New Outdoor Retailer Exhibitors: Giddy Organics, DA Active and Cozy Orange

About 250 brands were new to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2013. We take a look at a couple that caught our eye at the show.
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Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2013 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show July 31 – Aug. 3. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update and upload the articles to our searchable archives.

About 250 brands were new to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2013. We take a look at a couple that caught our eye at the show.

>> Giddy Organics / www.getgiddy.com / Tyler Ward, president / Chapel Hill, N.C.

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Tyler Ward on Giddy Organics: “We want to create a company with a conscience that treats its employees and customers like rock stars. When we say we care about our customers, we mean it. We make sure that everything we sell is such high quality, we dubbed it ‘Giddy Quality.’ We aren’t stopping there either. We care about our stakeholders and the planet.”

Tell us about your brands and products.
At Giddy, we believe that our love for the great outdoors should be embodied in every product we create. For that reason, we go out of our way to ensure our eco-friendly apparel is just that: friendly to the planet we enjoy exploring! All of our organic apparel and eco-friendly apparel is one or more of the following: organic cotton, bamboo fibers and hemp threads, made in America or Fair Trade. We also believe in sourcing quality ingredients so the clothing you spend your hard-earned money on not only fits well, but also stands the test of time. We do not hide behind the cover of proprietary blends and call our harshest chemicals “fragrance” like some of the other skin care companies do. We never source any ingredients that aren’t made in America or Fair Trade-certified. When we say organic and all-natural skin care we really mean organic and all-natural skin care.

What were you doing before this?
I was in college when I started Giddy. So, going to class, going to the beach, hanging out in pretty girls’ dorm rooms, keg parties (that’s college, right?).

Where did your inspiration come from? 
I knew college was a good time to try to start a business — even if I failed, I could just go get a job. That actually happened and that was where the inspiration came in. I hated my job. I realized so many manufacturing companies were harming the environment and screwing up the middle-class system in America by putting corporate profits and shareholders over corporate responsibility and stakeholders. I was inspired by the quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I was so picky about the type of company I wanted to work for — I decided to create it.

What’s the one best feature of your product? 
Quality: We spend so much time sourcing every input that the output is naturally high quality. The other is the service we provide our customers when things go wrong. As far as functionality — the skin care products simply work well.

What has been your biggest challenge? 
The recession has been tough. The other would be experience. My own maturity as a businessman at 22 was a huge obstacle. Even still, I am only 25 and don’t have many industry contacts. I think people see Giddy and either see me as an immediate competitor or don’t take it seriously enough to give me the time of day. For that reason, it took me a while to find sources of good advice.

Who do you look up to in the industry? 
On one end Yvon Chouinard and on the other the climber who just sent his first V5 or the veteran hitting V7s on a sick crag.

Who do you want to compete against in the industry? 
At this point, ourselves. We are small and it’s a daily journey to keep our eye on the prize and not get distracted. If Giddy were to fail it wouldn’t be competition that brought us down, it would be our lack of ability to satisfy our customers. On the apparel side, it’s probably Hippy Tree. On the skin care side, Climb On.

>> DA Active / www.daactive.comAlexandra Darzenta, president / Sandwich, Mass.

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Alexandra Darzenta on DA Active: “DA Active is lifestyle-inspired active wear. What does “DA” stand for? Simply, ‘Do it again.’ It is the essence of what we do and who we are — whether you are doing another set of reps in the gym, repeating a yoga position, running to the store, picking up the kids or volunteering. Choose well each day. Go forward with each step. Put positive things into your life, and then do it again. DA Active, designed in Australia, is made with the finest fabric and constructed to endure an active lifestyle. Appropriate for everyday wear and the gym, our designs are simple, chic and sophisticated. Truly a great value for the money.

Tell us about your brands and products.
DA Active is a lifestyle-inspired activewear brand. We use high-end materials, have fantastic construction and each piece is designed to meet the specific needs of our customers.

What were you doing before this? 
Before DA Active I was a student at Merrimack College in Massachusetts. My father and I started DA Active in 2011.

Where did your inspiration come from? 
I have always been a very active person. I have been riding horses for 20 years and live to be outdoors, rain or shine.

What’s the one best feature of your product? 
All of our bras and our tops come with removable cups that are supportive and thicker that give a lift. These cups have such a great structure that they do not pucker or fold when they are being washed.

Who do you want to compete against in the industry?
We compete with Lululemon, Athleta and Lucy.

>> Cozy Orange / www.cozyorange.com / Jeff Shiue, founder & CEO / Carlsbad, Calif.

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Jeff Shiue on Radiant Activewear, Inc.’s Cozy Orange: “Cozy Orange offers extremely comfortable and eco-friendly yoga and athletic wear for women. The company seeks to inspire active and holistic lifestyles. We use fabrics that meet the highest performance standards to create apparel that is both affordable and stylish. Every effort to preserve and protect the Earth’s precious resources is weaved into our philosophy, our products and our packaging. Our Cozy Eco Collection is made entirely of fibers extracted from recycled plastic bottles. Our hangtags can be reused as coasters and our product packaging contains over 50 percent recycled content.”

Tell us about your brands and products.
Our mission is to create an affordable, beautiful line of women’s eco-friendly yoga and studio wear that inspires the practice of yoga, active lifestyles and the quest for holistic balance. Founded on yogic principles and symbolized by the powerful balancing posture, Vriksha Asana, or Tree Pose, the Cozy Orange brand spirit is rooted in optimism and compassion to help encourage wellness, happiness and alignment of the mind and body through the daily practice of yoga and exercise in comfortable bliss. Our mission extends beyond our mats and into our global communities, where we are committed to making a lasting impact in the war against poverty by donating a portion of proceeds to developing economies in third world countries.

What were you doing before this? 
I was working for a fabric manufacturer in research and development and sales.

Where did your inspiration come from?
When I began to be exposed to yoga at my previous job, I was frustrated by the lack of truly comfortable clothing that met the performance expectations to be worn in yoga. Therefore, I took the knowledge I gained from working for a fabric manufacturer and sought to create the most comfortable yoga apparel possible.

What’s the one best feature of your product?
Extreme coziness.

What has been your biggest challenge? 
Our company started out as an e-commerce brand, and the biggest challenge was to convince our customers about the coziness of our clothing through a computer screen. We have been actively adding retail partners so our customers will have a chance to be wowed by the touch and feel of our fabrics.

Who do you look up to in the industry? 
Patagonia, for being a vocal leader in environmental sustainability.

Who do you want to compete against in the industry? 
Lululemon, Athleta and Lucy Activewear.

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