From Jog to Journey: The Outdoor Voices Story

In 2013, during a jog on the West Side Highway, Tyler Haney felt a disconnect between her performance and the sportswear she was wearing. It was then that the seed for Outdoor Voices was planted. She envisioned a brand that offered comfortable and creative sportswear for everyday activities, not just for high-performance athletes​​.

From Small Boutiques to J.Crew

Obsessively researching sweat-resistant materials, Tyler started shipping limited orders to small boutiques by January 2014. Her big break came when J.Crew picked up the collection, which included five staple pieces that still make up the core line. This milestone significantly boosted Outdoor Voices' visibility and credibility.

Fostering a Dynamic Office Culture

Tyler’s leadership style was anything but conventional. She created a dynamic and active office culture, encouraging her team to engage in activities like jumping jacks during meetings to boost productivity and enthusiasm. This approach wasn't just about keeping her team fit; it was about fostering a vibrant, energetic work environment that mirrored the brand’s ethos​.

Building a Community with "Doing Things"

The motto "Doing Things" resonated deeply with Outdoor Voices' customers. It wasn't just a slogan; it was a lifestyle. This ethos of participation and inclusivity helped build a loyal community of recreational athletes. From social media engagement to local events and collaborations, Outdoor Voices created a sense of belonging that many brands could only aspire to achieve​.

Launch of The Recreationalist

To further engage with its community, Outdoor Voices launched an editorial platform called The Recreationalist. This content marketing platform provided guidance, inspiration, and motivation, aligning perfectly with the brand’s mission to "free fitness from performance." The platform featured unique content, including conversations with inspiring individuals and seasonal print components that complemented the digital experience​.

Navigating Financial Challenges

Despite its successes, Outdoor Voices faced significant financial challenges. The brand’s focus on rapid growth led to tensions with investors and internal conflicts, culminating in Tyler stepping down as CEO. However, the core values of sustainable design and creative community-building remained central to the brand's strategy. As Outdoor Voices navigated these challenges, it aimed to return to its roots and focus on what made it stand out in the first place​.

Looking to the Future

Today, Outdoor Voices is not just a sportswear brand; it's a testament to Tyler Haney's vision and resilience. The journey from a jog on the West Side Highway to creating a community of vibrant recreationalists is a blueprint for future entrepreneurs. By staying true to its mission and continually engaging with its community, Outdoor Voices continues to redefine what it means to be a sportswear brand in the modern age​.

The story of Outdoor Voices is a heartfelt reminder that with authenticity, direct community engagement, and a focus on the core values that inspire a brand, even the smallest ideas can grow into something truly impactful.

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