ROUND TABLE: MANTIS UNITED

Mantis founder Paul Kifer exploring Japanese culture to curate ideas for the brand.

Mantis founder Paul Kifer exploring Japanese culture to curate ideas for the brand.

Who are you and what are you about?
Mantis is a rider operated brand label, we design accessories, belts, beanies, sunglasses.

Where are you based out of? 
Denver, Colorado.

What do you do to support snowboarding? 
We live snowboarding. It's not just something we do. We support our team, help them with the things they're trying to get done. We try to keep everything going in the right direction. I've been at it my entire life. 

Clear up the worst misconception about your brand. 
Probably just when people haven't heard of the brand, they think we just started or something. We've been out there hustlin' with the brand for seven years. It just takes a while for people to notice when you have a limited budget. We're staying true to the way we want to run Mantis, and that's the most important thing.

What do you see as the biggest problem in snowboarding?
I've definitely seen a lot of played out scenarios. Truth is, if you're out havin' a good time with your crew, there's no problem.

The Mantis team out having some fun.

The Mantis team out having some fun.

Who is your target market? 
People that care about what's behind a brand. The ones that don't just want some random product.  People that actually want a product that's made by snowboarders.

Any types of people you DON'T want representing your brand?
There are a ton of kids who just feel entitled to everything, and they're just looking for some status in snowboarding. They're doing it wrong. 

Where do see the company in 10 years?  
The brand ideals will be the same.  A lot more team trips, film projects, things like that. 

Have you ever turned down a retail shop that wanted to carry your goods? Who and why?
Yeah, we always say no to chain stores and places that just carry those mainstream brands. We feel that by keeping the brand limited, it makes it stronger in the long run. Selling everywhere waters it down and makes it weak.

Mantis...united.

Mantis...united.

What local shops carry your products?

Anything else you want people to know about?
Go watch The Whiskey Video's:  The Garden and Steak and Lobster.