Inspired by living in a healthy community that strives to improve lives, Solana Beach resident Joe Kudla decided to use his men’s sportswear company, Vuori, to make a difference locally. With the help of friends he created a fitness event to raise money for Jeans 4 Justice, an organization that helps kids effectively discuss issues like bullying, cutting, and sexual violence. The first year 30 participants created a 350 person event called Live It that involved a large yoga class, organic food, and a concert. The participants had so much fun raising money for a cause that they decided to make it an annual event. Last November Vuori hosted its third Live It event at the Del Mar plaza to raise funds for the Hale Foundation, an organization that brings yoga, martial arts, and creative arts to schools in underserved San Diego communities. Using the money the Live It event generated, the Hale Foundation is creating an after school program for kids, complete with mentors and inspiring activities. Joe shared, “We are really proud of the Live It platform and hope to roll it out to more cities around the U.S. in the future.” Within his company Joe also sponsors employee volunteer days periodically to benefit local causes. “We are excited about what the future holds and hope we are making a big impact,” expressed Joe.
Joe sets ambitious goals. On a business level, he hopes Vuori becomes a leader in a new menswear fashion trend, one that blends performance and casual wear so effectively that men can sweat and move in their clothes yet want to wear them outside the gym. On a personal level, he hopes to marry his girlfriend, have children, travel the world, and embrace opportunities while giving back like his parents. They left Washington 18 years ago to sail to Tahiti and now run a business that brings clean drinking water and alternative energy to remote islands throughout Micronesia. Because of them Joe once spent an incredible four months living in an indigenous Micronesian village on a remote island accessible only by boat. And on a fitness level, Joe plans to continue practicing yoga, surfing, paddling, and climbing all the 14,000 foot mountains in California with his friends before he turns 40. This goal is lofty since he has nine more to climb over the next three years, but he knows he can do it.
Name: Joe Kudla
Community: Solana Beach
Volunteer Affiliation: Jeans 4 Justice, Hale Foundation
Profession: Founder of Vuori
Family: Lives with girlfriend, no children
Hobbies: Surfing, yoga, climbing mountains
Favorite Local Spots: Pipes Beach, Seaside Market, Fish 101