Arche Manavain (left) and Stan Fong (right) joined by Hratch Manavian as the trio behind 'Hardline Nation'.
When you meet Archie Manavian, you understand why the term 'Nation' applies to their brand, Hardline as Archie brings a fiery passion to the sport.
As the inventors of the IcePad, Hardline makes the story about the teams and becoming part of Hardline Nation, supported well on social media. When Archie talks about the teams they work with, he beams with confidence in the pride he shows for the product out of St. Laurent, Quebec, on the west end of the island of Montreal.
"We are 100% passionate about our products," said Archie. "At the end of the day, we are a small part of what we call Hardline Nation."
"We owe our success to our players and teams, and our customers who support us."
Inspired by Randy Ferbey's custom broom at the time, Manavian investigated custom designs but found that pathway was cost-prohibitive. However, the work did introduce Archie into an idea for stock handles towards making the lightest brush in the market.
With support from members at his home curling club, Archie raised an initial amount for the first set of handles, planned to be it for the project. Things changed quickly, though as the popularity of the brush took hold.
Recruitment of Mike McEwen and Reid Carruthers as early adopters for the brush created exposure for the product. An early tv appearance in the Scotties by Stacie Curtis got the phones ringing. Stan Fong started helping with social media, and Archie's brother Hratch left his job and joined the team.
"We have always said that our best salespeople are our customers who spread the Hardline gospel to all the other curlers in a club. We would be nothing without them."
"We aspire to offer premium curling equipment to curlers to help them play their best."
After their Dragon's Den appearance led to a creative deal with David Chilton, Hardline continued to see greater exposure and success for their IcePad brand.
> Hardline Curling appears on Dragons' Den
Hardline has been adopted many of the top teams in the game, with teams achieving many significant victories. For Archie and his team, there are so many great wins to choose from.
"One of the biggest wins was Team Gushue winning their 1st Brier in 2017," continued Archie.
"Just the atmosphere in the arena and being their 1st Brier title. Even today, watching that final stone still brings a tear to the eye. We will never forget Brett commenting, 'A hair light?'."
"And obviously, The Gold medal wins at the Olympics by Team Hasselborg and Team Shuster were incredible."
Those two Golds came with three more medals for Hardline teams, taking 5 of the six four-player discipline medals.
"Hardline is extremely proud of our teams and all their victories," added Archie.
"It has been something special to be a small part of it."
Hardline gear is now available in over 120 pro-shops worldwide.
Hardline has been strong supporters of the curling community, supplying equipment and donations to club and organizations, including being a big supporter of Kurling for Kids, a Montreal area cause supporting the children's hospitals.
> Stan Fong on Kurling for Kids
"I think it is safe to say the pandemic has been a disaster to all the manufacturers, and all of our local retailers," said Archie, considering the effects of COVID-19.
"We have taken a major hit, all the cancelled events and the closing of curling clubs due to COVID hurt."
The lack of television exposure that the big teams get has hurt the business. With their flagship product, the icePad, being made in Canada; allows the company a little bit of flexibility in these difficult times.
"Right now, the best way to support us is to purchase through our retailers and our pro shops, to help them instead."
"We want to take care of the people that have taken care of us, so the best way to support us is to support them at this time of uncertainty."