Joe Kudla, Founder of Vuori, a performance apparel brand with a nontraditional approach to activewear, joins the Views From the Bus Podcast. Vuori is inspired by the Encinita and Southern California Lifestyle. Their mission is to create products that help people live extraordinary lives. In this episode, Joe shares how Vuori entered the market, and how they survived a few obstacles on the way.

Podcast Highlights

6:21 – Starting Vuori: “We were so inspired, by this community that we’re so blessed to call home, Encinitas and kind of the way people live their lives here.”

10:24 – Entering the men’s yoga category: “There were like 4 or 5 million people that actually surfed in the United States. And when you compare that to yoga, you know, I think there were 30 million people practicing yoga. 30% of them were men and men were the fastest-growing demographic within yoga participation. And then to second that, there was a stat that said 84 million people would try yoga within the next 24 months. 

15:09 – Being a platform for emerging artists: “We had so much fun in those early days, and we wanted to be a platform for emerging artists in our local community. A lot of them were our friends. And so we had this idea of utilizing art things that were very inspiring to us and things that we look to that inspired the design and the direction of the brand.

18:52 – How Vuori survived running out of money: “Out of necessity we had to find a way to survive and we were running out of money. And so we took all of our last dollars and we focused on an e-commerce effort. It was our last ditch effort to define an engine of growth that we could take back to the investment community to raise a little more money. I’m just so grateful that we made that decision when we did, because it was instrumental in getting us to that next round of funding.

25:19 – How to get into retail: “Go out and build a customer base first and you’ll have a much better shot at not only getting in the door, but also having a more kind of advantageous kind of relationship”

34:35-  Building relationships with factories: “If you have a great relationship with a factory or a group of factories, they can be your series, A, B, and C, and you can build a working capital model that is actually profitable.”