Made in Vermont: MoLa Hoods

Published: Jan. 2, 2023 at 4:26 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Vt. (WCAX) - Like many Vermonters, Caroline Patten is big on the great outdoors.

“Sailing, kiting, skiing, snowboarding, backcountry stuff,” she said.

Though, in order to truly enjoy it, especially during the winter months, you need to be outfitted properly. That’s where Patten says she can help.

“MoLa is the idea of clothing inspired basically around the activities that we do in the mountains and on the lake,” she explained.

Nestled in the mountains and just a jump away from the lake, MoLa Hoods is a clothing shop catering to the outdoor crowd. Patten learned how to sew when she was 12, thanks to her mom, and in the summer of 2020, decided to rely on those skills to blaze a new path.

“When the pandemic hit, I decided to focus on making clothes for the activities that I’m really passionate about. And that kind of led to making patterns in a bunch of different sizes,” she said.

Over the past two years, she’s expanded those patterns, and now makes base layers, fleece and tech wear. She typically uses dead stock Polartec Fabric and anything soft, comfortable, moisture-wicking and, most importantly she says, American-made.

The easiest way to get your hands on these products is by ordering online, but people are welcome to stop by the Richmond shop to order. Patten says she only does direct-to-consumer sales to cut out the middle man and drive down the cost, enticing people to buy locally.

“So, when somebody comes into MoLa and, you know, says, ‘Hey I need a base layer for backcountry touring,’ I know it’s for Vermont. I know what kind of conditions we get. You know, if they’re really tall and really skinny, I can make them something that fits them just right,” she said.

Patten explains that she thinks the craft as a whole is therapeutic, but the best part of all is seeing people wearing her gear to do things they love.

“I think it’s really cool when somebody can come in and meet the person who’s actually making their clothes. It just keeps that connection, makes people think about where their clothes are coming from,” she said.