Wild Ingenuity™: Susan Pieper of DMOS Collective

For this week’s installment of the Wild Ingenuity™ series, we connected with Susan Pieper, founder of DMOS Collective. Crafting what some call “the finest shovel in the world,” DMOS is on a mission to elevate the art of digging by incorporating innovative design and unparalleled strength into a timeless product.

Tell us a bit about yourself, your company, and how your products are inspired by nature. How is nature woven into your product strategy?
I sailed for 20 years. Nature has healed me and taught me everything I needed to know about perseverance and the power of things outside of my control. Mother Nature can brew up big storms and I’ve been in big seas. Separately, I knew I had a company in me.

In 2012, I moved to mountains of Jackson Hole for the land-based version of the Pacific and was inspired to do three things:
1) Make products in the USA that make a connection to nature;
2) Make products that were high quality and solved a need;
3) Create consumer products that have a very light environmental footprint. I saw this being done by using recyclable materials, making products close to our customers to minimizing our carbon output, and finally making products built to last, reducing landfill waste.

Where do you go for inspiration? What out there in current culture is creating the most interesting vibes to motivate you?
We are inspired by Japanese culture – particularly “Monozukuri” (the art of beautifully made things), and how in Japan even the simplest everyday objects are durable and well-made (note: DMOS is in its fourth season of being for sale in Japan by our distributor, Hood, Inc.)

We are also inspired by Marie Kondo‘s ‘art of decluttering’ and having one thing that is multi-purpose. In our case, your garden shovel is your snow shovel, which is also your off-road shovel – an extremely useful, 4-season tool.

Finally, we follow our friends in the design world – Vanish Today and Uncrate, and we watch on instagram #Knolling (the art of arranging objects). We study mid-century architectural design, as well as builds by brand partners Earth Roamer, Sportsmobile, Expedition Overland, and Rebelle Rally for inspiration.

Photo Credit: Richard Giordano

What trends are you seeing and tracking right now that are helping you plan for the future?
We are seeing a trend towards organizing your mobile life. People are living in their cars and going between rural and urban settings unlike ever before. Fully kitted overland vehicles are now plying urban streets, but inside there needs to be space for everyday gear – fridges, drawers, and tools can’t get in the way of hockey bags and groceries.

We also greatly value our customers suggestions. Recently, we asked customers to complete a survey about DMOS, and in turn, they helped co-create future product ideas.

Purchase DMOS Collective’s full line of shovels and accessories on their website.