Continuing our conversation with Co-Founder Kate Hudson, we ventured outside her parents’ ranch in Aspen, into the wilderness to shoot the new November collection. Walking alongside crystal clear streams, rocky terrain and lush forests, talk turned to past camping trips and rock climbing tales, with Kate describing how growing up in the mountains shaped her intense love of the outdoors, her relentless quest for adventure and a constant need to challenge herself. Truly in her element, Kate’s every word and action further emphasized what an important role nature—and remaining connected to your roots—plays in her everyday life.
What does “expanding horizons” mean to you?
To me, expanding one’s horizons is discovering what makes you tick, what makes you happy, where you challenge yourself. Happiness is a subjective experience. One person’s happiness is not another person’s happiness, right? And for me, the things that’ve expanded my horizons or brought me the most joy are going to be mine. I might share some of those experiences, but sometimes my favorite moments have been putting on my earphones and going out for a walk. Sometimes, I’ll find myself lost. Then, all of a sudden, I realize I’m alone. An animal could pop out at any moment! But those moments of a little bit of fear are where you challenge yourself and step outside of your own norm. I find that one of the most tangible places we can do that is in physicality because we can see and feel the difference. It’s the difference between walking one mile and two weeks later, walking two. I think once we start to realize that power, it seeps into our emotions, our mindfulness, where we want to push ourselves psychologically. It’s an amazing thing to watch happen. You watch people get healthier inside their body and they get healthier inside their mind. So to me, expanding your horizons is taking baby steps where you’re constantly discovering new things about who you are and what you like. It’s the beauty of life I guess.
Can you describe a time you felt adventurous?
Well, I’m an Aries so I feel like I’m always adventurous, but the truth is that for a lot of my life, I was scared. I was driven by so much fear. When I was young, I was fearless. Then, I had Ryder very young and stopped doing a lot of the adventurous things that I really loved to do. I was very—almost too much—of a fearless athlete. I wanted to climb Half Dome and people thought I was crazy. There were things I wanted to do and then I had my baby and my career started, and as that happened, that fearlessness turned into a lot of things driven by fear. When I was in my late 20s I started to realize that I hadn’t been doing the things that I really loved to do. That adventurous side of me had been tucked away and I didn’t want to lose it. I had a friend who made that very clear to me that they didn’t want to see that part of me go away, and it hit me, that I needed to start getting back to being outdoors, being active, dancing and skiing. I remember I got out on the mountain and I hadn’t skied in 3 years and I just balled my eyes out because I remembered “this is who I am.” So I make a point to do something adventurous every year.
How do you feel about hiking? Any hiking stories to share?
For me, hiking is another place where I can hear my inner voice talking a lot. And I go from listening to that inner voice, to then trying to tell that inner voice to quiet down! It’s this wonderful time for myself to think about the things that I wish I was doing, that maybe I need to do, to think about the fact that I’m thinking about too much and that I need to stop thinking. It’s just a great time to reflect and then sometimes just listen to music. It’s not just always about the social activity of hiking as it is feeling oxygen in your lungs and getting up to viewpoints where you see vistas, whenever you are in the world.
“Expanding your horizons is taking baby steps where you’re constantly discovering new things about who you are and what you like. It’s the beauty of life I guess.”
When did you learn to rock climb? Who taught you?
Rock climbing was actually something that was introduced to me by one of my first crushes. I had a crush on a boy and he loved to rock climb, and one day he just said “you want to come rock climbing with me?” and I said “of course I do!” We went out to this rock wall and I did my first climb. I remember getting up to the top and I loved it. It was hard but I was a dancer so it made sense that my flexibility worked with it. I felt such a simple sense of accomplishment. So that led me into going on trips that were more focused on rock climbing. I went to Half Dome, I didn’t climb the face, but I got up to the top towards the back face. That was the biggest climb I did. I’m a crier and so I actually got a little emotional getting up to Half Dome. Then I climbed The Needles and I just started going on these trips. I went and did Bear Grylls and it was the first time I had climbed in a really long time and I mean it’s Bear Grylls so you know you’re jumping right into the deep end. It’s like ok, you haven’t rappelled since you were 19, now let’s do 350 feet! There’s that element of pushing your limits. It’s mental just as much as it is physical.
“You’ve got to tune in and challenge yourself in ways that make you uncomfortable.”
Why do you think it’s important to challenge yourself?
I really feel that when you challenge yourself physically, it reminds you that we can challenge ourselves emotionally. When people climb the mountain or they train for a marathon, the reason why it’s such an emotional experience is because we realize we have this enormous capacity to get through anything. it’s almost harder for some people to do it emotionally than it is physically, but when you do get there physically, it reminds you that there’s always somewhere further to go, and gets you excited about the next goal. One of the things I’ve always said is that we have this amazing shell, we have an amazing vehicle, right? Just physically, to learn or to try to get your body to its optimal ability. Sometimes I wonder “What would it feel like to be at my optimum strength? Or my optimum health? Or my optimum clarity?” You keep going, going, going and then you realize there’s always further to go. The greatest athletes in the world still want to go further. So, that’s really just the human condition. Where do we challenge ourselves? Why are we challenging ourselves? I think sometimes it’s just as good to just relax and let it go; you don’t need to challenge yourself all the time. Maybe for the great fitness enthusiast who’s always working out, their great challenge is spending more time calmly knitting or reading a book or meditating. So you’ve got to tune in and challenge yourself in ways that make you uncomfortable.
“When you have real camping experiences with people where you connect with them, you laugh harder than you’ll ever laugh.”
Do you enjoy camping?
I love camping. Now that I’m older, I like glamping more than I like camping! I was just talking with the kids about getting a big yurt tent and, of course, I can’t help myself if I want to go get fake sheepskins and make it look like Out of Africa or something. I don’t camp nearly as much as I used to. When I was younger, I did it all the time. One of the best camping trips we ever took up here was on the horses with my dad. We went, got on our horses, went camping, packed up the horses and went up to the mountain, which was just amazing. And to tie up the horses overnight, you feel like you’re in the old West! But one thing I love the most about camping is the quiet. When you’re in quiet, you really see how comfortable you are with your own thoughts. I also remember this trip for my school and it was in mountainous area. We had our big backpacks on and we hiked for a week into the mountains and tented and camped out, about 15 of us. My best friend was on it and she’s still my best friend to this day. It was one of those experiences I’ll never forget. It’s so vivid. And I think when you have real camping experiences with people where you connect with them, you laugh harder than you’ll ever laugh because you’re in the elements and you’re paying so much attention to each other.
How has spending time outdoors shaped who you are today?
You know, politics and religion are two things that I never really want to be super vocal about because it creates conflict. And I like to live a life that is as conflict-free as possible. I’m very much a peacemaker. But to me, being in nature is where I feel connected to God. That’s just when I feel that there is something outside of us, something that exists bigger than us and instead of it making me scared, I feel connected. I don’t feel afraid of where we go, I just feel purpose. I feel like the purpose of being connected to God or whatever you believe in, I find that in nature.
Discover even more about Kate’s Aspen adventure next month!