Words by Julie WeinbergerIn the fall of 2002, Cody Raisig, a former senior editor turned photo editor at Freeskier, decided to start a clothing company. Since freeskiing was clearly here to stay at that point, it was a time when anyone and everyone seemed to see how he or she could start a company that would fill a niche in the sport.“Everybody felt as though you could create something new, and it would work,” Raisig said. “I thought it would be cool to create something with my own flavor, and see if I could make something roll.”With independent companies such as Siver Cartel and Armada springing up, Raisig saw the potential for his independently owned business. By January 2003, he had come up with the name Sublux—based on a shoulder injury he had endured—and he had enough designs to smack on some t-shirts and hoodies. That spring, Raisig decided to go full on with Sublux. By early summer, he had a team of riders together including the likes of Peter Olenick, Travis Redd and Liam Downey. A month later, the team was doing a photo shoot in Vancouver for the launch of the web site. Everything was moving along smoothly and quickly. Then, a little over two years ago, Raisig and Sublux artist Anthony Chavez were involved in a terrible head-on car accident. Raisig shattered his left femur, and still, he has yet to ski. That’s when he decided it was time to put Sublux up for sale.“For me, it doesn’t make sense to remain in the ski industry when I can’t even enjoy the sport,” he said. “I just felt like it was time to give up my ties to the ski industry and sell the company to somebody else who found value in it, and who wanted to keep it going and grow the company.”Early in the summer of 2004, Raisig officially put Sublux up for sale. He advertised for it all over Newschoolers and Freeskier.com, attracting much interest. A few weeks later, he got a call from some kid named Rom Marcucci.“He kind of had this stoner voice, and I couldn’t really take his message seriously,” Raisig said.At the time, Raisig was in serious negotiations with a couple of other people. Then, Marcucci left another message. By now, it was late in the summer of 2004.“I finally called him back, and he said he was rolling through Denver on a road trip with his friends, and he wanted to meet with me,” Raisig said. “That’s when I took him seriously. We met a Denny’s in Lakewood [west Denver], and he wasn’t a stoner at all. He was this intelligent, sharp kid who was a year out of college at UVM [University of Vermont]. I could tell he was extremely passionate about the sport.”Two months later, all the papers were signed, and Marcucci had acquired Sublux. “I finally sealed the deal with Cody at about 2 a.m. at a Denny’s in Denver in late August 2004,” Marcucci said. “Google/Youtube style, except we didn’t exchange quite the 1.65 billion dollars.”When Raisig left Sublux to Marcucci, the company was in a bit of lull. Raisig’s car accident had totally taken him out of the game. Before that Sublux had arguably one of the strongest teams in freeskiing. The company and its athletes seemed to be everywhere.“I took over late the following summer without much lead-in time, so last year was a huge challenge just throwing things together in time for ski season,” Marcucci said.One challenge he had was keeping the team together. Since Sublux is a small company, and everyone wants a piece of the skiers, big companies have more leverage. Still, Sublux has held on to Downey and Redd as part of the community that makes up the company’s riders and artists. After spending last year with trial and error and establishing support, Marcucci is now able to produce most of the garments himself and with the help of friends. He has also gotten an incredible amount of support from his artists. Eric Pollard and Stina Marshall have helped bring unique flavors to designs. Abe Kislevitz and Matty Jeronimo—whom Marcucci found through Newschoolers—have also brought talent and ideas to the company.“Sublux would not look the way it does without them,” Marcucci said.Now, Marcucci has more orders than he knows what to do with. Sublux has already sold out of a few styles and sizes. Whereas last year may have been about getting on track, “This year, the challenge is keeping up with increased demand and preparing to take it to another level next season,” Marcucci said. And, since Orage has now dissolved Siver Cartel—one of the original independently rider-owned companies dedicated to producing quality street wear—Sublux will be filling that niche of lifestyle wear. With that, Marcucci realizes the leadership role his company can be in.“Ultimately, I’d like the company to provide true leadership to the ski community,” he said. For the following seasons, Marcucci sees Sublux as a leader in the ski industry, providing the highest quality, most diverse and interesting products.“This year’s line of clothing looks way sweeter than the line of clothing I was ever able to produce a couple of years ago,” Raisig said. “The graphics look great, and so does the quality. I definitely want a sweatshirt, Rom, and I definitely want a t-shirt, too, ‘cause the stuff looks sick.” As for Raisig, he has been in real estate for the past year-and-a-half. Now, he is putting together a photography portfolio, and is applying to photography schools in New York City. While he sees himself getting back on the slopes soon with friends, he is professionally done in the ski industry. “For me, it’s time to try something new,” he said. “For Rom, the world is his right now, and it’s time to rock!”


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