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On June 19, 2019, I registered Alpine Parrot LLC in the State of California. At the time, I was just excited to start something new - I had started a few businesses before, but I felt like an outdoor apparel company that catered to bigger bodies had the potential to really make an impact.

Looking back on my first few months, I can’t help but laugh at how naive I was in some ways, and smile with pride at how incredibly prescient I was in others. For example: I genuinely thought that I could speed up the apparel development process, and use my rapid prototyping skills from the tech industry to build better products more quickly. It turns out, when you have multiple stakeholders like factories and vendors in the mix, the schedule isn’t actually up to me! Instead, I have to schedule around them. But as another example: my rapid prototyping skills DID end up making a huge difference in the beginning, because I was able to develop great-fitting clothes - virtually from scratch - in only a year!

Now, I didn’t go full time on Alpine Parrot until February of 2020 - instead, I was working full time as an engineering manager in tech, and working on AP on nights and weekends. I was taking patternmaking classes to learn about fit, materials, and how apparel production works at the highest levels. I used my vacation time to work in a factory, getting hands-on experience as a stitcher on a sewing line. I did market and customer research to suss out where the biggest needs are in the community. And then, when I couldn’t handle burning the candle at both ends anymore (and when I was certain that there was enough of a financial safety net), I quit my job and became a full-time CEO. 

It’s truly incredible to me how much we’ve accomplished in the last five years. I audaciously thought we’d be a bigger company at this point, but I’m also in awe about how far we have come. There were quite a few naysayers when we began this journey, but I’m so glad to have discovered that there are far more YAYsayers (like you all!) in the time since. You all have made these past five years fly by! Thank you so much for all the support, giggles, and incredible memories so far 💖