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Feb. 3, 2022

Joe Kudla (Vuori) - What Was Missing From Active Apparel, How He Scaled His Brand Profitably, and How He Pivoted To Find Customer-Fit

Joe Kudla (Vuori) -  What Was Missing From Active Apparel, How He Scaled His Brand Profitably, and How He Pivoted To Find Customer-Fit

Thank you Nagraj Kashyap for the introduction to our guest today Joe Kudla, founder and CEO of Vuori. Vuori is Performance Apparel Is Built To Move & Sweat In, Yet Styled For Everyday Life. We discuss why Joe wanted to start an athleisure wear brand, what his inspiration was, his approach to targeting specific customer personas and how he thinks about differentiation and scaling. I loved this conversation and learned alot from Joe. Without further ado, here he is.

And there you have it. It was amazing chatting with Joe. I hope you all enjoyed listening and hearing Vuori’s story as much as I enjoyed talking with him.

Questions I ask him:

  1. What inspired you to start a clothing brand?
  2. What was the insight and what type of brand did you want to build?
  3. What was your initial target market and how did you think about the marketing mix?
  4. How did you enter a space that was already highly fragmented/seemingly saturated and adequately differentiate Vuori in the customers’ eyes?
  5. Had a performance story
  6. How has the brand’s message evolved?
  7. How did you make sure you had an inclusive message where you focused on the southern California lifestyle?
  8. How did you think about specialized?
  9. Did you come from an apparel or design background?
  10. What were the first steps? How did you think about sourcing materials and design?
  11. How and when did you first launch?
  12. How did you think about retail and having a cohesive omnichannel strategy? What’s the ROI in retail? How do you think about the relationship retail to online/ecommerce?
  13. What’s also the split between men’s v women’s and how does that affect your business?
  14. How do you differentiate themselves in a marketplace with hundreds of competitors?
  15. How do you articulate yourselves vs. lululemon?
  16. You’ve mentioned how profitability has been a focus since almost day one and you’ve been profitable since 2017. How do you manage profitability vs growth? What are some of the key decisions you’ve made that lends itself to a greater focus on profitability?
  17. How do you approach scale?
  18. What has been the impact of COVID on Vuori?
  19. How do you think about launching new products
  20. When and why did you first fundraise?
  21. What has been your approach to fundraising?