I knew I had found a kindred spirit the first time I spoke with Outside, Texas co-founder Brandon Yates. We began talking about our favorite treks and prettiest spots in Texas, finding much common ground. I also learned that the company’s signature logo is a combination of several of my favorite Texas vistas. Yates says Texas doesn’t get enough credit for its impressive natural beauty.
Local appreciation of nature is also anemic in North Texas. If I think there is no natural beauty in North Texas, then I won’t attempt to find any; and when asked, I won’t share the region’s prettiest spots. This is the cycle Outside, Texas hopes to break through community, a love of nature, and outdoor apparel.
“There’s so much to do here in the state, but it’s not publicized,” says Brandon Yates. He co-founded the Texas-themed retail brand with his friend Josh Florence in 2019. It has since grown from a Farmers Market pop-up selling t-shirts, hats, hoodies, and beanies to two locations in Dallas and Austin.
The Lower Greenville location is set to move into a larger space across the street soon, and the company’s mountain sunset logo is already becoming ubiquitous in East Dallas, where Yates and his family live. Every time I take my kids to the park, I am likely to see multiple Outside, Texas pieces of swag. The company sells everything from t-shirts and stickers to coozies and hats. A portion of all sales is donated to Texas Parks and Wildlife, and each month, a customer is selected to be given an annual state parks pass.
But the company hopes to be a lot more than apparel. Yates says the goal is to connect locals to the beauty the state has to offer by leading hiking and camping trips, eventually leaning on his background in concert promotion and booking to stand up outdoor music festivals that focus on the appreciation of nature. Yates wants the shop to be a one stop resource to get people outside, aligning with partners that are already doing similar work.
The company experienced 233 percent growth year over year in 2021 and is expected to grow another 50 percent this year. The Lower Greenville shop also creates guides to the great outdoors and hopes to lead trips and host outdoor music festivals in Dallas. “With all these people coming from out of state, we want to be a one-stop-shop resource—where to go and what to do in the outdoors of Texas,” Yates says.