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One on one with Coeur Founder and Designer - Kebby Holden

Posted: Feb 25 2015

She was a Triathlete first then she became a designer

She'd much rather be behind the scenes designing clothes and cheering for Coeur's customers, ambassadors, and pros but we convinced Coeur Founder and Designer Kebby Holden to sit down and chat about a few of her favorite topics.  Here are a few of the excerpts from the discussion:

Sometimes people use the two terms Fashion and Style interchangeably but, I think there is a distinct difference between the two. Yves Saint Laurent said it best, “Fashions fade, style is eternal”. At Coeur, we try very hard to bring an element of style to our gear.

First and foremost, we're about performance. Again, terminology can get a bit loose, but ultimately, I like to think of the "Design" of our garments as the technical specifications. As in the physical construction of the gear. It seems that design is discussed more in other areas of life like architecture and technology than in sportswear, but we actually spend more time on it than probably any other facet of production. For every hour we spend on the color palette, we spend at least two on the amount of gripper, the in-seam length, and the placement of the stitches. On that point, our retailers and customers are telling us that our triathlon kits are the highest quality in the market period.

It seems to me that women are changing the way business is conducted in endurance sports apparel. I think many of the other women-owned companies realize that it isn’t a zero sum game. Instead, the way to really create value is to grow the participant base. I have an enormous amount of respect for companies like Oiselle, Brand Betty, and Smashfest Queen and I believe that Coeur will be better off if they all thrive. All three companies are run by amazing women and I don't mind saying so.

I draw a distinction between Ambassadors and pure marketing/advertising. They have separate goals, separate budgets, and by and large they are managed by different people. A primary goal of our ambassadors is to serve as role models and to encourage other women to live a lifestyle of health and fitness. Many of the ambassadors have become close personal friends.  I just love them! 

Don’t laugh, but I saw an interview with Tony Robbins a couple months ago where he talked about gratitude and it really resonated. He talked about the power of gratitude and how it’s very difficult for negative emotions to co-exist when you have a grateful heart. I try to incorporate moments of gratefulness into my daily routine.

I can either love or really dislike selfies. It all depends on the intent. Not that I know with absolute certainty, but sometimes, I'll see a selfie and can just tell that the person is loving life and that they want to share their happiness. I love that! Other times, it seems to me that the person is trying to show off and that sort of rubs up against the way I was raised.

Yes, it’s true, a few of us are amateur philosophers. Especially after a few glasses of wine! We spend a fair amount of time after hours in what we hope are meaningful discussions. More than almost anything, we want Coeur to have a purpose. That may be a bit far reaching for an endurance sports clothing company, but to me, life HAS to be about more than just making money.

I definitely enjoy a glass of wine from time to time. Yes, even when I was racing. After all, it helps with the pre-mentioned debates and it contains anti-oxidants. Plus, we live in California where it might be a sin to not like wine. I’ll probably use this out of context, but we love the phrase, “In Vino Veritas” which I believe translates into “In wine there is truth”.

I call my dogs my "Fur Kids". I bring them to the office almost every day. It is hard to have a bad day when you're getting licked on the ankle by a 115 pound Bernese Mountain Dog!

One of the many things I love about endurance sports is that almost everyone involved is seeking to find their limits. That is such brave physical and, often, mental work. It's inspiring. Our customers and ambassadors don't have to go through bonks, freezing open water swims or suffer through hot trail runs. But they do. Because they can. And they want to. I just love that.  And them!