Tyler Haney, Founder and CEO, Outdoor Voices
Can you tell us about a successful initiative for your company that was launched in the last year?
We launched a digital tool to shop OV Kits, which are complete uniforms for recreation. The online Kit Shop had a positive response from both long-time customers and first-time shoppers. We’ve always developed our product in the form of outfits, and it’s how we saw many of our customers already shopping. OV Kits are a reflection of that, with a bundled price to make the checkout process as seamless as possible. We want people to spend less time shopping and more time doing things.
What are your goals for the business?
We’re building the next great activewear company. In the meantime, we’re moving west, expanding our retail presence to Aspen, Colo., Los Angeles and San Francisco. And we have a bunch of super exciting partnerships happening later this year.
Tell us about your hiring strategy.
Early on, we hired more for breadth of capability, then, as we grew, we started hiring for depth of capability. Now that we have a great foundation, we bring people onto the team with specific experience.
Tell us about your leadership style.
Be human, approachable and inclusive — in leadership and as a brand. It makes a difference and people do their best work when they feel comfortable around you. Spinning off of that, it’s important to invite people into your problems. When something goes wrong, bounce it back to the team with a question about how to fix it. Never waste a crisis; crisis = opportunity.
What can traditional retailers learn from your business?
People gravitate towards brands that they can relate to. We have a strong personality and work hard to constantly engage with our community. Until recently, I think that connection has been lacking in retail.