The Inspiring Story of our founder Kari Traa
From Olympic Champion to Women's Sportswear:
Kari Traa is not just a three-time Olympic medalist, but also the founder of Europe's fastest-growing women's sports brand. Her inspiring story started in the mountainous village of Voss, Norway, where she was born with skis on her feet. Her overpowering talent for particularly bumpy trails led her to become an Olympic champion mogul skier in 2002.
Kari's entrepreneurial spirit shone through even during her skiing career. When sponsors finally came on the scene with clothing for athletes, it was only designed for the men's team. Kari, with an enormous creative power and a good eye for design, crocheted and knitted her own beanies during training and competitions. Her colorful beanies became so popular with friends and skiers that she decided to turn the hobby into a business. And so, the Kari Traa brand was born.
Kari Traa's brand distinguished itself from the get-go with strong colors, feminine design, and lots of playfulness. What started as a small selection of colorful garments soon grew into a complete sports collection of jackets, ski and exercise clothing. But most of all, Kari Traa became known for what would revolutionize the base layer category, namely Rose wool underwear.
Kari found the inspiration for her revolutionary wool base layers for women on the Traa family's own farm in Voss. She used the pattern on the tapestry, which still hangs in the living room, and modernized it with new colors. Today, Kari Traa's design-team continues to be inspired by Kari's childhood memories, Norwegian traditions, the harsh conditions of the West, and the raw Norwegian nature. Women remain the focus in everything from technical execution to design.
Inspiring other women to dare to follow their dreams has always been a great motivator for Kari. After winning silver at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, there were no female skiers to pick up the baton after her retirement. To recruit new talent to the freestyle skiing sport, she teamed up with the Norwegian Ski Federation and Olympiatoppen to start her own ski team for girls. Today we can see a number of new ski talents thanks to this, including Hedwig Wessel, who placed third in the freestyle world-cup in 2016 and ranked number two in 2021 worldwide.
The Kari Traa brand outgrew Norway's borders long ago and is now well established in twelve other European countries, with growth in all markets. In 2015, Kari Traa was launched on the US market and has gained popularity among active girls. All over the world today, Kari Traa's playful and courageous spirit embodies the brand's ambassadors, focusing on the goal of equalizing gender and power imbalances in sports and societies at large.
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Our ambassadors are some of the most amazing women out there, and we're so proud to work with them. They're Olympic athletes, adventurers, leaders in their communities and everything in between. They're the ones pushing boundaries and setting new standards, and we're honored to support them every step of the way.
Kari Traa is not just a women's sports brand founded by a three-time Olympic medalist, it's a community that celebrates femininity, encourages each other, and is obsessed with the outdoors. We believe in empowering women to tackle any challenge with confidence through quality materials and thoughtful designs. With our bold colors, playful designs, and Norwegian heritage, are we the badass friend that lifts everyone around her.