Kerrits’ roots reach back to 1986, to the most intimate type of womens activewear: bathing suits. Windsurfer Kerri Kent saw an opportunity to improve the fit and performance of swimsuits that didn’t stay put. With 50 dollars worth of fabric from the Jansen outlet store and the pursuit of designing more comfortable activewear for athletic women, she began making her own suits. Windsurfing friends stood for fitting after fitting. When the suits finally met quality standards, Kerri launched from her gear bag on the beach.
Within the year, Kerri opened a retail store, selling custom bathing suits and coordinating bike and activewear. Michele McAlpine brought her retail and merchandising background to the store as manager in 1991. The two loved the challenge of creating custom suits for all different types of bodies. Over the years, Kerri and Michele collected an in-depth library of data and experience about creating comfortable coverage for athletic women that remains the core of Kerrits today.
In 1991, The Oregonian wrote about Kerrits Activewear, followed by a piece in The New York Times. That story mentioned Kerri’s desire to make similar, sport-specific, flattering clothes for women who shared her other passion: horses. The CEO of Eisers, a leading equestrian company, read the article and asked her to design a line. With simple packs of carrot seeds as hangtags, Kerrits Performance Equestrian Apparel took root.
Over three decades, Kerri and Michele wove the unique threads of a group of exceptional women together to create the fiber that makes up the Kerrits team. From the outdoor mecca of the Pacific Northwest, home to Nike, Adidas and Columbia, 20 women came together with a passion for horses and playing hard outside on bikes, boards, skis, and trails. Most Kerrits employees have been part of the team for at least a decade and have played an important part in the evolution of products. From the women who design the first prototypes, to the women who pack the finished garments in boxes for shipping, every member of the team plays a unique, critical role in the company’s success.
Today, the Kerrits team extends far beyond our Bingen, Washington headquarters to include our professional Team Riders, more than 1,000 Ambassadors and customers like you, who constantly provide the critical feedback that drives us to improve the fit and function of our products every single season.
We raise our glasses to you. We’re only here because of your loyalty. We get to live our dream because riders like you believe in our brand and are as excited as we are to see what we can do in the future.
Thank you for making 30 years of Kerrits possible.