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NWT3K founder Nick Marvik

The lightbulb went off when Nick Marvik was sewing custom ski jackets for friends in the basement of his home at Western Washington University. He knew skiers and snowboarders valued individuality and functionality, but they didn’t have the tools to get that perfect jacket.

Marvik is hoping Northwest Technical Outerwear — NWT3K for short — is the tech-centric answer.

A recent WWU grad and current Amazon marketing coordinator, Marvik just launched Seattle-based NWT3K as a way for people to easily customize the color and design of locally-made jackets.

The idea is similar to custom apparel sites like Zazzle to NikeID, but with slightly different technology. NWT3K’s jacket customizer was built using JavaScript and HTML5 instead of Flash, and uses a JavaScript library called RaphaelJS. Ryan Downing, the company’s CTO, says that this was a better option because of faster load time, a more responsive interface and a more mobile-friendly experience.

There are other outerwear companies that are experimenting with customized apparel offerings, but NWT3K’s product builder experience and customizable options are somewhat new in the snow sports industry.

“We prioritize a customer’s website experience just as highly as their apparel experience,” says NWT3K’s Tessa Griffin.

NWT3K submits orders once a week to local production company Professional Sewing and it takes 2-to-3 weeks to make the jacket. The company primarily uses materials made from U.S. sources, while the custom-dyed fabric and zippers are sourced internationally.

The customizer is easy to use and you can choose from a bevy of color options for the hood, body, arms and even the zippers. For added fees, you’re able to choose the location and number of zippers, as well as an optional side vent. The base price of the jacket is $289.

NWT3K’s hopes to target the free-ski and snowboard communities. If this venture is successful, perhaps they’ll go beyond just jackets.

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