Noso Patches, a homegrown Jackson business that’s only a year and a half old, is getting a boost in visibility thanks to Title Nine and Skhoop.
The women’s active wear companies will sell the press-on, heat-activated nylon patches that Kelli Jones invented for mending tears in clothing, backpacks and other gear or just “patchdazzling” the items.
“Noso is no joke when it comes to making our favorite gear last a good long time,” Title Nine founder and CEO Missy Park said in an email provided to the News&Guide. “What’s more, Kelli is a bootstrapper of the highest order, and we’re just psyched to help her get the word out about Noso awesomeness.”
It’s a major step for Jones, who is on a mission to not only build her business but also reduce textile waste by persuading people to mend their stuff instead of buying something new.
“It’s the future of the world,” she said. “Why aren’t people patching things?”
She dreams that some day all the major outdoor gear companies will include a Noso Patch with each piece, the way dressy shirts and sweaters come with an extra button attached.
“I want there to be a coordinating patch with the companies’ products in whatever colors they sell that season,” Jones said. “It’s a big goal, but it’s going to happen.”
She is working on patches for Big Agnes, which makes sleeping bags and other gear; Sego Skis; K2 Skis; Deuter, known for its backpacks; and SheJumps, a nonprofit that aims to get more women and girls involved in outdoor activities.
Title Nine, which has 21 stores around the country and an online shop, now sells the “Lil’ Bits” package, a new item that’s made for small tears and is part of Noso’s first-anniversary collection.
TitleNine also features Jones on its website. If you look in the “Our Values at Work” section of TitleNine.com you’ll find her photo there with those of four other small-business women described as “Movers and Makers.”
On top of that, Noso has a role in the clothing company’s seasonal social media campaign, whose theme this year is #GiftOutsideTheBox.
The Title Nine Facebook page invites people to post ideas for gifts that don’t require a box — things like offering to baby-sit for someone so she can go for a run or to take a child on a mountain bike ride. Something from Noso Patches is the reward for the first 500 people who respond.
“We’re always looking for badass-women-run companies to work with as vendors,” Title Nine Marketing Manager Jessica Russell told the News&Guide. And “we want to have fun with our customers and others around the holidays. We chose Noso as the gift.”
One of Jones’ fellow T9 Movers and Makers is Skhoop founder Sissi Kewenter. Known for its insulated skirts, Skhoop started in Sweden and is now in nine countries.
Noso recycled Skhoops’ product line fabric ends to create a custom Skhoop flower shape that the company is about to start offering. Noso will also offer its own 2017-18 designs in Skhoop’s lily pink, Bordeaux and metal champagne colors, making it easy for Skhoop wearers to repair their items.
“Their mission was to reduce textile waste and not have their fabric end up on the landfill,” Jones said. “We call these guys the early adopters of the patch world.’”
Megan Baker, marketing director for Skhoop, said Jones’ business aligns with her company’s efforts to be environmentally friendly.
“Our collaboration with Noso Patches was a logical next step in our commitment to further protect the snow we ski, the mountains we climb and the streams we fish,” she said in an email.
“With the help of a Noso Patch we hope that our customers will be able to extend the longevity of their skirts, jackets and vests, which in turn will keep countless garments on people’s backs instead of in their trash.”
Jones plans in the coming year to secure “anchor accounts” like REI and Cabela’s that have “maximum potential to reach large numbers of people.”
Trade shows like the Outdoor Retailer sports expo in Denver are her favorite stomping ground for forging new business relationships. She likes mingling, she said, and a trade show was where she met Title Nine founder Park.
“I go around and talk to people,” she said. “I pepper the place with patches.”