From Doing Things to TYB, baby
A born and raised Boulderite is doing big things in the athletic apparel arena. This statement might not come off as a surprise, but the details will. Tyler Haney, only 28, is using her outdoor voice to bring in a (much needed) new era of activewear that highlights Doing Things instead of the age-old credo of being better, faster, harder and stronger. New York-based Outdoor Voices (OV for short) flips this belief upside down by redefining activity as playful, social and done on the daily. Haney is the founder of this fast-growing company, and her Boulder roots inspired the brand’s concept.
“Activity is baked into Boulder culture, and I grew up playing just about every sport. That focus on daily activity—whatever form it takes—is something that was instilled in me early on, and a lot of the inspiration behind Outdoor Voices,” says Haney. “I created an activewear brand that isn’t about competition or performance; it’s about celebrating activity for the fun of it.”
It’s this mentality that has helped her brainchild, OV, gain a cult following known for their color blocking, flattering silhouettes and tonal tops and bottoms—and in only four short years.
“We think of our apparel as a uniform for Doing Things—everything you need to get out and be active on a daily basis,” says Haney.
Between juggling life-life and gym life, a stylish, well-constructed uniform is a godsend. The fact that it’s not just little black yoga pants is a miracle (hello, muted colors). One thing Haney likes to be clear on is that this isn’t athleisure wear. This is brunch-to-barre, coffee-to-cycle, sweat, drip and get fit wear.
“Versatility is great, but everything we make is made to be sweat in,” says Haney.
The material is a textured compression created for Haney while she was still studying business at Parsons School of Design, to this day, it remains the core fabric for each aesthetically-pleasing design.
After designing the original five kits (sets of top and bottoms that flatter every kind of body type—the signature style being the crop top and two-tone legging), raising 22.5 million dollars of venture capital and graduating, OV was born. Like any business, support is key, and partners like Mickey Drexler to Kirsten Green and, of course, Haney’s mom are a few people mentioned as being a crucial part of an evergrowing team.
Haney explains, “My mom was the best kind of coach growing up, and she had this saying ‘TYB, baby. Try your best, baby.’ Whether she was sending me to school or soccer practice or a slumber party, she’d say ‘TYB, baby!’ It’s become our OV Motto.”
Beyond clothes and accessories, OV has taken the initiative to open up brick-and-mortar around the country that go beyond a stop and shop. Despite online retail being their main revenue, Haney wants to create a social environment without the Internet and social media (*gasps*).
“Our shops are community hubs, and ways for us to bring people together around activities (like jogs, hikes, or dog walks). They’re also a place for people to touch and feel the product, and find the fit or style that’s best for them,” Haney says. “It’s about meeting people and building relationships, and that off-line experience is amplified digitally.”
Since OV’s fruition, there are currently seven shops across the US, each with a unique design and interior to blend in with the city’s culture. The first store opened in Austin, TX—the original bungalow and spiritual home base— and the last shop opened early December in San Francisco—imagine a tea house and plant nursery all in one.
For those seven lucky cities, we envy you. Rumor has it that Dallas has a pop up from fans’ enthusiasm. So if you want one here in Boulder, you’re going to have to use your Outdoor Voices.