It can be hard to tell when Ty Haney is doing her job and when she’s simply #doingthings, in Outdoor Voices parlance. The athletic apparel company she founded follows the philosophy that being any kind of active is the key to living well. So when she attends an outdoor yoga class sponsored by her brand, while wearing her brand’s leggings, is it work, or play, or something else entirely?
“I don’t necessarily think of it as a job by any means,” Ms. Haney, 30, said of the company’s wellness doctrine. “It’s an approach to life.”
Her faith in that mantra extends beyond everyday fitness, social media marketing and corporatespeak. In May, Ms. Haney visited Boulder, Colo., to give her high school alma mater’s commencement speech. In it, she urged the class of 2019 to “embrace beginnership” and, well, do things, even if there’s some uncertainty about how those things will turn out. It’s the same logic that moved her to start a business in 2014, when she was just two years out of Parsons School of Design in New York.
Outdoor Voices, based in Austin, Tex., has raised $56.5 million from investors to date. Its product line has grown to include fleeces, swimwear, hiking shorts and sneakers. On Instagram, the garments are modeled by beautiful non-influencers, sometimes in exchange for merchandise. The devotees of #doingthings also congregate IRL for semiregular “activations,” like organized “dog jogs” and free group exercise classes. In July, the company will introduce The Recreationalist, an editorial platform that Ms. Haney says will “showcase the variety of crazy-cool things that people are doing.” It’s connected to another idea she spoke about in her commencement speech: that fandom should be celebrated.
Some of her own heroes include the fitness pioneers Jane Fonda and Jack LaLanne, the primatologist Jane Goodall and the Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard. As for other apparel brands in the fitness space? She’s happy to admire their success, too.
“We’re not up against the Nikes, Under Armours and Lulus of the world,” she said. “What we’re up against is people’s negative perceptions of themselves.”
Ms. Haney (who recently got engaged to Mark Wystrach, a country singer) and I kept in touch during a week in June when she did lots of things.
7 a.m. I take my two tiny Australian shepherd puppies, Juice and Pony, for a walk around the neighborhood with Mark, my fiancé, who’s in a band called Midland. He’s about to leave for some shows this week in Nashville, for CMA Fest, so we’ll take any time to connect before the crazy gets going.
9 a.m. Every morning, the senior leadership team has a stand-up meeting where we share the agenda for the day and what hurdles we are facing. It’s only a 15-minute meeting, and we really do stand up.
10 a.m. I do my best thinking in the mornings, so I like to structure my days to start with creative meetings. Today, it was all about the Exercise Dress and figuring out how we can showcase all the activities that can be done while wearing it for an upcoming campaign. I’m talking from running a marathon to skateboarding to boxing and everything in between.
Noon If it weren’t for Sierra, my assistant/right hand, I’d probably never remember to eat lunch, because I naturally have a lot of energy and am usually running back and forth, bouncing from one thing to the next. We tried keto for a solid two weeks, and then it was back to pizza and salads. She always changes it up on me, so I never know what we’re going to get.
6 p.m. It’s starting to get hot in Austin, so I’m trying to take advantage of earlier evening jogs while it’s bearable. Tonight I did my usual three-mile, recreationally paced jog around Lady Bird Lake downtown and caught my first sighting of the bats under the South Congress bridge. This city is pretty special in the summertime.
8 a.m. Our creative team leaders are in Austin this week from New York, so we grabbed breakfast from Veracruz, the best spot for migas tacos, which happens to be a block away from our office, to chat about how things are going. Our creative director said we needed to get an outdoor conference room, and I’m pretty down for it.
11 a.m. Sit with our store design team to review initial plans for our flagship opening in Austin. It’s in this perfect little spot right off the Lady Bird Lake trail and next to Deep Eddy Pool, one of my favorite spots. It used to be a place called RunTex, a specialty store that opened in the ’80s and was the hub for the running community in Austin — a huge part of what made Austin the recreational destination it is now. It was the place for gear, the meeting spot for race training groups, and they always had jugs of water on the trail for passers-by. They closed in 2013, and then a pawnshop moved in. When the space became available this year, we had to jump on it.
2 p.m. Back when we were small enough and working out of our Canal Street office in New York, we used to get coffee and treats from the Smile restaurant and gather to talk about company news, milestones and hang. Ever since, we’ve called our monthly all-hands meetings “The Smile” to always remember our beginnings.
4:35 p.m. Time for a puppy break. Juice and Pony are small, but they require a lot of T.L.C., and we have a small dog park at our office that’ll keep them occupied.
7:30 p.m. Last year, with our partner Wanderlust Yoga, we started Summer Sunset Series, a 500-plus-person yoga class hosted outdoors at Republic Square Park. Seeing everyone — and I mean everyone, since this is a free event open to the public — moving and sweating together is one of my proudest moments.
8:30 a.m. Today is Global Running Day, and to celebrate, we’re going for a lightly paced two-mile jog/run/dog walk. There’s a surprise at the end, but the team is keeping it a secret until we get there.
9:10 a.m. Cisco’s! The team led us to the classic Austin staple a few blocks from the office. It used to be the hangout for everyone from Lyndon B. Johnson to Willie Nelson. Good energy in this spot. And the tacos are delicious.
7 p.m. Since I went for a jog with the team in the a.m., I’m going to use this evening for a restorative dip in Barton Springs — a natural spring-fed pool in downtown Austin that also was the main reason I decided to officially move the company here from New York two years ago. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.
10 a.m. I met with the brand marketing team to talk through our strategy for a few major campaigns and launches happening in the later part of this year. We’re excited to get people outside and moving in October and November with new fun layers and technical pieces.
Noon This summer we’re launching The Recreationalist — our editorial hub for all things recreation. It’ll be a platform for our community to discover everything from product recommendations to city guides to features on inspiring people. We’ve been working with a designer, Bráulio Amado, to design the visual identity.
2 p.m. Every Thursday, we have a 30-minute meeting called Team Top of Mind, where we get the entire company together to talk and answer questions about what’s coming and what we can do better. It’s different from The Smile because rather than being about leadership running the meeting, this one is driven by the team. Last week, we started a process that allows for anonymously submitted questions and call-outs. Today we acknowledged a request to make commuting via bike or car pool more attractive in an effort to be more environmentally friendly. In addition to our outdoor shower, we’re going to add more indoors as well as lockers.
4 p.m. A few team members are out shooting hoops in the parking lot, and I’m in need of a major change of chemistry. I pop outside to get a few baskets in and check in on how things are going in their worlds.
7:45 p.m. Mark FaceTimes me, so I run outside with the pups. He’s had a long day, too — this cowboy life is tough sometimes.
7 a.m. Pilates with Caitlin, a friend of O.V. who just turned her bungalow home into a private Pilates studio called the Peach House. She’s amazing, and gives the best CBD oil massages in the final stretch.
12:45 p.m. The office is a little low energy, so we call for an impromptu game of knockout in the parking lot. It’s our favorite team activity to get a little sweaty and change the chemistry with some endorphins. Our People Team got Popsicles for everyone, so we enjoy those as a team after.
5 p.m. It’s been a long week, so we relocate to Maudie’s Tex-Mex — my favorite guac and margaritas in town and the best way to decompress. I love everyone on Team O.V., so it’s great to hang and reflect on the week with friends who also happen to be co-workers.