She likes to stay behind the scenes designing clothes, cheering for friends, and hanging with her dogs, but we managed to convince Coeur Founder and Designer Kebby Holden to sit down for a few minutes and answer a few questions.
If she sees you on the course, she'll probably try to hug you
Let’s go back to the start. Tell us again, what compelled you to start a women’s clothing company?
Kebby: Need. Pure and simple. I could never find performance clothing that fit right let alone inspired me.
In September of this year, Coeur turns three. How is the company doing?
Kebby: Amazing. We’re thrilled that we get to interact with all these incredible customers that have helped Coeur grow and expand. Sales are great and we are really looking to expand our product line in the near future. From a personal perspective, it is incredibly fulfilling and inspiring on a daily basis!
I’m sure there have been a lot of ups and downs, during the (almost) three years you’ve been in business. What is your proudest moment?
Kebby: There are so many, that it’s tough to pick just one. That being said, when we see Coeur customers, ambassadors and Pros taking the time to encourage people who may be doing their first race, we are just beside ourselves with happiness. That’s because we really, really want to find a way to encourage more women to live a lifestyle of health and fitness. I know from personal experience that “firsts” are tough. The first time you line up for a race (be it a run, a ride or a triathlon), everything is magnified. If someone is rude, the experience tends to stick and you might not sign up for a second event. On the other hand, if you get a smile from the person next to you or a “have a great race”, it can make the day magical and there’s a chance to literally change someone’s life.
Things are magnified on Race Day. If we can, in some small way, make that first race a positive experience, we can literally change someone's life
I know it’s probably a tough question, but have there been any big disappointments?
Kebby: Manufacturing is tough. Finding the right vendors and suppliers has been a huge challenge and we are finally aligned with the best in the business. On the team side of things, we were sorry to lose Katie Zaferez as an athlete this year but are super stoked and still proud to see her just get named to the U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team for Rio this year. Can't WAIT for that race! Team USA is STACKED.
It seems like you’ve released quite a few new designs and new products over the past six months. Can you share any insights into what might be coming next from a product perspective?
Kebby: Well, we like to think we have quite a few things up our sleeves that you should be seeing soon. As we've hinted in a few blog and social media posts, we are crazy excited to launch our Zele collection in a few weeks. We've done everything we can to make it the fastest women's tri and cycling gear available. I don’t want to bore everyone with the details, but we took every step we could to make the garments aero and then had them scientifically tested to confirm.
It feels amazing and is sleek looking too. We'll also have a sleeved aero jersey available soon. And then we are looking at some new pieces for fall.
Aero testing Zele by Coeur at the Velodrome with ERO Sports
So, tell us about the employees at Coeur. Does someone have to be an Ironman to even apply?
Kebby: It may seem like that, right? I am so pumped about our team that I have to pinch myself every day to believe how lucky we are. All of us are into sport and we do have an all-female team for now. More importantly, these are ladies that live the lifestyle and love helping others get involved. And it is FUN. We are mostly a bunch of goofy, caffeine-addled, music loving, dog owning gals with an endurance sport addiction.
Rae does product design and customer service. And she's on a 518 day (and counting) run streak
What’s the funniest thing that has happened since you’ve been in business?
Kebby: It has to be my usually risk-adverse husband, Reg, donning his tightie whities and our Coeur heart costume with our team for the Underpants Run in Kona every October. The man owns it!
Coeur is French for Heart and you need plenty of that in Kona.
You’re a two time Ironman Hawaii finisher. Do you have any time to train anymore?
Kebby: Alas, it has fallen woefully by the wayside while getting the company ramped up. But I'm recently gotten back in the pool (humbling and awesome at the same time) and am riding my bike. I love it! We'll see if a race is in my future!
What’s on your music playlist now?
Kebby: I'm obsessed with the new Wild Belle album, especially Throw Down Your Guns.
Also in rotation old and new:
Doing It To Death by The Kills
Pedestrian At Best by Courtney Barnett
Handclap by Fitz and The Tantrums
Brazil by Declan McKenna
Return to the Moon by El Vy
Feeling Good by Nina Simone
Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen
The Wheel by P.J. Harvey
Fantastic. Thank you so much for chatting with us.