On Lead with Heart and Soul: An Interview with Beaver Theodosakis, Founder of PrAna
Many words can be used to describe Beaver Theodosakis, who founded and lead prAna with his wife Pam 23 years ago. The words and phrases include: visionary, soulful leader, mindful, sharp but approachable, passion-centric. Beaver and Pam are climbers, yogis, outdoor and environmentalists, parents and community members – AND entrepreneurs. It’s intertwined, and that’s part of the secret to the success of prAna. It’s what attracted the right team members, the right customers and end consumers. It’s what built the culture of prAna. Beaver and Pam have been mentors to me. They’ve taught me SO much about being a founder and how to use business as a vehicle for positive change. Beaver and Pam always prioritized doing the right thing for prAna’s people, customers and for the planet. That was always the directional driver for prAna. This podcast will inspire you and if you’re not already a fan of prAna, you’ll quickly become one after experiencing the entrepreneurial journey Beaver and Pam lead from day one to the recent sale of prAna to the perfect new home (Beav’s words) in Columbia Sportswear. (Full transparency: My brand communications company, Verde, had the privilege of supporting prAna through eight pivotal years and I count Beaver and Pam as early and highly influential mentors of my own journey.) It’s my great hope that this interview will offer the same mentorship experience to you. This is a very special interview and it’s very personal. Please share with anyone who you believe will be inspired… Follow Intrepid Entrepreneur, the podcast for my coaching and consulting business Livinguber.com, by joining our community on Twitter + Instagram (@GoLivingUber) and on Facebook. Also make sure to join my weekly newsletter, which gives you access to members-only podcasts and content built just for motivated, adventurous entrepreneurs! Don’t forget to rate, review and subscribe to the Intrepid Entrepreneur Podcast, and thank you SO much for listening!
Beaver Theodosakis was born an entrepreneur. He’s spent his career in start-ups and being a founder across action sports, powersports, yoga and the active outdoor lifestyle markets. Beaver has always lead his entrepreneurial endeavors with the intention of doing the right thing for his people and for the planet. He and his wife Pam founded prAna 23 years ago. They literally were garage founders, completely dedicated to their vision of providing the best, most versatile and performance-driven (while still street-savvy) apparel to like-minded customers. They were yogis and climbers, raising a family in Southern California. They couldn’t find the product that aligned with their passions and values, so they created it! Beaver and Pam were very hands-on when in startup mode, they designed, cut and sewed, and sold and shipped prAna goods from their home. They made their own hangtags from recycled newspapers. They hand built a team of dedicated and complimentary team members that lived the company values. Not many founders can claim that they’ve founded a category – in the case of Beav and Pam, they expanded the notion of performance / lifestyle apparel and accessories to the point of spearheading a new space within outdoor industry. Add to that their contribution to the movement of responsible sourcing and manufacturing and the intricate and intentional incorporation of inspirational athletes and ambassadors, and you can experience the business innovation that prAna brought to our markets. What was the secret? Well, it wasn’t a silver bullet – it was a way of living. Learn about the journey of prAna on the Intrepid Entrepreneur podcast as I interivew Beaver Theodosakis, founder of prAna.
Bravery in Business Quote:
“A business can be a powerful vehicle for positive change. When you’re in start-up mode, don’t seek outside funding too early – it’s really important to completely own your vision as your brand ethos and culture are taking shape.”
Habits for Success?
“Always put your customers first – what’s best for them – not what’s necessarily easier, faster or cheaper to execute. Be there to support your people through all of the ups and downs of business and life”
There have been many – listen to the full podcast to hear the trajectory of the amazing story, and family, that is prAna.