Learning how to sew a button, back in childhood, ignited a lifelong spark of curiosity and creativity for Corinne Prevot. After buttons came an assortment of clothes, curtains, wallets, and tote bags. You name it, she sewed it.
“Growing up, Joann Fabrics was better than the candy store,” she joked.
This love transpired to her teen years, and in 2008, while attending Vermont’s Burke Mountain Academy, Corinne started making colorful hats for her friends and cross-country skiing teammates.
Demand for these hats quickly soared, turning this once kitchen-table project into an official business. Aptly named Skida, which is the Swedish word for “ski,” the years that followed were busy for the brand, and for Corinne. While attending Middlebury College, Corinne carried on with cross-country skiing, studying, and of course, sewing.
The balancing act often proved challenging, but with help from her mom Margie, who still does Skida’s bookkeeping to this day, and a handful of local seamstresses, Corinne continued to hustle and the business organically bloomed.
“There was little room for Skida, but I managed to fit it in over the years as it continued to grow as my passion project,” she said.
After finishing college in 2013, Corinne moved Skida to Burlington, Vermont and set up shop. Everything from designing and development to distribution now takes place there thanks to a tireless team that has grown to 12 people. Additionally, the company enlists a number of home sewers across Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, enabling them to produce Skida headwear exclusively in their home state.
It’s easy to see what makes Skida’s products so alluring. The exclusive colorful and vibrant patterns used to make their hats and accessories are sourced from artists and designers all around the world.
“We are continuously coming out with new designs to keep our offerings new and fresh,” Corinne said.
What inspires these bold motifs? Corinne points to two things: nature and her travels. As a competitive skier, Corinne spent some time visiting Norway and Sweden for training camps and races.
“I found inspiration in the colorful Scandinavian design,” she said, “as well as the region’s passion and popularity of cross-country skiing.”
Throughout its decade in business, Skida has found a unique way to give back to the community and bring some cheer to those in need. One project, dubbed Skida [+1], is a program designed to donate their hats to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. For every online order that is submitted with a Skida [+1] promotional code, Skida donates one hat to a participating cancer center on the customer’s behalf.
“We are lucky to have a platform to give back positive energy to our community and I hope to see it continue to grow,” Corinne said.
Since the program’s inception in 2011, over 1,000 hats have been donated to grateful patients all over the country. Corinne mentioned they frequently hear back from those who were gifted a donated hat.
“We’ve received tear-jerking notes and every time it warms my heart,” Corinne said.
Also keeping the brand warm is a line of headwear made of luxurious cashmere. Corinne was first introduced to the textile during a study abroad program in Kathmandu, Nepal in 2011. Captivated by the age-old trade and tradition, she studied and absorbed all she could while touring some of the finest cashmere factories in the industry.
This fascination soon led to a lasting partnership with a few small-scale factories to create a line of limited-edition knitwear for Skida. Corinne returns to the country each year and is grateful for the close bonds and wealth of knowledge she’s acquired along the way.
“My work in Nepal has provided a unique opportunity to return to a country, where each time I find myself diving deeper into new relationships, regions, and activities that further fuel my curiosity and inspire a new perspective with each visit,” she said.
This curiosity for innovation continues to be at the forefront for Skida.
“Our team is excited to keep the forward momentum and continue to seek sustainable ways to grow and share the Skida love,” Corinne said. “I’m so grateful to have found a creative outlet with endless potential.”