Think back to the first time you were urged to hike a 14er or ski down one of Colorado’s many breathtaking landscapes; the rush of adrenaline pumping through your veins, the fresh Colorado air running crisp through your lungs, and that feeling in the pit of your stomach that says this is where you Belong. We Coloradans have yet to categorize this feeling of complete gratification, however; an ambitious start-up, founded by Colorado Natives, as well as Colorado School of Mines Graduates, aims to encapsulate and pursue an authentic lifestyle represented by what Colorado means to a lot of us.
Belong Co-Founder, Shamus McNutt caught up with one of our reporters and depicted why Belong Designs is more than just a Colorado Brand. “Belong Designs was founded around the simple mindset that when you follow your true passions in life, you realize where you ‘Belong’”, says McNutt. The three founders were sitting in the final semester of their engineering classes at Mines and determined that they wanted to inspire their interpretation of the Colorado Lifestyle throughout the world by creating what is becoming known as the Belong Movement.
Although the Belong Movement encompasses all people that believe in a lifestyle of authenticity and doing what they love, Belong chose to use extreme sports athletes as a representation to the lifestyle they portray. Belong finds that athletes in the action sports industry encapsulate the message most effectively, due to their continual pursuit to better and push themselves doing what they love most. Sponsoring over 22 athletes ranging from Amateur to Professional, Belong handpicks their athletes, not only based on skill, but more importantly based on character and moral compass.
Ben Thomson, Co-Founder, explains, “Our athletes are a direct extension of why we founded the Belong Lifestyle. Their exhibit of passion and drive is enough to inspire anyone to pursue an authentic life. Our athletes originate anywhere from Colorado all the way to Europe. They show that the pursuit of finding those moments; those moments when nothing is on your mind but the bliss of what you are doing right at that second, are worth pursuing. It’s the moment when you belong. “
Founded in 2013, Belong hit its one year mark and the founders couldn’t be happier with their success, however they have to continue to be “innovatively curious”, explains McNutt. “The minute you become content and complacent with your products and success is the minute that your company is set to fail. You always have to be looking around and thinking, how can I improve that product? Or how can I market better? How can I make that retail deal? We have definitely obtained a large tolerance for failure and an even better mindset for getting up after we get knocked down.” Having graduated with Bachelors degrees in Mechanical Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines, the three founders have been self-taught in Business and Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneur magazine, Google, YouTube, and a knack for learning things quickly and efficiently are all sources that the founders attribute to their success. They pride themselves on building belongdesigns.com on their own, after several sleepless nights.
The uniquely designed products and logo can all be sourced to Co-Founder and Creative Director, Mark Grubbs. Mark says, “learning an art form is much like learning how to play an instrument or a new sport.” Mark’s knack for creating designs stems from taking off on what was an industry standard and goes in the direction of creating somet