N.L. snowboard apparel company gets big air with new mini-documentary, expanded product line

When Alex Henniffent started Voltfuse in junior high, he never imagined eight years later his snowboard apparel company would be sponsoring international riders hand have such a large product line.

Voltfuse offering biggest product line to date, selling mostly to international customers

Alex Henniffent started Voltfuse, a snowboard apparel comapny, when he was in junior high. Eight years later, the company is growing its product line and its international presence. (Submitted by Alex Henniffent)

When junior high student Alex Henniffent started his snowboard apparel company Voltfuse eight years ago, he had no idea it would reach the heights it has today — an international brand with a newly released short documentary telling the company's story.

Grand Falls Windsor's Alex Henniffent started his company Voltfuse when he was in junior high school. Eight years later, he tells us how he's gone international with the snowboard apparel brand. 6:38

Biggest product line yet

The entrepreneur from Grand Falls-Windsor told CBC the company this year is offering its largest product line to date, with hats, beanies, sweatshirts, t-shirts and, for the first time, outerwear.

Voltfuse's first jacket has graphics in the lining done by Clarenville artist Nathan Webser. (Submitted by Voltfuse)

"We released our first jacket, which was exciting because starting off I never would have imagined us shipping from knitwear to an actual jacket product." 

Along with the fulfilment of growing his business, Henniffent — who's also busy as a full-time business student at Memorial University's Grenfell campus — says he's also proud to make his home province part of the brand. 

"One of my buddies, Nathan Webser, is an artist from Clarenville. His artwork was actually featured for the interior liner of the jacket. So that's cool, rooting it back to Newfoundland," he said.

"Being able to create employment and give back and get Newfoundland involved with the brand this year was something I tried to do as well."

When Alex Henniffent started Voltfuse, hats and beanies were the focus. He says he's had sales worldwide, including in Iceland, Greenland and Dubai. (Submitted by Voltfuse)

Metaphor of origins

And the new documentary, which tells the story of the brand, also pays tribute to Henniffent's roots in Grand Falls-Windsor. 

The Trail was filmed in central Newfoundland last winter, where Voltfuse began. 

"The trail is a little ski hill that myself, my family and some friends cut out for our own use to go snowboarding," he said. "We cut out some trees, made some rails. That's really how I fed my passion, enabling me to keep snowboarding, keep getting up in the woods, and getting together with friends to do what we all enjoyed."

Henniffent said the short film showcases not only the clothes the company makes, but the course he's been on since he was 14.

"It's also a metaphorical reference to the journey that Voltfuse has been on, this pathway we've been venturing on for the past eight years, highlighting the history of the brand, where it started, the core passion, the spark that really kicked it into operation."

Going international 

But the brand isn't just local; most of the business — over 70 per cent of it — is from sales outside Canada. 

He credits that to the various international snowboarders who are sponsored by Voltfuse, including riders from Canada, the United States and Iceland. 

Those snowboarders wear the brand when they are competing and also help give feedback to make the products better.

"I really don't think the company would be near what it is if we didn't have those many talented individuals involved in the brand," he said.

Henniffent is in the middle of his final semester right now and isn't sure what the future will bring. 

"I definitely (have) a lot of decisions coming up. Who knows what's going to happen next in terms of where I'm going and where I'm going to live, but Voltfuse will definitely be around for a while yet."