Meeting the Minds Behind Baro
Childhood best friends, Mike and Tyler, grew up to be co-founders of the high-performance outerwear company, Baro. Having been born and raised in Vancouver, these Pacific Northwesterners know the rain and cold weather all too well. Which is why after having successful careers in the marketing and outdoor apparel spheres (as well as DJs on the side) they decided to start Baro.
The duo’s passion for creating top-notch outerwear with techy features that still look great shines through in their collection. Beyond that, they’ve also designed their pieces to embody the free-wheeling, creative spirit of their hometown Vancouver. Inspired by the city streets, and influenced by the wilds of coastal Canada, Baro was made for the everyday outdoor adventurer.
We caught up with the pair to learn more about Baro’s story, their personal muses, and of course, get some inside advice on the best things to see in Vancouver.
Hey, Mike and Tyler! We’re big fans of Baro. How did growing up in and around Vancouver influence you on a personal level?
Tyler: Thank you WAYWARD! Growing up in Vancouver was the best. When you’re standing in Vancouver’s downtown core, you’re never more than a 30 minute drive from one of our great beaches, dense forests, or massive mountains. Splitting our time between the city and the great outdoors gave us the opportunity to build a brand that combines the best of technical outdoor apparel with the culture, heart and style of the city. Vancouver is also so close to a ton of other amazing cities and countries too! I can’t imagine calling anywhere else home.
Mike: We are fortunate enough to have spent our lives in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, surrounded by an infinite range of mountains to explore. My parents put me on the ski hill at age 3, which led to most of my life revolving around snowboarding. The cool thing is that everyone here has a different approach to enjoying the outdoors. Snowboarding, skiing, mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, camping, etc. Everyone has a different way of enjoying the outdoors and I think it inspires and connects us all.
What were the two of you doing before this? Was it a longtime dream of yours to create a technical and stylish outerwear brand, or simply kismet?
Tyler: I grew up in my parent’s snowboard shop and have worked in most corners of the action sport and lifestyle industry since. For over a decade, I’ve been both an art and creative director for brands and publications in both the outdoor / action sport and fashion / lifestyle markets. Being best buds since the first grade, Mike and I always wanted to work on something together and outerwear designed for the Pacific Northwest was always the goal!
Mike: You could call it kismet haha. I moved next door to Tyler when I was 7 years old and we have been best friends, snowboarding together ever since (many many years). Before we started Baro, I was the Marketing Director for an apparel startup brand for 4 years. It gave me valuable insight into starting and building an apparel company from the ground up. From all our time in the mountains we have always been really passionate about technical outerwear and it seemed natural for us to bring our experience together to create Baro.
Do you have any major sources of creativity both personally and professionally? How does that dovetail with Baro’s vibe?
Tyler: Safe to say my mind has no separation between personal and professional life [laughs] and it’s all about getting into a “flow-state.” Whether I’m turning in deep snow up the hill, out on the water surfing, grooving in a crowd of people dancing at a show, or consumed in thought working through a design, that state of “flow” and being present is what inspires my creativity each and every day.
Mike: Music inspires me daily, there is a soundtrack to every environment. I have been a DJ for over 10 years (we both have) and we put out a fun mixtape series called “Above The Clouds” for Baro. It’s a fun little project whenever we can carve out the time to do something we love and also mix that into the brand as part of our vibe. I am also a huge fan of photography and videography. It’s been one of my favorite parts of working in marketing to work with amazing creative people and create beautiful imagery.
Got a favorite Baro product? Or one that you’ve yet to bring to life?
Tyler: I wear the Demarco II and the Quarry daily. Give our newsletter a follow because we’re always cooking up fun ideas and projects for upcoming collections too!
Mike: I love all our styles – but I tend to wear the Brockton 3L shell almost everyday. It’s a super functional hooded rain jacket with elevated style and quality.
Don’t think too much about this: name your top three things to do in Vancouver. GO!
Tyler: With the right conditions, you could do all this in one day…
- Surf a wind swell session on a local beach (it’s not Hawaii, but it’s fun!)
- Ride some fresh powder up Mt Seymour (especially awesome under the lights at night)
- Catch a show at one of our various music venues and groove late into the evening with friends!
- Bike the seawall and end up at third beach
- Snowboard up Mount Seymour – Open till 10pm and the evening sessions after work are the best
- Go on a hike – typically in Lynn Valley or Mount Seymour and often followed by a famous Honey’s Donut in Deep Cove