Outdoor Voices by Tyler Haney: From 0 to $57M

Back in 2012 Tyler Haney knew nothing about fashion design but managed to compete with Nike! and grew her clothing company to $57M in funding in just 6 years.

If she can do it, you can do it too.

Here are her steps:

  1. The year 2012. She loved jogging but didn’t like the black spandex outfit created for Olympic athletes. She felt passion to create a uniform for regular joggers like she was. But she knew nothing about this area.

  2. She learned everything from scratch and then started to test fabric that satisfied three criteria: good with sweat, long lasting, and comfortable in motion.

  3. She sketched an initial set of ideas and embarked on a search for local patternmakers to execute her designs.

  4. Haney handcrafted dozens of kits for her friends and family. And then asked for their feedback: Did it look good? Did it fit? How did they feel wearing it? Friends reported feeling more confident in her clothes, less intimidated to work out and, most important, more likely to be active.

  5. After this feedback, she quit her job and doubled down on building her brand.

  6. She found a factory that could execute her “tiny orders” of just a few hundred units.

  7. January 2014. Haney shipped limited orders to small boutiques in London, Austin, Texas, and in New York City.

  8. One day a buyer from London ordered 11,000 units. Haney put in all her and her family’s savings to accomplish this first production run.

  9. The kits were hits, flying off shelves online and in select stores.

  10. She decided to start selling her outfit via a website.

  11. October 2014. After traveling to Austin, Texas, she discovered there’s no activewear brand in Austin. Also, people who liked the kits online wanted to touch and feel the fabric. So she opened her first small retail store there.

  12. April 2015. She assembled an initial $1.1M in seed funding.

  13. While raising the next series A funding, she had 70 meetings that ended in “no.” Then she started leaving plenty of product at meetings with male investors who didn’t get her business, suspecting it would find its way back to their wives. And it worked. On October 14, 2015, she raised $7M.

  14. She opened a permanent store in New York. This ended up with mentions in Vogue and a first-ever appearance at New York Fashion Week in early 2016.

  15. July 2016. Another $13 million funding boost.

  16. 400% growth in 2017 compared with 2016.

  17. March 2018, series C funding: $34.1M led by Google Ventures.

Haney has been named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30: Retail & E-Commerce,” and Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business.”

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