Industry Profile: Unique Stuff


A lot of our younger heads who are involved in the snowboarding scene, work on a freelance basis ( many others do) for some brands, care about their sales stuff and rep a bunch of them to stay in snowboarding and move around. These agencies are for sure one of the most useful contact partners for up coming riders to may get the first foot on a sponsor deal really. Immediately after this year’s Pleasure Jam event, we stumbled over one rad party edit of the Pleasure Jam, produced by one lady girl named Julia Hafemann. Julia lives at one of our highest glaciers in Schladming at Dachstein in Austria, but comes originally from Düsseldorf next door to us in Germany and runs the Unique Stuff agency. We wanted to know more about those agencies, how they work and how a Düsseldorf local girl comes up with the idea to start a snowboard agency.

ShredOn Mag: Hey Julia, how are you doing?

Julia Hafemann: Hello there. Thanks I´m fine. A little bit in a rush. It’s sales meeting season.

SOM: Would you please introduce yourself to our readers really quick?

Julia: Like in school?

SOM: Something like that, yeah.

Julia: Hi I´m Julia, living in Schladming/ Austria. I moved here 10 years ago because of my love for snowboarding and I made my passion to my job.

SOM: Let’s start from scratch on: How did you get into action sports and snowboarding in particular and what where you doing concerning action sports or snowboarding in Germany back then, what’s the story there?

Julia: When I was 15 I started skateboarding with my younger brother Niklas, a year after we did our first snowboard trip to Austria and I recognized that´s all I want to do in my life. During that time I was studying at the business school in Düsseldorf. Because of chronically money problems (trips, boards, stuff) I started working part-time in a snowboard store. I had good times there and learned a lot about the ASR (Action Sports Retail), but I had bigger plans. After my traineeship as a management assistant in advertising in Hamburg, I moved to Münster (local Skate stronghold in Western Germany – note by the staff) to work for the Titus Mailorder. My plan was to combine my business skills with my hobby. At that time we drove to Allgäu snowboarding nearly every weekend. So Friday after work 7 hours in the car and Sunday back. Mondays were more sleeping on the office table instead of working. I loved to be in the mountains and the best thing was – to have the option to be within 2 min. of the gondola station. One day I thought, I had to change something to move forward in my life. The idea was clear from first moment on …I have to move to Austria. So I applied at Blue Tomato in Schladming / Dachstein and they employed me right away. So my way was made – board, TV and mattress in the car and here I am till today…

Industry Profile: Unique Stuff snowy close

..and that way she still follows and walks on. Surrounded by what Julia loves most: Snowboarding.

SOM: Cool. So how did it really start to pull off that Unique Stuff agency? Did you wake up one day in Schladming and were like: “Let’s do it!” or what?

Julia: It was always my dream to run my own company in the boardsports industry. During all my work experience I noticed soon that I want to be a sales agent. After working at Blue Tomato for 5 years I felt it was time to start something new again.

SOM: I can talk from my own experience that it really takes such huge balls to start your own thing. How was the support from the industry back then? Major brands wouldn’t really like to start working with someone and trust him/her their sales “just like that”, not? How do you start something like that?

Julia: It was kind of luck. Someday I was at a party (like always in this industry these things happen) and there I met Daniel Tröscher, he had been a Sales Rep for a long time. His brands (The Program) were growing and he needed a helping hand. I was just about to start my company but – I´m German, I had no clue of Austria, didn´t have any shop contacts, didn´t know any buyers and I´m a girl. So basically the worst attributes to start a business in the Austrian men dominated snowboard market. We agreed to help each other. It lasted a couple of years and was the best thing that could have happened at the time (Thanks Daniel for everything!). With a bit of luck I got my first own brands . A few years later I met the people of Horsefeathers, which believed completely in me and my agency, till today. My company was finally standing on it’s own feet. I started with all my brands from 0 clients and 0 turnover, so I´m happy seeing that all my efforts paid off.

SOM: Which brands do you represent?

Julia: Horsefeathers, Insight, Makia, Femi Pleasure, Stance, Hoppipolla and Niffa Eyewear.

SOM: Do you need to travel a lot for them?

Industry Profile: Unique Stuff - Julia at work

We’re not sure about ourselves yet, but hard work usually pays off after a time like in Julia’s case. Hungry for more?

Julia: I´m running my showroom in Salzburg and I´m visiting my clients regularly. I also go to tradeshows all over and a nice thing are the sales meetings. It’s a good chance to see the world with a lot of nice people. In the last years I’ve been to Whistler, Las Vegas, Helsinki, Barcelona, London, Prag, Pilsen, Berlin, Hossegor, Amsterdam and now it´s going to Lapland. ….so all in all not to shabby.

SOM: Not at all I’d say, haha ..not really, no. So you handle the sales for these brands, for a certain region and the respective shops in there, correct?

Julia: Yes. I represent all my brands for Austria. All the brands I am handling as a Sales Rep. For Hoppipolla I´m the Austrian distributor. That one is my new baby.

SOM: What else do you do on that corporate side for the brands?

Julia: Well, another huge thing is our party series (we like to party!) three times a year in Schladming. Last winter we did a BBQ Sundown Jib Session at our Horsefeathers Superpark Planai, several events for our clients at their shops like Glühwein drinking, meet and greet the team etc. . We also went to all the glacier Openings with our promo booth, doing special promo action in the Horsefeathers Superpark Dachstein and Planai. Besides the demo marketing we have an Unique Stuff team for certain brands I carry.

SOM: Sounds like some work you’ve got to take care of there, damn. So how does your work look like when not working directly with a brand together, but with a rider now? Do you hit up someone you’ve been following and say “Hey, do you need a sponsor?” It still is the company’s decision if they take someone on board or not, so how big is your influence on these decisions?

Julia: I´m working close together with the Team Managers of my brands/ distributors. If they sponsor a good Austrian rider it helps us both in the Austrian market with our sales in the shops and the image of the brand. Through the years they notice that I´m close to the scene and know who´s good for the brand or not.

Industry Profile: Unique Stuff - Julia wit Marlon

To know what’s up and who’s got the skills, Julia obviously doesn’t miss out on shredding when having Dachstein as her home mountain. Or when some of her riders stop by like Marlon Boeger here.

SOM: Ain’t that super hard to pick potential riders with all these masses we have right now popping out of nowhere?

Julia: I´m lucky that I live at Dachstein and I´m nearly there every day. Sooner or later everybody’s up there and shows their skills. The most guys I or my brands sponsor, I’ve known for years. I know their process in riding and one important thing for me is that they all have great personalities.

SOM: Can riders kind of apply to your company to get sponsored?

Julia: For sure everybody is welcome to send me his/her portfolio.

SOM: What is it that a rider really needs to come up with to apply to you? Do you have any criteria what a must-have is or what a no-go is or something? You must have certain criteria to select obviously.

Julia: A wholesome personality, obviously good riding skills and a fitting image for the brand in the Austrian market.

Industry Profile: Unique Stuff Pleasure Jam Party

..a wholesome personality like Julia said, probably also requires some party skills, otherwise you won’t make it anywhere here, but who are we to tell you.

SOM: Living at Dachstein you also got the perfect location to move anywhere in European snowboarding. When looking now at your job description you must be one of the most popular and interesting heads for all other riders on the mountain, no?

Julia: Hahahahahah. “Hostel Number One” for homeless riders. Drinks included.

SOM: I’d need to get back to this soon I guess, good to know! We obviously got the party edit of your unofficial Pleasure Jam party that looked to be the total blast when watching that rad 7min. edit of it. Since when are you doing these parties?

Julia: Good parties are rare in Schladming. So I thought one day I have to use my long term party experience to host my own ..hehe. The first party was in November 2010 and this year we celebrated #7. It´s always a must to come, otherwise you will miss something rad. Be there or be [].(square – bote by the staff)

SOM: When being at such a small and at the same time potential location like Schladming, people would think that companies and brands that settle down there support each other strongly. True story or pure Utopia?

Julia: More Utopia. It´s still a small village in the mountains and you really have to love it to live here. Also the infrastructure for companies isn´t the best.

SOM: Everybody is talking that snowboarding is in a real crisis. Do you notice that a lot when talking work?

Julia: Of course, you can feel it everywhere in the boardsport business. Beginning with brands which are going out of business and companies that have gone bankrupt and are waiting for new investors. Also some of my clients had to shut down their shops after 10 years or longer. That’s probably the saddest part of all of it. More and more shops are trying to save money on buying new, less known goods and targeting more on the existential products. I think the market was too saturated a few seasons ago. Now through the crises, it’s adjusting itself. These are hard times for the whole industry.

SOM: Do you have other people working for you, I mean do you employ?

Industry Profile: Unique Stuff - showroom

Being in the position to employ really peolpe not only takes much further paths to be taken, but also huge balls due to the responsibilities. But still though: Having your own Showroom is one huge-ass step that you have to take before that! Thumbs up girl.

Julia: Not really. In the high seasons or on events I always need some helping hands. But I´m really lucky to have good friends, who are always willing to come to help out. Cheers to all of you. You know who you are.

SOM: Are there any future steps with Unique Stuff now coming soon or other plans for the future you’ve got in mind that you want to reveal or talk about?

Julia: Of course going biiiiiig with my agency, expand my distribution, get more kids sponsored, make bigger parties and improve everything what I built up till now. New prospects are obviously secrets of the trade, if you know what I’m saying..

There´s still much to do. The future will be made today.

SOM: Wise words ..alright. Thanks for taking the time for us Julia! It was dope to get a different view on things for once. Any shoutouts or thanks you want to drop here now?

Julia: I have to say thank you to everyone who helped me and believed in me from the getgo. My family and friends for the

Industry Profile: Unique Stuff - END

As mentioned before: It takes some time and nobody says shit about being easy to pull of your own business and standing on your own feet, but thanks to heads like Julia here, we’re stoked on seeing some core snowboarders, that climb there way up and keep certain lifestyles and hypes in this thing. Stay shreddy..

daily 24/7 support, my brands, my distributors, my riders and of course my clients. Big thanks to all the guys and girls who were always there to help unpack collections at midnight, building up demo booths at -20 degrees and so on. Not forgetting all the crazy heads who come to the parties and drink with us and keep the hype alive. THANKS.

SOM: Cool. Thanks again and keep on pushing Julia, we keep in touch!

Julia: Thank you guys for your interest in my company! Always enjoy reading your mag. CHEERS!

SOM: Stoked you enjoy it ..peace.

\\ for all further info about Unique Stuff, no matter if we’re talking portfolio brands, contact details ..etc. check out the brand new website and of course we also ask you to show Julia some love over the traditional social media way and become a fan of her Unique Stuff fanpage, where you also can join a new competition and win some rad Wu-Tang featured Stance Socks!

| Unique Stuff | Unique Stuff Fanpage |


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