Do You Have Betabrand in Your Closet?

Jason Van Horn is a talented designer, photographer and creative professional who is responsible for managing photography, product development for Betabrand’s Bike to Work Collection.

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Jason Van Horn is a talented designer, photographer and creative professional who is responsible for managing photography, product development for Betabrand’s Bike to Work Collection.

What was your background before Betabrand?

I worked in bike shops through college for the most part, while running the e-commerce department for a local bike shop chain for a few years and did a stint as a Trail Care Crew member for the International Mountain Bike Association. And along the way I have done a lot of freelance photography.

What’s a typical day like working at Betabrand?

My main role is in the photography department, which starts with emails, moves to scheduling shoots, and shooting product in the studio. I’m editing images or setting up an afternoon or evening shoots. When there’s time, I bug our lead designer with ideas for new products, sketch up ideas or we’ll brainstorm. We’re all juggling a lot of stuff at the moment, as we’re releasing a ton of new products on the site every week, so we’re all jamming on the creative side of things to put on a great show.

Tell me a little bit about bringing the Bike to Work line to Betabrand?

It can definitely be a challenge as there is never a shortage of new ideas, especially now that our focus has shifted to crowdfunding the new ideas that come through our Product ThinkTank. We’re constantly in transition and redefining what Betabrand is all about, but I’ve always been excited about replacing my closet with clothing that not only looks good, but is adventure ready— whether its via bicycle or on foot.

What are the challenges that you have faced?

This definitely leads to the challenges. I know the kinds of products I want to wear and produce, but not all product ideas are embraced by our audience in the voting stages. I’m working on learning to sew, so I can create prototypes for product ideas. It’s a lot easier to get a product made if you have an actual sample.

Overall we’re seeing a major shift toward making products you can play in that also look good, while offering unique features.

What are the successes?

We just released the second iteration of our Bike to Work Jacket, a product that started off in my sketchbook in the fall of 2011. I’m pretty psyched about it, it looks great.

What 3 things would you never leave the house without when on a bike ride?

A multi-tool, keys, and phone.

What does the perfect Saturday look like to you?

Wake up, drink coffee, go for a bike ride!

What’s on the horizon for the next 6 months?

We just released a ton of new products, including these plaid shirts with reflective threads woven into them; they’re great looking shirts. Down the road, I’m really excited about the new reflective fabric technology that has recently been emerging. We’re looking at doing something with it, as well as creating more products with all the technical fabrics available today.

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