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Alumna Alysia Kline climbs to the top with Outdoor Divas

Alysia Kline (MS finance ’04, MBA ’04) knows what it’s like to be a woman in a man’s world. And she’s a competitor — in sports and business — as co-owner of the women’s outdoor gear and apparel company Outdoor Divas.

Kline’s summary of running the business is simple: “It’s fun,” she explains, “but it takes a tolerance of pain.”

The women’s side of the recreation industry has really taken off in the past five years, Kline says. “Most companies thought the idea wouldn’t have worked … but we validated the idea, and now people pay attention.”

Kline’s friends and business partners Michael Callas and Kim Walker launched Outdoor Divas in 2002 with a 6,000-square-foot space in Boulder, Colo. Kline worked part time at the store until she finished her business degree from DU in 2004. She then came on full time as finance director. She became co-owner in 2007.

And that’s when the business really started booming. The company’s Web site launched in 2005; its Denver location, at 2717 E. Third Ave. in Cherry Creek, opened in 2006. The 3,100-square-foot store offers products from about 100 different vendors.

The store is a one-stop shop for active women. It’s a place to get not only essential (and fashionable) clothes, but equipment and gear for an array of sports. The company’s competitors, Kline says, often focus on either clothing or equipment, so Outdoor Divas’ combination of the two makes it stand out among other sporting goods and clothing stores.

Outdoor Divas — which has 12 employees — carries popular, big-name brands like Mountain Hardwear and Patagonia, but its focus is on smaller, niche brands.

“We’re planning a slow growth so it’s manageable. We’ve proved we can be successful as a regional competitor,” says Kline, adding that she, Callas and Walker may eventually take the company national.

“We want to encourage women to get out there and have fun,” Kline says. “We think exercising and being healthy is a really important part of your life, so we just try to make this a place where someone can be comfortable, feel good about what they are purchasing and have some enjoyment in their lives.”

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