What a fun-filled weekend at Camp Kammok will do to you
by Anna Andersen
Photographs by Ashley Chinni
I love the outdoors, but I would not call myself an avid camper.
I’ve never been a big fan of all the stuff that accompanies you on a camping trip. I don’t like packing, cramming all those many bags into the car, lugging said bags to the campsite, and pitching the tent. I don’t like sleeping with spiders. I don’t like feeling dirty. And don’t get me started about taking the tent down and trying to stuff everything back into those bags it miraculously arrived in.
You might even call me a bad camper.
At the same time, I’m not one to turn down an adventure and I’ll try just about anything once, so when I was invited to spend the last weekend of April sleeping in a hammock at Camp Kammok, I didn’t hesitate to say, “Sure, sign me up!” And, I’m glad I did.
Camp Kammok, put on by the Austin-based company that specializes in making hammocks, is an annual all-inclusive camping experience at Reveille Peak Ranch, a beautiful 1,300 acres near Burnet, about an hour’s drive from Austin.
I arrived on Friday afternoon, early enough to lay claim to the perfect couple of trees on the banks of a 20-acre lake. As a hammock camping newbie, and not just a lazy camper, I solicited help from one of the many friendly Kammok crew members, but in retrospect, I didn’t need to; hanging the hammock and mosquito net was as easy as it gets.
Sleeping in it was also surprisingly easy. After enjoying the open bar, dinner, camp games, and live music at the central pavilion area, I happily climbed into my cozy, creepy-crawly-free hammock, and mostly slept through the night.
From the comfort of my hammock, I watched the sun come up behind a steaming lake before heading to the pavilion, where Neighbor Coffee Co was already serving coffee.
Between organized meals for everyone, there was also a jam-packed schedule of activities—yoga, biking, fishing, paddle boarding, hiking, rappelling, rock climbing, and swimming—to participate in, or not participate in.
I had grand plans when I arrived, but after paddle boarding and attempting to fish on Saturday morning, nothing sounded more appealing than relaxing in my hammock, where I spent a few hours reading a book. Meanwhile, my labrador ran back and forth hunting dragonflies, having about as much luck as I did with the fishing.
I just managed to squeeze in a refreshing swim at Quarry Lake, a spring-fed pool located elsewhere on the ranch, before it was time for round two of drinks, dinner, s’mores, and entertainment—more live music, a screening of The Goonies, and a silent disco party.
After an even better night of sleep, I painlessly took down my hammock, packed my bags, ate breakfast, and headed back to Austin, happy to have enjoyed an entire weekend outdoors before temperatures soar and we’re officially deep into summer.
If camping could always be like this, then call me a converted camper.
Global Wildlife Conservation’s fourth annual Wild Night for Wildlife event — held at ACL Live at The Moody Theater on April 19 — highlighted the local organization’s decade of conservation success around the world. More than 400 guests were treated to a concert by award-winning singer-songwriter and activist Colbie Caillat, with this year’s concert sales supporting GWC’s mission to conserve the diversity of life on earth.
Texas Young Masters VIP Reception & Awards
April 14, 2018
The 2018 Texas Young Masters Awards, a joint initiative between the Texas Cultural Trust and the Texas Commission on the Arts, took place on April 16 at the ZACH Theatre. Hosted by honorary chair First Lady Cecilia Abbott, the ceremony honored 15 Texas students with $10,000 multi-year grants to enhance and build their professional artistic studies and provide access to developmental opportunities before college.
Ava Noble, Aisha Mpiana, Tobi Berman, Riley Canterbury, Megan Lin & Joziah German
Gary Gibbs, Heidi Marquez Smith, Cecilia Abbott & Laura Matz
On April 14, Women & Their Work threw a 40th-birthday bash celebrating the many contributions of women to the art world. Guest donned metallic, art-inspired outfits while exploring a Yayoi Kusama-inspired mirror room, a silent art auction, an art market, decadent eats, and more.
The Waller Creek Conservancy hosted its annual Waller Creek Pop-Up Picnic on April 14 in Palm Park. At this year’s picnic, guests indulged in picnic baskets prepared by some of Austin’s best restaurants while kicking back with a DJ set and watching the sun go down behind Austin’s skyline. The Waller Creek Conservancy’s mission is to create and maintain a chain of extraordinary urban parks around a restored Waller Creek.
Our eight favorite things about the Windsor Park restaurant
by Margaret Williams
Photographs by Wynn Meyers, Holly Cowart & Jessica Pages
Hank’s owners Andy Means and Jessie Katz are clearly excited about their new restaurant, as well they should be. The sprawling eatery filled in equal measure with natural light and greenery is everything you want it to be. Delicious food and drinks (at prices that make a strong argument for another round), an easy going wait staff and a kid friendly patio all work together to make this our new favorite neighborhood joint.
Means and Katz previously owned Henri’s Cheese & Wine, which was forcibly closed two years ago after a disastrous fire. The couple already happened to be looking for a second location when the fire occurred and despite the setback kept moving forward with their partners, Danny Roth and John Rosato (owners of Southwest Strategies Group and Seaholm Power Plant developers). About the space Katz says, “We saw it and didn’t really know that much about the neighborhood [Windsor Park] but immediately fell in love. We loved the building and all the old trees. The neighborhood felt so old Austin, untouched and diverse.”
Katz says she and interior designer Claire Zinnecker wanted the space to “feel like you were on vacation and taken out of the city for a little bit.” Happily that oasis effect has been achieved and we are sure Hank’s will be a favorite for years to come.
1. Happy Hour!
Every day from 3-6:30 p.m. The hardest task will be choosing between their frosé (pictured) and frozen paloma (Katz’s favorite).
2. All those plants.
Zinnecker’s love of everything leafy and green shines through with this spot-on design decision.
3. Kids welcome!
With rocking horses, a kid’s menu and books scattered throughout Hank’s manages to be just the right amount of family friendly.
4. Hank (or Henri), the restaurant namesake.
Means’ French grandfather settled in Augusta, Georgia where Henri mainly went by Hank. “The name felt just right” Means says.
5. THE FOOD (don’t forget to order dessert).
Our lunch favorite was the crispy rice bowl, although the burger and kale salad (with goat cheese) were a close second. Means loves the fried chicken, which is prepared in the style of his childhood – brined, less batter and served alongside hot honey.
6. Cute owners Andy & Jessie.
This project was clearly a labor of love for the Austin couple.
7. Fronk’s Nut Milk is on hand.
The Austin made nut milk has a cult following and you can get it by the bottle at Hank’s. When in doubt go with their addictive “This One’s Cocoa.”
8. The size!
Hank’s interior, their patio and the parking all make it a stress free dining spot. Although if we were you we would hurry on over.
Renowned fashion designer Stacey Bendet, of Alice + Olivia, showcased her latest collection at the exclusive MJ&M Fashion Show and luncheon at JW Marriott on April 13. The show, hosted by Sally Brown, Amy Ingram, and Camila Alves McConaughey, marked Mack, Jack & McConaughey’s sixth year, with more than $7.5 million raised since the benefit’s launch. This year’s funds supported CureDuchenne, Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, HeartGift, the just keep livin Foundation, and The Rise School of Austin.
Three hundred Austinites came together on April 12 for the Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy’s Starlight Social. Emceed by KUTX program director Matt Reilly, the event featured twilight tours of the garden, gourmet bites from Austin’s leading restaurants, a dessert and coffee bar, a performance from local sensation Tomar and the FCs, and a live auction.
Jennifer Orr, Frank Cooksey, Spencer Cronk & Amy Voorhes
Christi Bozic & Ana Martin
Brooke Leal & Anna Kid
Rachel Warburger & Jazmyn Griffin
Patricia Martinez, Peter Pfeiffer & Amy Voorhes
Ashley Kamrath, Tommy Cowan & Jill Cacic
Terry O’Daniel, Tim Kasberger & Dee Kasberger
Jennifer & Luke Darling
Kristen Massey, Tye Brown, Jenn Cunningham & Sam Peterson
On April 11, the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas (DSACT) had its annual Cocktail Bash at 800 Congress. Guests enjoyed music by DJ Mel and delicious bites by Sushi Zushi and La Patisserie while supporting DSACT’s mission of providing education and support to individuals with Down syndrome, their families, and the community.
Ahead of the Game
How Tyler Haney’s Outdoor Voices is helping Austin
(and the world) get moving
Feature: Austin Outdoors
Ahead of the Game
How Tyler Haney’s Outdoor Voices is helping Austin
(and the world) get moving
by Hannah Morrow
Photographs by Aaron Pinkston
“Do you want to talk in Sand Dune?”
On first meeting, Ty Haney resembles a Brandy Melville fever dream: blond hair, plain white T-shirt, denim skirt, ankle socks peeking over beige sneakers. Moments before, she had introduced herself as Ty in the cool-girl range of a lower-register voice, offering a hand decorated with a gold bracelet and scarlet polish. There is no discernible makeup (or need for it) on her face.
Upon the question, she turns a shoulder to look out the window. It’s raining.
“Yeah, I guess a walk is out of the question.”
After being encouraged as a child to use her indoor voice, Haney chose to put a spin on the age old adage with the name of her company.
Sand Dune, named after the Colorado national park, is a comfy side room at the marketing and design offices of Outdoor Voices, a local activewear company with a cult following. The office is one of three buildings on the lot that make up the company’s headquarters on East 2nd Street. Outside, the buildings aren’t marked by any major signage. Local architect Will Fox, who heads store design for the brand, designed the offices’ interiors in a similarly minimal palette of neutral floors, walls and wood accents. Color is reserved for racks of sample garments, a few rugs, and pops of the brand’s signature “Deep Sea” blue.
In Sand Dune, we perch on a wide Deep Sea-cushioned bench. It quickly becomes apparent why Haney would’ve preferred a walk — she’s more comfortable in motion. She sits on one foot and then the other, sticking a leg out, stretching an arm overhead, leaning back on her hands. The 29-year-old has been kinetic her whole life, with unbound energy and ambition. In 2014, she hit her stride in the founding of Outdoor Voices.
Haney grew up “doing things,” a philosophy the company would later adopt as its mission and motto. She was raised in Boulder, Colorado, near the base of the Flatirons, an area famous for its hiking and climbing. It’s a classically Colorado place that begs plein air amusement.
Haney at House Park stadium wearing sneakers from OV’s collaboration with Hoka One One.
“The thing with living in Austin is that I miss the mountains. But Boulder is different; when you’re on the trail, people are going as fast as possible,” says Haney. “They’re really trying to get somewhere. They’re competing.”
As a Boulder kid and then teenager, she fit right in, taking part in all the verbs. Hike, throw, kick, ride, sprint. Colleges came calling, particularly based on her prowess on horseback and running hurdles. But Haney felt inclined to choose a different path. She owes a longtime interest in design to the family business, a small screen-printing and embroidery shop. A career in design intrigued Haney enough to forgo collegiate sports, instead moving to Boston for a gap year, and then on to New York to enroll at Parsons School of Design.
Haney studied design and management, learning the practical skills of a fashion designer and the big-picture building blocks of creative enterprise. Outside of class, she continued to spend time alfresco, running as a physical and mental release. Her stride had slowed since high school track meets and scurrying up Boulder’s Chautauqua Trailhead, but two things hadn’t changed: her love for recreation and her own workout clothes.
One afternoon, Haney jogged down the West Side Highway. Outfitted in shiny black spandex and high-tech performance fabric, she pondered a disconnect between the activity and the gear. Ten-minute miles don’t need relay race uniforms, and people are less likely to exercise if they’re intimidated or self-conscious. She spent most of 2013 pursuing this idea, researching technical textiles and redesigning a few key pieces until they were deemed perfect by friends and family.
By 2014, Haney had created OV’s original “kit,” a term used to describe each released set: a compression top, leggings, a jogger pant, and two tops. The kit was successful in a tryout at J. Crew, online and in stores. The momentum led to the launch of the company’s own retail site, where word-of-mouth has brought, and continues to bring, e-commerce prosperity.
Also in 2014, Haney made her inaugural visit to Texas to attend the Formula One race. She had resigned to the “Texas is a desert” fallacy (only partly erroneous). Though, as it does, Austin lured her in with fitness-friendly greenery and a high quality of life.
“I was like, ‘Holy shit, this is the fountain of youth,’” says Haney. “I decided based on a spiritual feeling that this was the home for OV. Lady Bird Lake is people jogging with strollers, walking their dogs, going fast, going slow, but out there every day. Exercise or activity as a routine perfectly fits with what the mission of OV is.”
The brand’s first brick-and-mortar opened here in October 2014 at what Mickey Drexler, OV investor and former J. Crew CEO, dubbed “the worst retail location in the world.” The 800-square-foot Blanco Street bungalow, which remains the company’s flagship store, is a sharp right off West 6th, a block into the more residential area of Clarksville. “There’s not parking. It’s not a shopping spot,” says Haney, “but we love it.”
Since the Blanco store, Haney grew her team and opened pop-ups in Aspen, Dallas, SoHo, and Los Angeles. All were so successful that the shops never closed, instead just taking root and transforming into regular retail locations.
In addition to more stores on the ground, high-profile exposure came when celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Lena Dunham, and Oprah Winfrey began sporting the brand. This particular trio also proved that OV was onto something with their friendly approach to wellness. Paltrow, Dunham, and Winfrey all range in age and size, but each could feel comfortable and get active in the apparel. Outdoor Voices, whose billboards and social media feature more diversely-shaped models, is working toward improving their plus-size fit and availability in future kits.
Over the past year, almost all of the nearly 80 HQ staff have moved to Austin full-time. The decision to leave one of the world’s apparel-design capitals was a gamble. But now, as an underdog competitor in the fitness-apparel market, OV has nested in Austin, with Haney hoping the move attracts more like-minded, high-caliber creative talent.
“I was worried that it might be difficult to get talent in design and product down here, but with everything that’s happening in Austin and everyone moving here, it’s an easy place to attract good talent,” says Haney. “I think being outside of New York has helped tremendously, because a lot of the companies start to feel and look the same. You’re stacked on top of each other. Having the space to play and the ability to put blinders on and create the rules to our own game is awesome.”
Haney makes it clear that Outdoor Voices is not about a trophy-chasing lifestyle. “Human, not superhuman,” she insists. OV is the song that makes you run faster for the joy of it. It invites you to Zumba and doesn’t make fun of you for getting too into it. It brings the snacks on the hike. “We want OV to have this optimistic, energetic vibe to it so that people feel good after their interaction with us,” she says. “It’s all about friendship first and connections
with the team that permeate out.”
OV takes extra steps to give its staff and customers opportunities to play. Weekly games of basketball knockout and kickball and classes at Ballet Austin are favored by Haney. The brand sponsors a “Joggers Club,” dog jogs, and park cleanups and collaborates on yoga meetups and spin classes around town. “When we think of what OV is going to mean over time to people, it should be kind of a resource for recreation,” says Haney. “Austin is a great playground for all those diverse activities and supports the lifestyle big-time.”
Haney herself moved here full-time only seven months ago, an uncharacteristically static commitment for a girl who likes movement. To celebrate, OV is poised to open another location, on Lake Austin Boulevard, in early 2019. The brand currently has six stores across the nation, with six more opening in the next year.
Haney’s daily routine begins with a three-mile jog.
It’s also expanding its product lines, with running shorts, skorts, and a shoe collaboration with Hoka One One, which was released in April. OV will come out with its first swim kit over Memorial Day. Tennis gear will arrive later this summer, followed by a club for hikers in September and ski garb in the winter.
If this sounds like a lot, it is. But Haney is motivated by both her competitive nature and the company’s $34 million in Series C funding, which was announced in March (Outdoor Voices has raised $57 million in total in the past four years). “The goal is to build the number-one digital recreation brand,” she says. “The idea around doing things comes to life around our stores and with customers all over the world doing different things.”
At our photo shoot, Haney continues to move. In front of the camera, she pulses in a stretch, swings her arms, tilts her head. She bobs to David Bowie and sways to Frank Ocean. On location in Pease Park, we happen upon an acquaintance walking her dog, sporting — what else — leggings by Outdoor Voices. Haney smiles warmly, first at the fluff-ball pooch, who resembles her own Havapoo, then at the woman. She extends a hand and introduces herself as Ty. Another win for OV.