The History of Alpine SnowGuards & EcoFasten Solar

Alpine SnowGuards (Alpine) grew out of a former roofing business known as Vermont Slate and Copper. EcoFasten Solar is the sister company of Alpine SnowGuards. There is a history of this roofing to manufacturer evolution posted on the Alpine SnowGuards web site ( but the story goes like this:

Alpine SnowGuards/History
The Beginning: Adventures in Roofing

First, my name is Brian Stearns. I am the owner of Vermont Slate and Copper (VSCS), Alpine SnowGuards, and our newest division, EcoFasten Solar. Before the development of my current manufacturing businesses, I was a roofer. Between 1978 and 1993, I learned slate roofing. I practiced and developed new skills within the roofing industry, I traveled all over the U.S. and made a brief trip to Japan installing, teaching, and consulting on slate roofing projects.

Brian Stearns, Alpine SnowGuards in Japan 1998
Brian Stearns (left) on a slate roof consultation project, October 1998, Sendai, Japan

As VSCS grew, Brian began to look for alternative business opportunities that could capitalize on his roofing experience.  Most of us would likely agree that the physical demands of roofing are not sustainable for an entire working career. Like many of us, I tried to sidestep into the sheet metal business. However, I found that avenue to be very competitive and costly.

My first step in sheet metal, just like in my roofing path, was to refine my business model and focus on a very niche part of the sheet metal business. The focus for a very brief time became “Ornamental Sheet Metal”. I’m not sure how many of you reading this will remember the economic climate of 1991, but suffice it to say; the “Ornamental Sheet Metal” business did not go well. I was forced to continue roofing longer than I had hoped. In a last ditch effort to use and justify the purchase of some of the sheet metal equipment I had acquired on this journey, I decided to start making snow guards for my slate roofing projects. My hope was to develop a competitive edge in the roofing industry while I continued to figure out a new means of income.

Turns out, I was on the right track…

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