Elevation Showcase is likely the only store in Fernie with a nine person hammock lounge strung along a custom made timber frame. Lance Edwards owns the retail outlet and Elevation Industries, selling outdoor apparel, fitness wear and accessories on Second Avenue which he opened in November 2013. Carrying Eagle Nest Outfitters chairs, hammocks and indoor hammock kits which are popular, Edwards has Canadian distributor rights to Loki outerwear, tasc Performance, and now, KAVU. They carry travel, fitness and yoga wear in bright vibrant colours and plaids made of a mixture of bamboo and merino.
Elevation Industries is an import distribution of outerwear and over the years Edward’s has increased his distributorship to the outdoor industry all across Canada. Operating from a warehouse in Kamloops, he was always trying to find a way to come back home to Fernie. The initial plan at first was to come back and just have an office but one thing led to another, and Edward’s felt it made sense to have his own store. Now he has his own showcase flagship store in Fernie with the Canadian headquarters in the back.
While the store is new to Fernie, Edwards is not. He has roots three generations deep with his mom working as a teacher at Isabella Dicken Elementary School, his dad a mining engineer at West Star and his Grandpa, Bill Prentice was a real catalyst getting things started and is the namesake of Prentice Park. His father’s career in mining eventually took the family to Colorado and South America. Lance followed his father’s footsteps as he worked for six summers in underground diamond drilling to finance his studies in business and marketing at the Western State Colorado University (WSCU).
“It was good to finance my education and to get set up but I was looking for something different for the long term,” said Edwards.
A fortuitous meeting of the inventor of Loki while at WSCU led Edwards to the product differentiation he was looking for to become an outdoor apparel distributor.
“The market for outdoor apparel is so saturated with 30 to 40 products made of basically the same fabric,” he explained. “Loki has patented features made by a mountaineer who lost a mitt in the mountains. Their jackets have built in mitts and neck warmers/face protectors which are great for kids and sledders.”
Catapult ahead to today. As the Canadian distributor of Loki and tasc Performance, Edwards felt it was time to bring in another brand.
“It’s a serious commitment to bring a new brand into Canada,” said Edwards. “KAVU is absolutely on fire in the States.”
A partnership was formed with KAVU. Founded in Seattle, KAVU has been creating clothing and accessories for people to live life to the fullest since it delivered its first hat in 1994. KAVU derives its name from the aviation acronym CAVU or “clear above visibility unlimited”, popular with the para-gliders as it represents a fun day.
This Seattle based company is all about the adventure lifestyle and fun.
KAVU and Elevation will celebrate the partnership with a wingsuit skydiving demonstration event on March 22 in Fernie. KAVU athletes, including members of the GoPro Bomb Squad, will headline this haywire event by dropping into Fernie by wingsuit from a helicopter. The family friendly event will include games and giveaways and will be followed by a post event party at the Northern.
KAVU doesn’t do a lot of advertising but they do sponsor extreme athletes and events, including the Go-Pro Bomb Squad team. Video footage of their jumps are famous on the web with viewers from around the globe watching and waiting for their next adventure.