The Wallrest story came to life after a simple moment of observation. The “aha” moment came while founder Steve Storlie was coaching his daughter in a U-12 soccer game in Portland, Oregon, a few years ago. It was a very cold, windy and rainy day in late November. During a strong wind burst, the team's pop-up tent blew onto the field and hit Steve along the way, nearly injuring the girls playing on the field. He looked back at the girls on the bench, seeing just how wet, cold and miserable they were. He was saddened by what they were experiencing, and it dawned on him that he had to find a way to protect the players when the weather was so bad.
During the car ride home, Steve asked his shivering daughter how she thought they could build a cover for her and her teammates. They discussed some ideas and set out to find and apply the very best materials toward a simple design that would allow her and her friends enjoy soccer and team sports no matter what Mother Nature threw at them. They did some sketching around the dinner table and decided as a family to make their first invention. The concept began to take shape. After several drawings, they landed on what would become the Wallrest.
Steve then brought together a team of people who could lend their expertise to start building a product and a brand. Ryan Beebe, a soccer player, outdoor enthusiast and product designer, joined the team to help begin the prototyping process. Chris Zebig, also a soccer player and a sourcing and supply chain expert, was also brought on board to assist in procuring a production partner. Soon after, Michael Shea, an athlete, brand and communication designer, joined the team to create the Wallrest brand identity, packaging and other communication collateral. The team was complete.
The very first prototype was built here in Portland, Oregon, and was the starting point for the final design, as it exists today. The next step was spending hundreds of hours sourcing the best materials, refining each and every detail, and testing the multiple iterations of the idea. No detail was overlooked, and the team learned a lot from everyone in the mix. All the feedback and insights directly informed our final design.
We then established a relationship with our manufacturer in Indonesia, and made a factory visit to begin the final stages of perfecting the prototypes. After a long, long journey and several days of working sessions and iterative prototyping, we landed on a near-final result. Many additional rounds of testing and design detailing took place, and we finally landed on a product that we’re proud of.
As the saying goes, “it takes a village” to bring ideas to life, and our story is no different. We’ve worked with dozens of talented, passionate and generous people whom we now call family to make the Wallrest story come to life. We thank each and every one of you for your contribution! Now, it’s time for you to experience sport the way it should be: by being warm, dry and comfortable no matter what Mother Nature throws at you. Enjoy!