Inaugural Blog Post

Hello and thank you for visiting Thunderbolt Sportswear! This is my first blog post, and it will give you some background about why I started this business.

This began as a MYOG project. That’s short for Make Your Own Gear, a term which has been popularized at backpackinglight.com and elsewhere. In 2008, I found some Schoeller softshell fabric at a fabric store here in Portland Oregon. As some may know, it is very rare to find Schoeller softshell fabric by the yard in any retail store. I recognized it as a “miracle fabric” and I decided to have some custom pants made with it because I have never been totally satisfied with any of the outdoor pants in my collection.

My first custom pants maker was not that great, and I basically got a pair of softshell sweatpants, but now I was on a mission. As I brainstormed about the ideal pants to make with this incredible fabric, I had the EUREKA MOMENT that started this venture. Why not make a pair of softshell jeans?

I have some previous experience as an owner of an ecommerce business, and I love outdoor sports. I realized this was more than a MYOG idea, this was a potential product. So I researched it and found no one was doing this. There were some nibbles around the edges of this concept, but no one was making classic style jeans using non-cotton high performance softshell fabric. (If you are not sure what softshell fabric is, please visit our page called The Jeans).

I “staked my claim” by registering the domain softshelljeans.com in 2008, along with several other related domains I will discuss in a future post.  By late 2009, product development was underway and I dedicated myself to this business full time. Look for a future post about the product development experience, which will feature the local sourcing of most of my vendors in the Portland Oregon area. Did you know our jeans are 100% sewn in the USA?

This website launched on a very exciting day in September 2010. One of my goals for this business is transparency. I am proud of what I have accomplished, and I want to tell the story so that this venture becomes as special to my customers as it is to me. In the future this blog will have more info about the business as well as trip reports, customer stories, media reviews. And of course I love to talk about this awesome product – Thunderbolt Softshell Jeans. There will be more photos too.

In the meanwhile, if you like what you are seeing here, please feel free to buy a pair today. You will get an exceptionally high quality pair of pants and I will really appreciate your purchase. No kidding!

Chris Payne
Thunderbolt Sportswear




Welcome to the Thunderbolt Blog

Welcome to the Thunderbolt Blog! We have just launched our blog, we are assembling some articles now so please check back and see our progress!

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