Tyler Haney, Founder and CEO, Outdoor Voices
Where did you get the inspiration to launch your company?
I started Outdoor Voices (OV) because I wanted to build an activewear brand that approached recreation and activity differently. At the time, everything else in the activewear space was shiny black or neon and emphasized the mantra “harder, faster, stronger,” which didn’t at all align with how I was being active in my own life. Our mission is to celebrate daily activity, and create products that are as functional for a dog walk as they are for running a marathon.
What was the “ah-ha moment” when you realized you might have a successful business?
The response to our first collaboration with Leandra Medine of the Man Repeller was an early indicator we were on the right track. Leandra is someone who is active, but not defined by it and doesn’t take herself too seriously. I was really proud of the way that collaboration turned out, and it became a positive rallying moment for our customers. After Lena Dunham wore it on an episode of “Girls” in an empowering (and hilarious) running scene, I started seeing more and more people wearing OV around New York City.
What was the pivotal marketing campaign or channel that really catapulted the business in its early days?
We’re constantly looking to engage with our community in real life, and social media enables us to not only connect with people online, but offline as well. Instagram has proved an invaluable way to encourage friends of the brand to come together for activities like jogs and yoga at our stores.
How are you planning to scale your business for future growth?
We’re focused on building our business digitally, first and foremost, but are starting to amplify the awareness we have online with physical touchpoints in areas of recreation. We’re opening stores across the country, and using them as hubs to bring people together around activity.