We had the good fortune of connecting with Erika Aldeborgh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erika, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Driving from Denver to Vail one weekend to go camping, we were talking about how packing in a top-loading backpacking pack was always frustrating. The inside of our packs would become chaotic pretty quickly into a trip, as soon as you had to reach in and find something that wasn’t at the top of the bag. Knowing nothing about starting a business, we decided anyway that we should create a packing solution for campers who had the same problem. That same weekend we stopped at Home Depot for whiteboard paint and Joanne Fabrics for a hot glue gun, and the cheapest zipper and fabric we could find to make our first prototype. All that to say, we wanted to solve a problem that we thought people like us were also experiencing in an industry that we’re passionate about. Almost three years later, we’re still learning!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Pika Products makes packing cubes specifically designed for outdoor use and rugged travel. We’re four Colorado women who are passionate about getting outside for pretty much any adventure. Pika began with just two of us, almost three years ago, when we were frustrated with our top-loading backpacking packs because of how messy and chaotic the contents would get on our trips. We had used packing cubes, but they were pretty flimsy and ripped easily – we knew they wouldn’t hold up on the outdoor adventures we were having. After many rounds of prototypes, testing, a successful Kickstarter campaign and lots of failing and learning, Pika now has 2 lines of outdoor specific, rugged packing cubes, that are durable, water-resistant, compress to save space, and convert into backpacks. They’re also excellent for any sort of travel, as they are sturdier than a typical packing cube and double as a daypack with the attachable backpack straps.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Assuming we’re living in a pre-COVID or post-COVID vaccine timeframe, here are some places we would definitely go: Restaurants: Fire on the Mountain for spicy peanut wings, Uncle for ramen, Corner Beet for a coffee and fancy toast Drinks: Adelita’s if you like tequila, Denver Beer Co or Woods Boss if you are a beer fan. There’s also some great patios in and around Denver including Happy Camper and Avanti. Places to go: Red Rocks during the day to walk around, and back again in the evening for a show during the summer! Camping or airbnbing in one of the mountain towns – maybe Buena Vista, Steamboat or Crested Butte. Get outside in the city and visit Wash Park for a park day full of picnics, drinks and some volleyball.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are dozens of people whose support, favors, and advice helped us to successfully launch and continue to run Pika. Thank you to Michael Charley, the co-founder of Sunski who hopped on a call with us when we had absolutely no idea how to start a business, Sam Goodhue, who created our first real prototype, Rick Siegrist, a great friend who took hundreds of fire photos and video clips of our products, Wes Batts, who edited and created custom music for our Kickstarter video, and so many amazing friends and family members who cheer us on, buy our product and proudly rep our brand.
Rick Siegrist, Kevin Burke