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Adventurous Spirit: The Story of Ottomatic Threads 

Alisa Otto's life has revolved around nature and using it to keep her adventurous spirit alive!
Alisa Otto
Year started: 2019
For as long as she can remember, nature has been Alisa Otto’s happy place. She still vividly recalls treasured childhood memories of camping, hiking, and fishing trips growing up in the Bay Area. The outdoors allowed Alisa’s adventurous spirit and creativity to thrive. She could truly be herself surrounded by nature. 

The Outdoors Isn’t Cool Anymore 

As a young girl, Alisa noticed a trend – girls her age dropping out of outdoor activities the older they got. She overheard them claim ‘playing outdoors isn’t cool anymore, but Alisa refused to accept this. However, as Alisa grew into her teen years, she noticed the clothes that fit her when venturing outdoors weren’t stylish. 

One Particular Experience 

During adulthood, Alisa recalls one particular experience that led her to the ultimate creation of Ottomatic Threads. While on a hiking trip, Alisa had to raid her husband’s closet to find clothes that would be suitable for her; even then she couldn’t get a top that functioned the way she needed it to: She was miserable during the hike. Another series of experiences would change Alisa’s trajectory forever. 

Almost Lost Her Life

Alisa almost lost her life during the birth of her daughter due to severe complications. Four years later, an ectopic pregnancy would again endanger Alisa’s life yet again. On her long drive back from that aforementioned hike, at four months pregnant with her son she was told she couldn’t have, she promised that she would start her business to help other women find peace in the outdoors as she had time and time again. When her son was born against all odds, she kept that promise. 

Ottomatic Threads 

In 2019 after her son’s birth, Alisa began designing and testing women’s outdoor clothing while working as a professor. She focused on functional yet flattering pieces for hiking, camping, biking, climbing, and exploring. Alisa poured her lifetime passion for nature into founding her new brand – Ottomatic Threads. Alisa built the business on the pillars of sustainability and inclusivity in the outdoors, and the company quickly resonated with women seeking better outdoor apparel options. 

Empower her Daughter

Just as momentum built with the company, tragedy struck. Alisa’s daughter was diagnosed with a dangerous brain tumor requiring immediate surgery and extensive rehab. Alisa slowed down product development with Ottomatic Threads to give her the time to support her daughter’s recovery, leaving much of the day to day projects to her small team. Determined to empower her daughter to enjoy the outdoors throughout her recovery and beyond, Alisa reaffirmed her belief that her business was making an impact on women’s experiences in the outdoors.. 

No Easy Feat 

Once Alisa’s daughter regained strength at home, Alisa resumed growing Ottomatic Threads, continuing to balance parenting two children and university teaching. It’s no easy feat but seeing her daughter enjoying the outdoors motivates Alisa to empower more women to experience nature’s restorative power.

One Base Layer at a Time 

Above all, Alisa stays grounded in her original vision for the company – to share the mental and physical benefits she’s gained from a lifetime exploring the outdoors with women everywhere through outdoor apparel designed to adventure freely. Forging ahead, Alisa shares her lifelong nature passion with women through apparel that is comfortable, stylish, and inclusive. For Alisa and her growing outdoors community, this is just the beginning. She plans to keep her adventurous spirit alive – one base layer at a time.