A Look At The Next Big Ski, Surf And Hippie Lifestyle Brand
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A Look At The Next Big Ski, Surf And Hippie Lifestyle Brand

Untold stories from the infamous 1989 GMC ideation camper van.

A Look At The Next Big Ski, Surf And Hippie Lifestyle Brand
Jordon Haltman

I spent five days a week working in a factory, heat pressing logos and designs onto clothing for a large Canadian company. There was no glory or “fun” in spending hours at the bottom of the food chain. However, I learned to appreciate how a successful company works, and it ultimately came down to valuing the work of those who create the product at the bottom, deliver the product in the middle, and of course, those who sell the product at the top. It was an all-encompassing experience that allowed me to understand the ins-and-outs of an apparel business. After countless lengthy and rigorous hours in the factory, and an abundance of time spent creating my own visions, designs, and purpose, the idea of Vibe Tribe Apparel was born. But this was just the beginning.

My ideas began maturing and growing every time I sat in the driver seat of the infamous 1989 GMC ideation camper van: my prize possession, as it was always full of good vibes, great friends and headed on big adventures.

Two months after my factory job came to an end, I spent my 21st birthday out for a cruise in my van, windows down, sunglasses on and enjoying the 60s jazz cassette that was lodged in the dashboard. The spare tire on the back of my van read “Vibe Tribe Apparel” and inside were several boxes filled with clothing that I made. July 20th, 2016, was the official launch of my company and the day I dove head first into the world of Entrepreneurship. By no means did I have any expertise in business, sales, apparel manufacturing or online marketing, but I had an idea that I was passionate about. I wanted to capture my favorite memories as a child (enjoying a campfire by the lake, the California surf culture, snowboarding in Vermont, adventuring around Colorado, barefooting at summer camp, spreading love in Kenya) and turn that into a something in which I could share with others.

Vibe Tribe Apparel is a youthful company deriving from the roots of unconventional surf, ski, nomadic and hippie lifestyles. That was the vibe I wanted to capture. Creating an apparel brand was a way to harness my love for hammocks, barefoot-waterskiing, campfires, surfing and traveling, and use those things as fuel to make clothing that would express those things.

The idea to create my own apparel company didn’t arise in a single “ah-hah” moment, but was a combination of adventures, incredible chats with my tribe of people and a notebook stored in the van filled with notes and thoughts. I have often been asked, “how did you do it or where did you get the money from?” and my answer is always the same, “I had an idea I was passionate about, and used $1,000 that I had saved up from the factory.” And that’s the honest truth.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t about having an idea as bold or revolutionary as electricity, but rather entrepreneurship for me, is an authentic and unconventional way of thinking about problems. And in turn, building effective and useful solutions to fill market gaps, and address pain points in society.

Of course, I was googly-eyed when I realized that this “idea” of having my own apparel company was within my realm of achievability and absolutely possible to make the transformation from thought to product. I took the leap, and haven’t looked back since. The key thing I realized was that my age was on my side. I was able to harness my tabula rasa, use my creativity, identify problems and find solutions, and most importantly, I was fearless in the pursuit of entrepreneurial endeavors.

Being young in the world of entrepreneurship typically means:

  • less experience than seasoned competitors in the industry
  • a ‘tabula rasa’ in existing business knowledge
  • skeptical investors, partners and customers due to juvenescence

However, despite the misconceptions and potential stereotypes about younger generations, I have found myself inspired and highly motivated by fellow young entrepreneurs that are passionate and incredibly successful. Take Mark Zukerberg, 31, who created Facebook, Brian Chesky, 33, who created Airbnb, or any other innovations today and you will find that most are under 35.

So while Vibe Tribe Apparel isn’t a top 10 Forbes list business, yet, I am confident that this is only the beginning of my relationship with entrepreneurship. It’s been an incredible experience learning to build a website, communicate with customers across the world, design several social media platforms to market my brand and continuing to explore the possibilities in the world of fashion.

I believe that all youth should dabble in entrepreneurial ventures, and peruse ideas they are passionate about. Even if they turn out to be failures, you will walk away from each experience with knowledge and the wisdom to move forward and create things in a more efficient way. We are in the century of idea diffusion, which is how ideas are spread among groups of people. It comes down to the simple truth: ideas that spread, WIN. Mass market is about average product for average people.

That’s why Vibe Tribe Apparel isn’t looking to sell to everyone; instead, we want to sell to those who are curious, unapologetically adventurous, anchored by passion and wanderlust and unmistakably wired to explore this earth headed nowhere in particular. It’s about creating a Tribe of people who are riding the same wave, and spreading the message of good vibes, great friends, and big adventures.

So, if you are young, be not afraid. Use your youth to harness your creativity and create solutions that solve current and future generational problems. If you have an idea- be not afraid of failure. The biggest mistake people make are taking their ideas to the grave. Write it down, collaborate with friends, and make the most of your passion. If you are lacking resources, financials or knowledge- do your research. There is always a way around these things, so do not let obstacles get in your way.

The infamous ideation camper van is more than just a hippie van that an apparel brand was born from. It’s a symbol of everything we wish to share. We can promise you that each and every piece of apparel was created with quality and originality. We pride ourselves on giving the customer the highest quality apparel and want those who wear our brand to be just as excited to wear the clothes as we were to create, design and share them with the world.

I look forward to future journeys and hope that if you also have an idea, whether it’s born from a camper van or your notebook in class,

may you never lose your nomadic tendencies, your positive vibrations and your wonder.
may you always feed your passion for travel, your curiosity and your adventurous spirit.
may you remain mindful, wild, fearless and humble.
and may you not just live, but be alive.

Be sure to check out the recent Vibe Tribe collection, or follow us on Instagram.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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