SlingFin founder Martin Zemitis worked at Mountain Hardwear for nearly 15 years before deciding it was time to strike out on his own. He rented a beautiful loft in Richmond, California (about 200 yards from where Mountain Hardwear was located) and moved in with his parts library, industrial sewing machines, fabrics, materials and design tools.
He was suddenly free to work on whatever he wanted to do – no managers, bosses or interruptions! Few people knew what he was up to, and for 6 months he spent every waking hour designing outdoor gear. Eventually Martin emerged with a line of tents that reflected his values.
"Making great gear is easy if you have the balls to do it, and you know how. You cut out the product manager who does not know how to make anything, and solve design problems instead of filling product slots for the retail buyers' positioning strategies. We started SlingFin to make quality gear for professional users," Martin said.