Thirty-year-old CEO Ty Haney is known for #doingthings. As the founder of athletic clothing brand Outdoor Voices, Haney’s Austin-based company is all about inspiring people to get moving and have fun, without the pressure of athlete-level performance. In the multibillion-dollar fitnesswear industry, Haney has made a name for herself alongside giant brands like Nike and Lululemon. Since Outdoor Voices’ launch five years ago, the brand has amassed hundreds of thousands of followers and fostered an online community that uses the hashtag #doingthings to share their activities. Haney, a former competitive athlete, is originally from Boulder, Colorado, but here’s what she’s been doing On Texas Time:
On her first impressions of Austin:
I had no idea it was such a water town—I kind of envisioned a desert-y, dry, arid landscape. Actually, straight from the airport, the first time I was here, we went to Barton Springs, then went to explore Hamilton Pool and Lake Austin. I was really in awe of it. The natural elements of the city were very shocking to me and made me want to move here.
On what “doing things” means to her:
Doing things is all about moving your body with no strings attached. Our mission is to get the world moving, and we’ve found that this is an inclusive, friendly call to action. It’s a catalyst of inspiration for people to feel free in the type of movement they prefer. “Doing things” happens in real life and offline, but through the use of the hashtag, we’ve been able to capture a group of people all over the world doing some kind of activity and it brings people together as part of a larger community.
On staying motivated:
I’m the type of person that needs exercise every day for my mental sanity. I’m really strict on my routine, not in terms of intensity but consistency. Every day when I wake up I have to sweat. I generally go on a three-mile jog. Then I do something more restorative in the evening like going to Barton Springs or on a dog walk. Consistency is what I’ve found to be key to keeping my motivation, because once you get off it’s hard to get back on.
On changing her perspective on exercise:
When you’re young, exercise and activity is about being uninhibited and having fun. Then you get older, and if you start doing sports in school like I did, it becomes about being an athlete. Now, I want my activity to be reminiscent of that fun and play that I had as a kid. That’s actually where the name “outdoor voices” comes from—it’s a play on being a kid and being told to use your indoor voice. Outdoor Voices is about having fun—engaging in activity not to compete but for your own enjoyment.
On her dream Texan workout buddy:
I’d love to go golfing with Matthew McConaughey. Or Willie Nelson used to run all these 5Ks and 10Ks, so jogging with Willie and golfing with McConaughey would be pretty dreamy.
On her latest project:
We’re opening a flagship for Texas in Austin right by the Lady Bird Lake hike-and-bike trail. We’re really excited to build it into what we call a resource for recreation. We want to support a community on a daily basis, whether that means people jogging, walking dogs, or pushing strollers. It’ll open later this year, and it’s the future vision for what our community and retail experience will look like.
On her favorite Austin hiking spot:
I do love the Lady Bird Lake hike-and-bike trail. I just do a three-mile loop, recreationally paced, with my dog Juice. I also really love going to Sculpture Falls.
On her ideal workout playlist:
Unless I’m hiking, I always listen to music when I exercise. Most recently, I’ve been listening to a lot of Lizzo, Kacey Musgraves, and Midland, which my boyfriend is in. I guess I’m kind of a country girl now. Not sure if it’s the boyfriend or the city—maybe both.
On the term “athleisure”:
“Recreation wear” is the term we like. Athleisure started to feel quite lethargic. There were a lot of brands popping up that didn’t really have credibility in terms of being good to sweat in and were mostly worn to go to and from the gym, not for actual activity. Our clothes are made with incredible technical capability—they’re designed for action, but happen to be comfortable for inaction. Versatility is king, but we’re about energizing you to be active.
On the importance of inclusivity in the fitness and fashion world:
We’re really focused on engaging with underrepresented people in the recreational space. When we’re hosting events, it’s really important that we’re going after a range of people. Our message and positioning really resonates with UT students, teenagers in the East Side, and Tarrytown moms. And through our social media, what has really worked well for us is showing un-retouched images—showing real people, not producing manufactured images or content. The traditional guys are all about competitive sports, and that is a barrier to entry. We want to prioritize accessibility, and that ends up bringing a whole diverse group of people to the table.
On her goals for Outdoor Voices:
We want to build the number one recreation brand. We’re so proud to be in Texas, and one thing that was shocking but amazing about it is that there’s so much pride here and the community’s really resonated with us and rallied around us. We’re starting to become synonymous with Austin and what it’s about.