Manage episode 377973374 series 3048493
Welcome to episode 403 of The Outdoor Biz Podcast, brought to you this week by Fresh Books. This week Brittany Coleman, founder of a new women’s outdoor and lifestyle brand called Tough Cutie joins me. ToughCutie makes premium women’s hiking socks and has a larger mission of supporting women from the ground up and increasing diversity in the outdoors. Founded in 2019, Tough Cutie has become the first and only outdoor sock brand with a majority women-owned value chain, and joins an estimated 1% of founders in the outdoor industry who identify as a person of color.Facebook Twitter Instagram The Outdoor Biz Podcast Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! Sign up for my Newsletter HERE. I'd love to hear your feedback about the show! You can contact me here: email: email@example.com Or leave me a message on Speakpipe! Show Notes
Where did the idea for ToughCutie come from?
The idea for ToughCutie came from the experiences of being a woman in business and the outdoor industry. It's about challenging the idea that women can't be both tough and feminine.
When did you launch?
ToughCutie launched just over a year ago, but the founder worked on the business for several years before the official launch.
Are you a member of the REI Path Ahead Ventures program?
Yes, ToughCutie is a member of the REI Path Ahead Ventures program.
How did you get involved with REI?
Brittany got connected to REI through an Instagram live interview with a prominent figure in the outdoor industry. Several people at REI saw the interview and reached out to initiate a conversation.
What stage of business development would you say you're at, still in the launch phase?
ToughCutie has launched its first product and is now working on the next one. The business is continually evolving and launching new products.
Who does all the design, product management, etc. - is it you?
Initially, Brittany was heavily involved in design and product management. As the brand has grown, she's started working with designers and other professionals.
Brittany's background was in the sock category of the outdoor industry. She recognized the opportunity to create a women's sock brand that challenges stereotypes.
Are there socks for guys in your future?
While ToughCutie primarily focuses on women's socks, men have also purchased and appreciated the socks. There is no specific mention of developing socks exclusively for men.
How many doors are you in, excluding REI?
ToughCutie is in approximately 30 stores, excluding REI.
Who was your first customer outside of REI?
Title IX was the first customer outside of REI. They became a customer after the founder won a competition called "Movers and Makers."
Where is your manufacturing?
ToughCutie manufactures its products in the United States, primarily in the South, and works with women-owned companies in its supply chain.
Tell us about your first outdoor adventure.
Brittany's first outdoor adventure was a trip to Mount Zion with their church, where she did a baptism. It was a significant and authentic outdoor experience.
Do you have any suggestions and/or advice for folks wanting to start an Outdoor Brand?
Start by understanding your customer and what problems you're solving for them. Build a community and invite people to be a part of your journey. Get feedback early on.
Do you have a favorite piece of outdoor gear under $100?
Two favorite pieces mentioned were the Kula Cloth, a pea cloth, and the Lucy inflatable lanterns for ambiance.
What are a couple of your favorite books?
Where can people find you if they’d like to follow up (email, Twitter, Instagram, etc)?