Trenton teen starts a business selling rock climbing gear

Sierra Saylors is a competitive climber. She helped start Swanky Climbing Gear with her family. (Image: David Saylors)

Rock climbing is one of the many popular outdoor activities around here.

With so many climbers, they need the right gear.

A Trenton family is now offering one of a kind bags designed for rock climbing.

They're made inside a little red sewing shop nestled in the woods.

Amber Saylors spends up to four hours sewing each bag.

"It's not an assembly line so you know if I make a mistake I can go back and fix it," Saylors said.

She starts with the design, creates the pattern, cuts the pieces, then sews it all together.

Amber gets the designs from her niece Sierra.

Sierra started Swanky Climbing Gear with her parents.

"Swanky means posh, it means high end," Sierra Saylors said.

This 15 year old co-owns and manages the business.

"The future looks like this being a lot bigger," Sierra said while inside the shop.

She uses the gear herself for competitive climbing.

"It's just a really uplifting and encouraging environment to be in."

She started coming up with ideas for bags when the ones she was using weren't cutting it.

"We couldn't find a backpack that was perfect for rock climbing," Saylors said. "Everything had something wrong with it."

Either the zippers broke, the back was too stiff or it wasn't comfortable to carry long distances.

"We were like hmm maybe we should fix this."

The family worked together to pitch ideas and design prototypes until they found what worked.

Sierra's mom does the accounting, her dad helps with the engineering and tech side, her boyfriend sells the products, and Sierra focuses on marketing and customer service.

They also make their own climbing chalk.

Sierra loves the challenge rock climbing brings, being outside with her teammates and holding her own against the men in this sport.

"Since I'm lighter than most of the guys out there I can climb really well, and it's really cool to see men and women climbing on the same level."

If you weren't impressed enough yet with this teenager, Sierra has already graduated high school and is now taking college classes.

"She's a very intelligent and smart young lady she's got a lot of potential, she's gonna go places," Amber Saylors said.

Sierra has big dreams ahead.

"I want to own several business and this could be the one that helps provide money for the others."





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