Second Life Podcast: The CEO of Outdoor Voices on Her Biggest Lessons Learned
Welcome to MyDomaine's Second Life podcast, a series spotlighting successful women who've made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief innovation officer at MyDomaine's parent company, Clique Brands, each episode will give you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Life on iTunes, and stay tuned—we'll be releasing new episodes on Mondays. Today's episode is brought to you by Ellen Tracy, our go-to for elevated everyday apparel.
Tyler Haney knows activewear. She was raised in Boulder, Colorado—a town known for its outdoor activities—and grew up running track and field. With a few courses in business and design under her belt paired with the desire to create a sporty uniform for recreational activity, Haney eventually became the CEO and founder of her own brand, Outdoor Voices. However, her journey was filled with challenges and missteps that she looks back on as lessons learned.
"I was very scrappy," she tells Hillary Kerr on episode 37 of Second Life. After taking a gap year and moving to New York post–high school, Haney worked as a waitress. She then pursued a business and design education at Parsons and ended up working at a startup incubator called Launch Collective (a far cry from her original dream of becoming an Olympian).
According to Haney, the idea for Outdoor voices came to her at the most fitting of time: while she was running. "It dawned on me that I wanted to find kind of that motivation again as a kid to get outdoors and also create an outfit for activity that was in really nice material that worked well with sweat and movement, but didn't scream, 'I'm straight out of a Transformer movie,'" the entrepreneur explains. With a lot of determination and grit, that's exactly what Haney did.
However, her success was not without overcoming obstacles. She admits she struggled with recruiting and hired employees too quickly in the beginning. Instead of regretting her past mistakes, Haney looks at them as incredibly valuable. "Never waste a crisis," she says. "Every crisis can become your biggest opportunity."
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