Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 32

1990s

Beaver Theodosakis

Outdoor Retailer 35th Anniversary

THE CONSCIENCE
Conscious companies are commonplace
now, but Beaver Theodosakis, prAna's
forward-thinking co-founder, realized a
mindful business could thrive long before
it was the norm to run an ethical company.
Written By Elizabeth Miller

C

limbing and yoga-the two outdoor
disciplines to which prAna caters-
so seamlessly share turf these days
that it's commonplace to see yoga
studios inside climbing gyms and practitioners crossing from one moving meditation to
the next. When prAna was founded in 1992,
however, there was concern that featuring both
activities in the same catalog would scare some
customers away.
That symbiosis is not the only trend that prAna's husband and wife co-founders, Beaver and
Pam Theodosakis, embraced before it reached
peak adoption. The brand's ongoing commitments to environmental responsibility positioned it to ride-and thrive- with the rise of
the conscious consumer. By 2013, prAna had
become a $124-million company.
Twenty-five years ago, that would have been
a surprise. Beaver Theodosakis walked away
from Life's a Beach and Bad Boy Club (and the
opportunity of doing up to $1 million a month

32 OUTDOOR RETAILER

/ 35th Anniversary 2017

in business) to launch prAna. If it felt homegrown at the time, it was-prAna started in
the couple's Carlsbad, California, house.
They made hangtags from newspaper collected from the Theodosakis' neighbors
and reduced to pulp in their home blender. Orders shipped in produce boxes with a
stamp about reducing landfill waste.
In those days, there wasn't a defined yoga-clothing category, and climbing apparel
was, as Theodosakis describes it, peg-legged,
high-waisted, and shiny-and especially illfitting for women, a deficit that Pam sought
to amend. "Our niche was bringing purposebuilt features and combining them with
street styling," Beaver says.
Prana used a few dealers and some star-power sponsorships in the form of climbing god
Chris Sharma and household yoga name Shiva
Rea to spread customer demand and convince
retailers to take a chance on prints and paisleys.
"We were the outlier," Beaver says.

By 1994, they were moving nearly $1 million
a year and well into the practice of donating to
The Access Fund and other conservation-focused organizations. Profits supported issues
like clean energy and land conservation, and
prioritizing sustainable business moves-like
transitioning to organic cotton-over payoffs
for investors.
"Twenty-five years ago, this was kind of a
unique idea, and now it's commonplace for a
business," Beaver says. "To repurpose, to recycle, to run a business for good was all part of the
plan. We just wanted to light that spark."
The brand went through a rocky ownership
history for a while: Liz Claiborne bought prAna
in 2005, but sold it back to the Theodosakises
in 2008. In 2014, it was acquired by Columbia.
"It set us up really well for this giant movement of conscious consumers that are coming
our way," Beaver says. "That's what Columbia
saw." Sustainably made products have become
core to how Millennials, now the nation's largest
demographic, shop and think.
"Now that more and more people are starting to think about where their food comes from
and where their products are made, they're just
more conscious about their decisions, so prAna
is well-positioned," Beaver says.
Still, prAna has preserved elements from the
early days, pinning hangtags on hemp strings
and ringing a gong daily at headquarters to cue
a minute of mindfulness. Beaver Theodosakis's
duties at the company are intermittent now, but
he still on-boards new employees by rock climbing and practicing yoga with them.
"To reach the conscious consumer, that's the
entry fee," he says. "You need to be doing something socially responsible in your company, or
it becomes wallpaper." O.R.

photograph by ANDREW KORNYLAK



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outdoor Retailer - July 2017

OUTDOOR RETAILER - JULY 2017
CONTENTS
CONTRIBUTORS
FIRST WORDS
THE TRIBE
GREG THOMSEN
YVON CHOUINARD AND GERRY LOPEZ
STEVE BARKER
THE SCENE
JEFF LOWE
PETER AND PATTY DUKE
BEAVER THEODOSAKIS
CARSON STANWOOD
CHAD GALLWITZ
JOHN MEAD
THE TORNADO
THE SCENE
SALLY MCCOY
JOHN STERLING
CASEY SHEAHAN
THE SCENE
MUSIC AND MEMORIES
PETER METCALF
SALLY JEWELL
CONRAD ANKER
JEN TAYLOR
DAN NORDSTROM
JEREMY COLLINS
JOANNA HOSHIMOTO
THE FUTURE
THE BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - OUTDOOR RETAILER - JULY 2017
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - Cover2
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 1
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CONTENTS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 3
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CONTRIBUTORS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 5
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - FIRST WORDS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 7
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE TRIBE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 9
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 10
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 11
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - GREG THOMSEN
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 13
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 14
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 15
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - YVON CHOUINARD AND GERRY LOPEZ
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 17
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 18
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 19
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - STEVE BARKER
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 21
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 22
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 23
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE SCENE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 25
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 26
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 27
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JEFF LOWE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 29
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - PETER AND PATTY DUKE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 31
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - BEAVER THEODOSAKIS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 33
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CARSON STANWOOD
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 35
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CHAD GALLWITZ
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 37
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JOHN MEAD
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 39
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE TORNADO
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 41
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 42
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE SCENE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 44
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 45
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 46
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 47
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - SALLY MCCOY
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 49
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 50
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 51
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JOHN STERLING
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 53
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CASEY SHEAHAN
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 55
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE SCENE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 57
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 58
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 59
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - MUSIC AND MEMORIES
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 61
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 62
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 63
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 64
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 65
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - PETER METCALF
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 67
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 68
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - SALLY JEWELL
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CONRAD ANKER
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 71
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JEN TAYLOR
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - DAN NORDSTROM
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JEREMY COLLINS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JOANNA HOSHIMOTO
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE FUTURE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 77
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 78
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 79
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - Cover3
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - Cover4
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