, then received his MBA from APU.  Paul’s  research includes monitoring of campsites in Prince William Sound and Chugach State Park for human impact, trail use in Chugach State Park, and the Alaska Recreational Boating Safety Incident Database. His passions include sea kayaking, river boating of all sorts, hiking, mountain running, climbing, skiing of any kind, and birding.  One of his last adventures involved a mule ride.

Paul is one of several hosts for Outdoor Explorer

Previous articleCommission finds Canadian mining practices could violate Southeast Alaska tribes’ human rights
Next articleAlaska labor forecast calls for continuing shortages as Boomers age