We are Eric and Brian, longtime friends, classmates and avid snowboarders. One night during the Fall of 2015 while sitting around in Brian's apartment and talking about gear for the upcoming winter season, we had a thought: Wouldn't it be awesome to be able to switch the style and performance of a jacket without having to buy an entirely new one? Like if you wanted a fresh look without compromising the fit of your tried-and-true jacket? Or you wanted something that was perfect for a full day of thrashing the slopes OR a stroll around the city? A jacket that was highly versatile, technically advanced, practically designed and looked good to boot!
We did a little digging and found out something like that already existed... well, sort of. There already were 3-in-1 jackets, which are comprised of attachable and separately wearable outer and mid layers. But we learned that you generally need to buy both layers together, which seemed illogical to us. The performance left a lot to be desired; if you wanted a premium jacket, 3-in-1’s didn’t cut it. And they just looked... bland. Uninspired. Like the style and fit were simply afterthoughts.
Switch Is Born
Thinking we were onto something good, we started getting serious. We researched industry trends for winter sports; analyzed jackets and what made them higher or lower performance; tried to discern what people loved and hated about them. We surveyed family and friends, amassing their thoughts and opinions, deciphering their winter wear desires: How many pockets did they prefer? Which colors did they like? Was the idea of swapping out layers of a jacket appealing or were we wasting our time on a flimsy idea? After sorting through the answers, we decided our idea was worth pursuing. It was at that time that Switch Apparel Company was born.
The funny thing is, we really had no clue what we were getting ourselves into at that point. We didn’t come from the outdoor apparel industry and we didn't have a background in garment manufacturing. In fact at the time, we barely knew anything beyond the basics about technical outerwear. All those performance specs that brands listed out, all those tech features – they were just an array of letters and numbers strewn together on a page.
So we branched out, speaking to people with any connection to the snow industry, learning everything we could from anyone who would talk to us. We contacted all the top fabric vendors from GORE-TEX to Polartec, Schoeller to Primaloft, requesting samples and sifting through thousands of types of fabric. We visited factories hoping to learn about the manufacturing process, sometimes being forced to leave without even getting one foot in the front door. It wasn't easy - folks in the know told us time and again how difficult it was for new players to break into the outerwear industry. We weren't taken seriously on multiple occasions. There were times when we really considered dropping everything and returning to the normalcy of our previous jobs. But we knew we had a solid idea, the drive to pursue it and the passion to create it. So we pushed forward.
People Like Us
While doing all this research, we came to realize that even though there are dozens of companies out there making technical outerwear, none of their stories seemed to appeal directly to us; the regular guys. Sure, we love snowboarding and hiking, and we get out into the mountains when we can, but we are firmly in the “weekend warrior” category of outdoors enthusiasts. We don’t aspire to scale the world’s tallest mountains, and we aren’t pro snowboarders by any stretch. We just love the feeling of escaping to the outdoors, if only for a short time, and we wanted to create a company that mirrored that feeling.
But in the event we found ourselves floating down fields of untouched powder, staggering forward against unrelenting city winds, or getting caught in sweeping rains, we wanted to make sure that whatever we built would stand strong and keep us protected.
This Is Terracea
After months operating under the moniker Switch Apparel Company and creating our jackets with help from some incredibly talented designers and industry experts, we realized that we wanted to build something bigger. We didn’t just want to create a line of 3-in-1 jackets. We wanted to construct a company that actually stood for something meaningful – something that represented people like us and who shared the same love and appreciation for exploring the outdoors. We realized that starting this company posed an opportunity for us to give back to people; to make their lives and the world better in some way. And with those realizations in mind, we decided to reinvent the company and re-brand as Terracea.
Terracea comes from a combination of the words TERRA, meaning Earth or land, and PANACEA, a remedy or solution. Translated, it means a remedy for anything the Earth can throw at you. It is the notion that there is so much that is undiscovered and so much for us to explore, and that our surroundings still fill us with a sense of wonderment. It is our effort to champion a spirit of progression as we grow and the world grows around us. It is our unending endeavor to have fun and seek enjoyment in conjunction with and regardless of our surroundings, whatever they may be.
During Fall of 2015, we had an idea for technically advanced, practical, stylish 3-in-1 jackets designed for people like us. We did a ton of research and decided we were onto something, and at that point Switch Apparel Company was born. We dedicated ourselves to learning about fabrics, materials and the outdoor apparel industry. It was challenging - we faced obstacles and pessimism at every turn, but we persevered and eventually cobbled together a team of incredible designers and outerwear industry experts to teach and guide us. While designing our jackets, we came to the realization that we wanted to create something more meaningful, and it was then that we decided to become Terracea.