We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Godec from outdoor apparel brand Aldri Sur and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Katie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Doesn’t the saying go “Why work 9 to 5 for someone else when you can work 24/7 for yourself?” LOL. I think I was around the age of 7 or 8 when I established one of my earliest life goals: I want to leave a memorable impact on our world. I don’t need a bronze statue of my head, but I do want to leave a legacy for myself and my family that demonstrates something good we did for society, for people, and for the planet. And so began my company ALDRI SUR – a business that is less about making maximum profit and more about building a community around inclusion and sustainability in the outdoor industry.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Little-me wanted so desperately to be a fashion designer. I would fill page after page in a sketch book with drawings of people wearing all different types of clothes. My aunt (who I am named after) is a painter and pastel artist, so I could venture to guess that I was very inspired by her from a young age. But a pivotal moment came when I transitioned from elementary school to middle school. I asked my mother if I could take art class as my first elective and she said no! She pushed me towards performing arts, which ultimately shaped the rest of my life. I went on to get a degree in music and have been a singer/pianist for all of my adult life. But whether it is visual arts or performing arts: creativity is my life force.

Finding myself coming full circle from those silly little sketches to actually designing Aldri Sur headwear and clothing from scratch has been pretty fantastic. And let me tell you, when you don’t go to fashion school for these things…it is a STEEP learning curve. I hope this anecdote inspires others who shy away from their dreams because they don’t think they have the education or skillset for it to reconsider. If you can dream it, you can do it.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This one is on me. Free of charge 🙂

Cruise on up from LAX to Santa Monica and park yourself at any of these amazing hotels: Casa del Mar, Shutters, the Proper Hotel, or the Shore Hotel. If you need something a little more budget friendly, try Hotel Erwin in Venice Beach.

Coffee makes the world go round.
Check out: Great White (brunch & coffee), Espresso Cielo, Gnarwhal Coffee Co, Groundwork on Rose (coffee & breakfast/lunch), or Superba on Lincoln Blvd (fabulous coffee, even better pastries and lunch/dinner. They have a legendary loaded breakfast burrito for $9 if you get their early AM and take it to go. It is DIVINE).

Hop on the metro or snag an Uber east and get off in DTLA. The Arts District is one of my favorite places on planet earth. Grab beers and top notch bar food at the Arts District Brewery or have an upscale, candlelit evening with “fancy drinks” at Manuela.

For activities, I am an endurance athlete so….hope you like fitness & the outdoors! Beach day in Santa Monica or drive north about 45min and check out the Malibu Pier. Please get in the ocean. It is too magnificent not to. We are lucky to have a bike path that goes all the way from the Pacific Palisades down to Torrance. Rent a bike right by the water and have a little beach cruise. Go early AM because the later in the day will surely mean bike/pedestrian traffic and rogue children jumping out in front of you as you skid out on the sand LOL. Highly rated hiking spots: Los Liones, Temescal Canyon, anywhere on the Backbone Trail, Malibu Creek State Park, and Inspiration Point. If you are centrally located, Griffith Park has some lovely, steep trails that are well maintained and closer to Hollywood.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate this Shoutout to the super fans of ALDRI SUR. Before the business was named that, we were a brand brand new company called TRILIFE Tubes. Long story short: I sold a lot of neck tubes to athletes, friends, strangers, and fans of endurance sports. They could have purchased from quite literally 1000s of other companies. But they chose to support me. It is those early months of sales that allowed me to actually build to what we have now. So THANK YOU to every person who took a leap of faith on a brand new product and a brand new company. I owe you big time.

Website: www.aldrisurapparel.com

Instagram: @aldrisurapparel + @katiegodec

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