The life of a competitive curler in Canada isn’t always easy. A jam-packed schedule means athletes are often on the road for long stretches of time, competing in a mixture of cash-bonspiels and national championship events almost every weekend.
Due to the financial nature of the sport, many curlers often have to juggle their sport with other careers, even those competing at the highest level.
Colin Hodgson, the lead for Mike McEwen’s rink, has found a way to combine a career as a competitive curler with his unique business acumen, to create Dynasty Curling Apparel.
After meeting Faron Asham at an indoor baseball facility in 2015, the two quickly developed a friendship, and eventually decided to go into business together, although there is some disagreement as to who’s idea Dynasty was.
“Later that year we ended up winning the provincial championship, we were celebrating, [and] we had a few choice beverages after,” Hodgson says of his initial discussions with Asham.
“Neither of us can actually remember who decided to start this company. I think it’s him, he thinks it’s me.”
In the years since, Asham and Hodgson have been able to grow Dynasty into one of the sport’s most popular apparel companies. Their uniforms have been worn by some of the biggest teams in the world, such as Brad Gushue, Nikolas Edin and Jennifer Jones.
Dynasty’s rise in popularity can be attributed in large part to the company’s attempt to make the best product possible for curlers. Without the support of several teams in the company’s first year, most notably Val Sweeting’s rink, Dynasty likely wouldn’t be where it is today.
“Those teams gave us a chance, I screwed up a bunch of things early on, but they stayed patient with us and helped us build a template for how curling apparel fits.”
Hodgson also acknowledges the immense contributions made by Dynasty’s designer Kevin Hurrie, who has been with the company since its early days.
“I’ve just been extremely lucky to have a designer who wanted to change things, he works endless hours, he’s brilliant.”
While Dynasty has grown significantly over the years, the company’s biggest moment came back in 2019 when they landed the uniform contract with Curling Canada.
“It’s been absolutely massive for us, we are not a large company and we are competing against very large companies. So, this kind of contract is a big deal and we have to do it right.”
At this week’s Tim Hortons Brier, every team on the ice is wearing Dynasty uniforms. This year Hodgson has tried to make the designs more unique, by including a graphic of Kingston’s City Hall on the front of every jersey.
“Because it’s the first capital of Canada we wanted to tie it in with every player, and they’re wearing it here in the city.”
For Hodgson, the situation here in Kingston creates some added pressure. Not only is he going up against some of the best curling rinks in the world, but he also has the responsibility of ensuring everything goes smoothly with the uniforms.
“I’m accountable to all the players, because I’m right here at the event. So, I can’t show up with my uniforms and not have them for the teams.”