Finding my Wings : Gabriella Auer

At the beginning of this year we started sponsoring the Squatch team who has been training for their first Ironman! They related to our Find Your Wings motto and we love supporting people who are out there making life happen.  Gabriella Auer is a team member and this is her story of how she ‘found her wings’.

Last winter I signed up to swim, bike, and run for a total of 70.3 miles at the end of June this summer. WHY? WHY? someone might ask? Well, to completely answer that question we need to rewind some years.

You should have seen me my freshman year of high school. I remember running the mile and it was SO. HARD. As I lay in the grass after I ran 4 laps around our track I remember someone saying then it wasn’t good to lay down after running the mile. I don’t think I cared. Fast forward 15 years and here I am, an Ironman 70.3 finisher. What? How did I come this far? Am I the same person? Whether you run 10 miles every day or walk for 10 minutes every day, I hope I can inspire and encourage you with my own story.

A few years ago a friend asked me if I would consider running a Half Marathon in San Jose, CA, where I was living at the time. Initially I said no (Why would I run 13.1 miles? And pay to do it?)… but after thinking about it I knew it would be a good challenge for me. So I agreed to do it. After training (and grabbing a lot of free gel packets during the race) I finished it! (And it wasn’t too bad!)

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After that race, I ran a full and another half as well. It was hard work training but it was incredible to see what I could accomplish when I was determined! When my boa-clad Dad joined me in the race, someone snapped a shot and we were in the news! (How happy do I look in that picture?!?!) Upon moving to Fort Collins my friend Alex asked me if I would do a triathlon with him in Boulder. Again, my first response was no (because: swimming) but after my friend AJ encouraged me to challenge myself I signed up. I completed my first tri!! After our tri last summer AJ talked about how we were going to do a Half Ironman. My response: who is “we”? I was unsure at first, but after having decided to do it, I am so thankful! It’s been incredible to train, race, and encourage my 7 teammates and friends- the Squatch Team… named after Dr. Squatch Soap! We all completed our first Ironman 70.3 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho this summer!

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We are so thankful for Akinz supporting our team! Akinz is all about finding your wings- what is it that makes you want to go faster, farther, and harder?

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For me, mountain biking is another area of outdoor activity where I have really found my wings! It all started on Kesl Run at 18 Road in Fruita, Colorado. I went with friends and borrowed a mountain bike and was HOOKED. Holy cow it was so much fun! Kesl Run makes you feel like you are riding a roller coaster- but on your bike! I could not keep quiet- happy/loud sounds kept coming from my mouth and BOY was I excited. I knew I gotta get into this sport. I purchased my first mountain bike- a Juliana Juno. It’s a full suspension limey green bike that I have had so much fun on. I have ridden in Crested Butte, Fruita, Grand Junction, Fort Collins, and hopefully many more places! On my Juliana I have done an XTerra, short track races, and XC races. It has been such a joy finding my wings.

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Now, I’m off to mountain bike race at the Laramie Mountain Bike Series in Laramie, Wyoming!

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Rig To Flip on July 8th: Help Conserve the Rivers of the West

Rig to Flip is on a mission to bring attention to the endangered rivers of the west. They recently spread their wings through the canyons of Southern Colorado on the once lively, now dying, Dolores River. A river that has been dammed and used for irrigation- with little regard for those downstream.

Dolores Today

The crew took three pack rafts down the Dolores river to film the conditions that the endangered fish, wildlife and plant life experience below the McPhee dam.

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The crew flipped boats, lost gear and experienced extreme weather conditions in the attempt to bring the issues of the Dolores River to the mainstream public.

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The team has a goal of raising $2,000 to fund their ability to continue providing educational films, at no cost to the public. So far, the Find Your Wings fundraising efforts has reached $400 towards their goal.

IMG_0561They gathered hundreds of hours of footage and photographs.

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Help to bring the Dolores- the River of Sorrows- back to the public eye.

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Help to Akinz fund their conservation mission to share the issues of the endangered waters of the west by participating in Akinz’s Rig to Flip Day on July 8th.

NEW ITEMS: Under The Stars

What better place to be than under the stars in the summertime? That’s why we have designed a shirt that you can wear under your work week button up to serve as reminder of what the weekend brings.

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Our men’s shirt comes in a soft tri-blend that will feel great against sunburned skin while sitting next to the campfire. We pride ourselves on not only providing style but comfort in our designs.under-the-stars-gray-triblend-tee

 

The ladies version comes in a soft turquoise racer back tank. Nothing says summer like a racer back tan line. This tank is ideal for taking a hike in to the peaks where you get the best view of the starry night sky.under-the-stars-tank-top
When casual Friday comes around, proudly sport where you will be this upcoming weekend under your work blazer- UNDER THE STARS.

Akinz Summer Road Trip

Road Trip Heading West and Dressed to Impress

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What better way to explore the freedom of summer than with a summer road trip? The early days of summer call for us to stretch our wings and get moving in the new found heat. But where to explore first? We have compiled our favorite stops to add to you road trip in the west.

Capitol Reef, UT

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Photo Cred: dipsdas.wordpress.com

What is a road trip out west without a stop in the desert? Explore the land of the ancient ones in your comfy galaxy shorts or leggings to avoid getting sunburnt with their built in sun protection. This area is known for being home to the Anasazi and is covered in petroglyphs and pictographs with amazing hikes to get to them. After you’re done scrambling around on the red rock and exploring canyons, head back to the visitor center for some homemade ice cream at the Gifford Homestead where they still can fruit and vegetables and make everything by hand like the original settlers. You may want to consider packing warm clothes for those chilly desert nights, such as your Signet Henley long sleeve.

Craters of the Moon, ID

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Photo cred: visitidaho.org

Looking for an “weird and scenic” way to break up the drive on your way to the coast? A stop at the volcanic remnants in the middle of a Idaho will make you wonder how it all happened. The drive across barren desert and then grassy foothills leads you to a black volcanic rock covered wasteland. Make sure to pack along your sunnies, the reflection off the volcanic rock is pretty intense. In addition the stellar star show you can see out there, there are caves to explore and volcanoes to hike! As you make your way through Boise, make a stop in at Outdoor Exchange to grab any last minute camping or Akinz gear you may need to get you through the rest of your trip.

Seaside, OR

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No road trip is complete without a visit to the beach. Get your toes in the sand and a great view of the ocean while relaxing outside of the car for a change. You’ll stay comfortable and breezy in our new SALT, LIME & SUNSHINE tank and Kai Trucker Hat as you cruise the beach looking for seashells. You can take a lesson from the sea lions bathing in the sun while visiting the beautiful lighthouse. Make sure not miss out on making it over to the boardwalk for some fresh taffy before heading to your next destination.

North Rim of the Grand Canyon, AZ

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Photo cred: advantagegrandcanyon.com

Sometimes it pays off to take the long way home. While most tourists find their way to the south rim, we like to avoid the crowds. There are a number of trails to gain different vantage points from of the grandest canyon on earth. Show off your rafting love for those boating the Colorado below by wearing your Rig to Flip lightweight hoodie. You’ll need it when catching the sunrise or sunset because it tends to get chilly on this mountainous side of the canyon.

May 2016 Akinz Staff Spotlight – Logan Rowley

Meet Logan Rowley!  Logan is our weekend shop gal and also makes knitted beanies for the store.  She’s a Fort Collins local, high school student, softball player and artist!  We thought we’d continue with our birthday theme as Logan just celebrated a birthday too!

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How did you find Akinz? I was born in Fort Collins, so walking around Old Town.  I always thought it would be the coolest job.

What is your favorite part about working at Akinz? Making beanies and being in the atmosphere of Old Town.  The people and culture are amazing.

What is your favorite piece that Akinz currently has to offer?  Our new floral yoga leggings!  Super comfy and cute!

What is your favorite to make? Our sasha beanie.  Love the colors and the style of the beanie!  Perfect for all seasons!

What have you learned since working at Akinz?  Retail is no joke.  And being unique in every business aspect is very important!

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What would people never guess that you do in your role? Some might not think work can be fun, but I just love working at Akinz!

Spirit Animal? Elephant, bold and strong.

Before working at Akinz, what was the best/worst/interesting/unusual job that you had? Lifeguarding.  Yelling at parents more than kids isn’t as pleasant as it sounds.

What do you want to be when you “grow up”? Graphic or Industrial designer.  I love art and hands on work!

Favorite thing to do as it starts to get warm outside?  Hiking, backpacking and camping!

What three things can you not live without (besides food, water and shelter!)? My dog Beatrice, art, and the mountains!

Can you describe your style in five words or less? Outdoorsy, casual, easy-to-maintain, everyday

logan-rowley-staff-spotlight3If there was a t-shirt made to describe you what would it say or have on it? Mountains, campfire, and it would say wanderlust.

What is your favorite things about Colorado? Mountains, towns like Fort Collins, amazing people, and the Poudre River!

What are your interests and hobbies? Hiking, backpacking, camping, fishing, being with friends and family, and ART!
Anything you want to tell the readers? Anything they should know about you? (i.e. you can pat and rub your belly at the same time, you have ambitions of being an astronaut, etc…)  I really like fruit and Birkenstocks.

 

Spring Hiking on the Front Range

Are you having a hard time making the transition from winter to spring? It’s hard to let go of the skis and bring out the bike but we brought you some great ways to make it a bit easier on yourself. Exploring what the Front Range has to offer will remind you of why you are so proud to live in Colorado. Get out and enjoy it!

St. Mary’s Glacier

Photo Cred: summitpost.org

Photo Cred: summitpost.org

There is going to be snow here all year round so you can strap your board or skis on your back and get some turns in if you’re not quite ready to let go of snow. Or, you can just enjoy a leisurely 1.5 mile round trip hike and take in the spring time wildflowers that cover the area. After your hike, you should consider visiting the Indian Hot Springs in Idaho Springs while you’re up that way. You’ll be thankful you remembered your hat because chances are you’ll be left a bit chilly, as the area tends to be a bit breezy.

Red Rocks Park

Photo Cred: redrocksonline.com

Photo Cred: redrocksonline.com

Red Rocks is surrounded by miles of trails. Many music lovers tend to forget this and dismiss it as a great hiking spot. While you’re daydreaming of summer time shows, wear your galaxy leggings to bring some of the party with you to the venue. It has killer views on any trail you choose and due to its lower elevation will often not be a muddy mess that you may find on other trails surrounding the front range.

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Another great low elevation option, these miles of trails are beautifully maintained and are ready for your first mountain bike ride of the season. You can travel from Laporte across the Fort Collins back range on the interconnecting trail systems. Open to hikers as well, it is a great place to stretch your legs, as long as it hasn’t recently rained. These trails can get a lil’ messy when wet.

Spring Time Soup

Are you feeling the shoulder season slump? It’s too muddy to get on the trails and there is still snow in the high country but not enough to shred on. What are you going to do with yourself on these Colorado spring days? Check out how Akinz spends our soupy spring days.

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Frisbee in City Park, Fort Collins, CO Photo cred: Craig Okraska

Ultimate Frisbee or Frolf

Most of the parks in town will be dry enough to get your Frisbee on. Grab a few of your friends and drag them out of their winter lairs to roll around in the grass with you. It has been a long and cold winter. It’s a good way to get the heart pumping and enjoy some time with friends that you have missed all winter season.

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Caitlin Yong in our Ride More tee, Photo credit: Justin Malpica

Take Out Your Skate(board)

After a great season of powder turns, pull out your old deck and take a spin around the neighborhood. Hit up the skate park and remember how to use that old piece of wood. If you’re lucky, you’ll run into a few old skate buddies that will help you get back on board!

Denver Botanical Gardens

Photo Cred: denver.org

Photo Cred: denver.org

The gardens are a great place to spend a spring day. It allows you to soak up some of that early sunshine and you won’t be the only Coloradan struttin’ around with wintery white legs. Don’t forget that your skin hasn’t seen too much sun in the recent months and remember to bring your shades and hat to avoid looking like a lobster by the day’s end.

Chase the Sunmoab-bike

It may be soupy and muddy on the Front Range but it won’t be in Fruita or Moab! Put that bike rack back on and pack your car full of friends to save on gas money. Hit it and get those legs back into shape so they feel great for hiking, running and riding trails all summer long. The desert is a great place to be with friends no matter what it is. Did I hear outdoor sunset yoga? Or head over to Joshua Tree or Shelf Road for some early season climbing without getting scorched by the sun.

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Caitlin Yong climbing in Joshua Tree

Akinz Find Your Wings Foundation- Rig To Flip

Rig BumperRig to Flip has set out on a mission to provide a new media for an old west. With their focus on the rivers of the western slope, they aim to shed light on conservation issues that impact us all. The RTF team has recently produced a film about the Dolores River (AKA “The River of Sorrow”) of Southern Colorado and how the effects of the McPhee dam placed on the water, in 1985, has affected the native fish, the farmers and the recreational community of the area.12984035_463667110495637_3646045540305089400_o

The filming team is hoping to spend 12-14 days working on another way to focus the public eye on the nearly 200 miles of the Dolores river. They will be setting out to help create a new river map that will easily reflect available campsites, rapid size, navigation and locations and additional information about the area.

The previous river map, published in 1993, no longer reflects the changes that have taken place on the river as a result of the McPhee Dam Project. Rig To Flip has joined up with the Tamarisk Coalition, Dolores River Boating Advocates, American Whitewater, the BLM, Colorado Mesa University, the University of Wyoming and Conservation Colorado to achieve this goal together, as a community should.

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Join Akinz in helping the Rig To Flip crew get down to the Dolores by purchasing the latest Akinz Find Your Wings Foundation design. The shirts will be available in both the store and at our online store to practice your purchasing power.

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This one-of-a-kind Akinz design is helping the Rig To Flip organization take flight by becoming the third beneficiary of the Find Your Wings Foundation. They will be receiving 40% of all proceeds from each RTF shirt purchased. We are excited to be aiding in the conservation of the beauty of the Colorado rivers and wilderness areas alongside Rig To Flip. Thank you in advance for your purchase!12356833_1233946193286322_4476050841394217193_o

April 2016 Akinz Staff Spotlight: Lindsay Parke

Meet Lindsay Parke!  Lindsay is our in-house seamstress and also runs the store from time to time.  Most days you can catch her in the back corner of the store, in front of the sewing machine.  Lindsay is a Fort Collins native who recently returned home after living in the mountains for a while so, of course, she fit in at Akinz right away!  She also just had a birthday last week so, we thought she was the perfect choice for our first Staff Spotlight!

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What is your favorite part about working at Akinz?
Working in a creative environment where my thoughts and ideas are valued! I am truly inspired by Suzanne’s work ethic and drive, which pushes me to pursue my passions and creative pursuits as a maker!

What is your favorite piece that Akinz currently has to offer?
Green Snap Back Color Block Hat. It’s simple and classic for those sunshiny outdoor activities.

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What is your favorite to make?
Yoga leggings! So comfortable and they are pushing us into producing more in-house.

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What have you learned since working at Akinz?
The ins-and-outs of running a small business, as well as local sourcing.

What would people never guess that you do in your role?
Everyone here contributes to fill all the roles. We are still small enough that whatever needs to be done, we do!

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Before working at Akinz, what was the last job that you had?
Last ski season, I worked at a small B&B in Frisco, CO serving breakfast, housekeeping and doing happy hour. It was a relaxed mountain job that allowed me to snowboard and take a break from the city life.

Can you describe your style in five words or less?
Laidback outdoorsy tomboy

What are your favorite things about Colorado?
The outdoor healthy active lifestyle: hiking, camping, climbing, snowboarding, biking, microbreweries…

What are your interests and hobbies?
Yoga, hiking, biking, camping, climbing, snowboarding, beer drinking, painting, drawing, mixed media, design, photography…

Any last words?

Support your local makers! I am all about living that local lifestyle!

10 Reasons Why We Love Leggings

Alright, the debate has been had that leggings can not and should not be considered to be pants. Here at Akinz, we have decided they don’t need to be boxed in! Leggings should be valued for what they are, in a class of their own- flexible, comfortable and functional year round. To set the record straight of why leggings hold their own in this timeless debate, we present you with the 10 reasons why we love leggings.

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  1. One ‘fit’ to rule them all
    There is no need for ones labeled “curvy” or “boyfriend fit” because they are designed to hug all those curves in all the right places.
  2. You can throw away your old “fat pants”
    On those days where you have overeaten or the morning after Tour de Fat, there is no need to try to slip into a pair of skinny jeans. Slip on a pair of soft cotton leggings and enjoy your belly being swaddled until the stomach pains go away.
  3. They are adaptable to every shape and size
    True, one size does not fit all. We have all learned that unfortunate lesson from buying the $2 pair off Amazon that were made for tiny girls, but our leggings are 100% USA made, accomodate all sizes and several designs are printed on our very own printing press.
  4. You can wear them anywhere
    Under your snowboard pants, under your favorite summer dress that you want to wear in the winter, to the grocery store, mountain biking, to the movies, anywhere!
  5. Use them to dress up or down
    Leggings are so versatile! You can pair them with our Fireside Hoodie Dress for apres ski drinks or with knee high boots and a blazer for a business casual look. They are not just for yoga anymore…
  6. They were made for brunching
    Brunch and leggings were designed with the high class lazy people of the world in mind. You’re not late for breakfast and wearing workout clothes, you’re at brunch in your best leggings. Get it straight.
  7. They make packing easy
    Great things come in small packages, right? Instead of packing bulky pairs of jeans, a couple pairs of leggings will enable you to actually fit all of your things into a carry on bag for your adventure.
  8. They can be an act of self expression
    Thinking about getting a leg tattoo? Try out the Fly Away Compression Yoga Leggings that can show you just how great it would accentuate your upper thigh. Feeling cosmic, try our moisture-wicking Galaxy Yoga Leggings!
  9. They aren’t jeans
    Jeans can be stiff, uncomfortable and you always find yourself having to cover the top of your tush. Leggings don’t wrinkle, don’t take two dryer cycles to still come out kinda-sorta dry and you don’t have to spend time trying on 32 different sizes to find the right fit.
  10. They are your entire wardrobe
    You can wear the same pair all week and no one will ever notice as long as you switch up your top!

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