In the recesses of Salt Lake City’s industrial complexes lies a strange little company striving to make the outdoors as comfortable—and fashionable—as possible. Though, perhaps calling it a little company is a bit of a misnomer. “We’re completely out of debt and very profitable,” says Melanie Webb, head of Brand and Market Development at Kühl Outerwear. “It’s really important for our owner, Kevin Boyle, that we be unique and be ourselves here. He fights for Kühl to remain independent.”
Starting out with two trash bags full of hats, Kevin Boyle built the ever-growing company that now sells some of the most innovative outdoor apparel products on the market, from pants and hats to ski jackets and water/sun resistant shirts. But they don’t participate in your run-of-the-mill business tactics. “With shows like Shark Tank out there—well, we’re sort of the anti-Shark Tank. We’re really rooted in being self-reliant and independent,” says Nicole Greer, who oversees operations. “We grew really fast, and I like to say we grew family-style. We fight fiercely against Amazon on some things because we like to keep our retailers in business.”
What exactly makes this ruggedly self-sufficient company so unique? One step into their corporate headquarters gives you an idea. Walk in their double-doors and you see a massive wall of windows flooding natural light into the space, but you’ll barely have time to take it in before you get ambushed by dogs who want nothing more than to say, “Welcome! Also, I love you.” Kühl employees are welcome to bring their canine companions into work—and at least a dozen of them do, everyday.
The staff receives a catered lunch daily from in-house chef Mike Osten. The large, open kitchen lies just inside the receiving lobby and allows Osten to feed about 50 employees restaurant-quality meals. After lunch, employees can use the complimentary in-office gym outfit with all the bells and whistles. You can bike to work and store your cycle on the racks just inside the building. And take advantage of their skiing incentive program where the company will reimburse you a portion of the cost for a season pass to one of the local resorts.
You can purchase Kühl clothing at most outdoor retailers, or order the products on kuhl.com for delivery or in-store pick up. If you need some puppy love, go for pickup option.