Inspiring Alumni | Jake Baverstock '21
By: Steve Hanulik, Contributing Writer
Respect | for ourselves, others, and the earth as a fundamental commitment to how we live our lives.
Mountain Glow Co. founder Jake Baverstock ’21 has always believed that his passion for the outdoors could lead to something bigger. “I’ve always had a love for making things, and a really big love for policy change in terms of protecting the environment.”
“It started with a book I read titled Let My People Go Surfing,” he explains. “It’s the history of Patagonia. That book changed my life and planted the seed… from very early on I had a desire to grow a company that would fit in that ecosystem of helping the planet and creating a durable and long lasting product that’s functional.”
Along with a group of friends, he co-founded Alpine Aficionados, which would later evolve into Mountain Glow Co. Their initial goal was supporting the Defend Alberta’s Parks initiative: “We printed t-shirts, all on upcycled fabrics, and sold those in Calgary and across Canada. That slowly branched off to hats, stickers… the product line grew and grew, until I started selling belts.”
Now considered his signature products, Belay Belts are manufactured with old climbing rope that Jake receives from outdoor enthusiasts all around the world. “I’ve had rope in from the UK and Iceland, across massive parts of the US as well. We’re creating that global community — people who care about the planet enough to get upcycled gear.”
He is extremely grateful for the inspiration, support, and resources that were made available to him through Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS), especially within his Art and Design classes. “Mrs. Wellwood introduced us to the sublimation printer, and that helped get the ball rolling, as well as using the Adobe Creative Suite that STS has access to.”
The inspiration for the Mountain Glow Co. logo itself came to him during an STS Outdoor Ed trip. “I drew it at Mount Romulus campground. I went there with STS and I loved it so much I had to go back the next year. Sitting on a washed out riverbed, I drew the mountains and then I brought that drawing back to design class and rendered it out using Adobe Illustrator to refine it. That’s what I was printing on t-shirts in the first place.”
In addition to growing and promoting Mountain Glow Co., Jake has had several opportunities to travel and work across western Canada over this past year. His jobs have taken him from BC’s Creston Valley, where he picked cucumbers, to Whitewater Ski Resort in Nelson, where he worked as a ski instructor. Being an employee of Skoki Lodge near Lake Louise also allowed him to enjoy plenty of days of backcountry skiing. With his year of growth and personal discovery coming to a close, he is setting his sights on a post secondary education that will help him reach even higher. “I’m going to Utah State University for Outdoor Product Design and Development. I’m pretty excited… It’s one of the only ones in North America that focuses specifically on outdoor product design.”
Jake has a very clear vision for the kind of company he’d like Mountain Glow Co. to be. “I donate five percent of all sales to an environmental organization. This year it’s POW: Protect Our Winters. In terms of growing the company I’d love for it to continue growing at a sustainable rate, and slowly add more upcycled items to the whole product line, until I reach a point where I can use it as a business to help the planet.”
This commitment to balance applies not just to his company, but to every aspect of his life as well. “Growth can happen slowly…so whenever I’ve had too much Mountain Glow Co I can take a break in the mountains. Or when I’ve been in the mountains adventuring for a long time and the creative drive kicks in, I know it’s time to pack it up and really focus hard again.”
"...from very early on I had a desire to grow a company that would fit in that ecosystem of helping the planet and creating a durable and long lasting product that’s functional."