BYU students invent snow gloves, help developing country entrepreneurs

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PowderOut Apparel’s gloves with attached sleeves keep snow from getting on users’ wrists. The patterns on the gloves represent the regions of the world the company donates to, including Africa, South America and Polynesia. (Michael Harris)

Two BYU students have invented a product that keeps snow from seeping through users’ coat sleeves as winter approaches and ski season rolls in.

Students Michael Harris and Nathan Miller founded PowderOut Apparel, an innovative winter gear company that seeks to make a global impact.

“The idea came this past January during a conversation at the Wilkinson Center,” Harris said. “We were talking about how we’re always getting snow inside of our gloves. So the basic product is a glove with an attached extended sleeve that keeps the snow from getting into your gloves or on your wrists when you’re out in the snow.”

Harris and Miller had ample time to develop their product as the COVID-19 pandemic set in and social distancing was enforced.

“During quarantine, we created different prototypes and samples and communicated with manufacturers in order to get it produced,” Harris said.

Ten percent of PowderOut Apparel’s revenue goes toward providing micro-loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries. Micro-loans are small sums of money given to help kickstart businesses, in hopes that it will be paid back once the business is successful. “Once they pay that loan back, we then use it to continue to give more micro-loans,” Harris explained.

The gloves and beanies that PowderOut sells have different patterns on them representing the different regions they donate to, including Africa, South America and Polynesia.

“I think that our products are useful for anybody who likes to be out in the snow,” Miller said. “Whether you’re skiing, sledding or just messing around in the backyard, our gloves are something worth trying out.”

Miller expressed his excitement for the future expansion of PowderOut and the regions they give back. He hopes that as the business grows, so will its social impact.

PowderOut Apparel plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo.com selling their gloves and beanies. More information about the product, including the link to the launch page, can be found on the PowderOut Facebook page.

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