I was just sitting there, minding my own business, trying to sell ads in a snowboard magazine when nobody wanted to advertise. Snowboarding wasn’t exactly en vogue in 1989 like it is now, so getting people to advertise in TransWorld SNOWboarding was no small task. In other words, we had to tie steaks around our necks for the dogs to play with us.
So, I’m sitting there, when Fran Richards comes running over to me with this idea: “Why don’t you do a monthly newsletter to the entire snowboard world updating them on what’s happening in the industry and also send it to those who should know what’s going on in snowboarding like ski resorts and related companies.”
With that one run-on sentence, SNOWboarding Business was born. Of course, the first issue wasn’t exactly the glossy, high-quality trade journal you’ve come to know and love. It literally was just a one-page newsletter with small blurbs. As I recall, one of the first hard-hitting newsbites was about Wrigley’s Spearmint chewing gum featuring snowboarders in one of its TV commercials. Believe me, I took pride in folding and stapling each and every copy of high-impact journalism like that.
In late '89, we brought in Brian Sellstrom to help us kids run the candy store better. That he did. We repositioned the newsletter, started accepting advertising and boom, it took off. It got a name, SNOWboarding Business rather than “newsletter.” It got a logo, rather than courier, size fourteen font. But most of all it got pages; pages for information to offer an industry in its infancy and pages to grow and spread the word about snowboarding.
With this new-found growth, SNOWboarding Business was lucky enough to have a host of editors guide it throughout the years: industry lifers like Lee Crane, Jamie Meiselman, and Eric Blehm to our current editor, John Stouffer. John is really the one who is credited with taking Snowbiz to where it is today along with staff members Sean O’Brien and Robyn Hakes.
With a lot of blood, sweat and tears, SNOWboarding Business has grown tremendously since its inception. Grown from a piece of paper you could fold up and put in you back pocket, to news-stock you could roll up and put in your backpack, to the glossy SIA issues that you can’t even fit in your briefcase. Through it all, we hope we’ve helped an industry grow and hope we’ll continue to help everyone in snowboarding stay in touch.