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Intern Spotlight - River McKay

Mady Koller


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River is spending her summer designing for KLIM in Rigby, ID

In the Outdoor Product Design and Development (OPDD) program students learn to expect the unexpected. Everything from late shipments of fabrics and surprise time constraints to local sewing shops being out of the one specific thread needed to complete a project. Students learn to take what they are given and make the absolute most out of it, and River McKay did exactly that.

This past school year, the OPDD program was given a generous donation of various fabrics for the students to work with for sewing projects. Being a student in Sewing 2040—a class based on garment construction—River used fabric donated by the company Klim to create a pair of women’s motorcycle pants. After sending a thank you e-mail to the company with pictures of her project attached, she was promptly offered an internship with them.

While at Klim, River has been primarily involved with product development of snow clothing lines, and has been “in contact with factories to get samples made, holding fit sessions to fit the garments, and working with the designers to make sure that we are developing the product that they designed and that it matches the idea in their head,” she said.

Asked what she has learned so far during her time with Klim, River said, “I have learned that I love the development side of the industry and love being able to watch products come to life. I have also learned that the industry is much broader than we give it credit.” River added that eventually she would “love to change the industry to include more outdoor gear tailored to the outdoor women.”

Though definitely not the first or only example of excellence in the program, River’s initiative during the school year in taking what she was given and turning it into something amazing has set a precedent for other students, showing us all what is possible.