Walk into any New England ski lodge, and you’re bound to find ski boot bags — piled atop tables or packed into corners and cubby holes — adorned with the name Kulkea. In fact, you’re likely to be seeing more and more of them, given the brand’s increasing popularity. But Kulkea is no overnight success.
The brainchild of a pair of brothers from Massachusetts — David and Steven Abramowitz — Kulkea’s first boot bags hit the market in 2012. The process and planning, however, started years earlier, even before the brand officially “launched” in 2009. David Abramowitz, 54, a longtime corporate attorney, said the initial impetus came about from his desire “to start my own business,” and a moment’s inspiration.
“I was searching for months to determine what type of business to start when I went up north to Vermont for a weekend to ski with some friends,” said David, Kulkea’s chief executive officer. “I went to the local shop looking for a replacement for my ski boot bag.
“The bags didn’t look like they were even designed by a real skier,” he said, adding that the quality also left a lot to be desired. “I thought I could design something better, and that’s when it hit me. After the weekend, I put together what I thought a real skier would need, and then I ran it by my brother, who thought it was a smart solution.”