Hoo We Are - Founder's Story

Claire Zhu
Claire Zhu

Hello there! Welcome to the Hootie Hoo flock! 

This is Claire Zhu, the CEO and co-founder of Hootie Hoo.

At Hootie Hoo, we believe that some of life's best lessons and habits for our children are learned outdoors.

As a parent of two young kids and a veteran of the outdoor industry, I have been frustrated with kids’ outdoor gear, which usually is low tech, scaled-down versions of adult gear or too expensive for daily kids’ wear. I knew we could do better, so I teamed up with a few parents and started Hootie Hoo.

Claire and family

Since the first day we founded the brand in 2021, we've been hard at work designing, sampling, testing, and steadily growing our brand. Our products are designed in Vermont and tested by our own kids and young skiers and riders in demanding conditions.

All features are based on real experience. For example, the drop seat on the Vista Snowsuit makes restroom visits fast and easy, the removable powder skirt on the Tiptop 3L Shell Jacket changes the snow shell jacket into rainwear, and the unique Zero-Trace-Pocket (ZTP) on all our pants teaches our kids be responsible with their belongings (including trash!) and be mindful about our environment.

Our #1 goal is to pass along our passion about the outdoors and enjoy it together with our kids as a family!

Our values:

More green time, less screen time - Screens and social media are too pervasive in our society, we want our kids to be outside more and develop an appreciation for nature and the mental and physical resilience that comes from that adventure.

Protect our playground - We are committed to do our part to develop technical apparel responsibly, using recycled materials wherever possible and developing gear that lasts so it can be passed on.  ​

Highly technical and purpose built - Every feature has a purpose, streamlining production costs, with a focus on breathability and water-proofing.   We want our kids warm and dry so they can stay outside longer.​

We often get asked where we came up with the name Hootie Hoo.   My family uses it as a call when outdoors hiking or on the slopes to locate each other.  To us, it’s become a symbol of having fun outside, so don’t be afraid to give a “Hootie Hoo” next time you’re having a blast in the great outdoors!



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