Andrew Gibbs-Dabney, founder and CEO of LIVSN Designs talking sustainability [EP 249]

LIVSN creates versatile and sustainable apparel designed to last longer. Andrew is dedicated to values of sustainability and conscious capitalism. He truly believes business success and social progress go hand in hand and he has built LIVSN on these ideals from day one.

Show Notes



Jack Black

Things we talked about

How Andrew got into the Outdoors

I grew up here in Fayetteville and the Arkansas mountains. Fayetteville itself is a really hilly and woodsy area.  My dad always told me when I was a kid, well, you know, we're living in a forest. That was after I was complaining about spiders being in my bedroom. I never got rid of that, we're living in a forest. As a kid, I was in Scouts and we'd go out with my dad. At the time he was a loan officer for chicken farms, which took us out into the backwoods a lot and out to these farms. He'd take me with him and I'd go explore, everywhere has its own natural beauty.

The thing I really love about the Ozarks is there's these really just enchanting little hollows and micro scenery areas where you just get into this little Valley, these little hollows, rock outcroppings and caves, and creeks. And as a kid, I would just wander down into those. It was pretty much ingrained into me. I had a bike when I was five or six and basically, Fayetteville became my playground.

Arkansas master naturalist

That was something that I got into with my wife and then also my dad. It was a radio ad on NPR that said become an Arkansas master naturalist learned about the flora and fauna of your state and get involved in conservation and education. And that spoke to me. So I looked it up and showed it to my wife and my dad and said, Hey, you do want to do this? And they said, yeah. So we were really into that as a decently intensive education program where you learn about the geography, the flora, the plants, and the fauna, the animals of the state and the region of what makes it unique and what are the ecological drivers of the area so that you can go out and educate and translate and be an active part of the environmental community in the area in Arkansas.

First Outdoor Job

Fayettechill was probably my first professional job. I’d say that in the sense that it was a full-time job, but before that I had worked as a raft guide for the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Tennessee. I spent a season doing that and I would consider that probably my first outdoor job.


Small Business Revolution.org story 


I wanted to be in the outdoor industry for the rest of my life. I spent a brief time in the tech industry as a CMO of a tech company and raising money, going to Silicon Valley and saw the backside of that industry. And it was ugly. It was everybody's side hustle had a side hustle, right? You can never tell what someone's real passion was. And in the outdoor industry, it's not perfect, but it's not that. It's people that are really passionate for the most part about what they're doing from a lifestyle design point of view, wanting to be there. The strategic and I guess the philosophical side of it is I wanted to be proud of what I built, the way I set goals in life. But the way that I get there is every bit as important as getting there. And so it was this idea of building a company that deserves to exist. Building products that deserve to exist. And so I wrote down basically a series of essays, which are pretty much still on our website. This is like, how we'll be, right. This is our values, our mission, what we're trying to live pretty much like a manifesto. It was just perfect. We're going to build products that deserve to exist that are differentiated, that are high quality.


I would focus on creating something that is purely your own. We've been hiring lately and the ability for someone to say, look at this, that I built, and that doesn't mean a thing. And then I have to build an actual product or a physical thing, could be a podcast for example, a work Podcast, a portfolio of work photos, a blog, even your Instagram, like it could be a tool. It's showing that you're the personal initiative that you are the right kind of person. Cause a lot of times, especially for me when I'm hiring, I want to know who you are. It's a big part of it, especially the first few hires at a business. That's a big part of your success is going to beyond your personality, how well you mesh. And if it's just a resume that says, I worked this role at this business, you know, I did this and that's all that it is, job functions that make work. But really what's going to work is saying, here's that, but here's me. And it's something I built, and this is how I'm gonna approach this. And so if you want to get into the outdoor industry somehow capture that.

Favorite Books

To a God Unknown by John Steinbeck

Travels with Charlie in Search of America by John Steinbeck

 The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard

The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker

Show Banner

“make less”

Favorite Gear

Nightcore USB Rechargeable Headlamp

LIVSN DEAL: Get 10% OFF LIVSN Gear:  go to our website and use the code outdoorbiz10 and get 10% off your purchase

Connect with Andrew and LIVSN



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00:1:34 Intro to the Outdoors

00:57:04 Advice

00:59:10 Favorite Gear


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