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    News — our story

    How we make our climbing tees

    How we make our climbing tees

    As our tagline goes, we're Made by climbers for climbers

    And, sure, it may sound a little catchy, but here's what's really up:

    The "made by climbers" part

    When my husband and I started Gneiss Apparel in our little cabin in the woods, our whole goal was to create something we wanted but couldn't really find: climbing-inspired apparel that we'd want to wear all the time. Sure there's great branded stuff from all the big outdoor brands. But we were looking for something that spoke more to rock climbing the way we experienced it – the places, adventures and stories that really meant "climbing" to us.

    Ambassador Kayleen wearing one of our favorite designs: the Run It Out tee

    Our climbing style

    We've been climbing for about 8 years now (our story's here) and love everything from gym climbing to getting outside and sport climbing or trad climbing. Every spare minute we can find is spent outside. And while we spend a lot of that time at crags, one of the things we really love to do when we get the chance is to comb Google Earth for rocks that look climbable and then just set out to see what we can find! We come back totally worn out but, in a weird way, refreshed. There's nothing like a little adventure to keep ya inspired.

    One of our Google Earth-inspired adventures

    Our designs

    Being graphic designers, it's probably not shocking that designing our products is one of our favorite aspects of the business. Inspiration comes from everywhere – everything from climbing history to our own random experiences – and many a road trip has been spent hashing out new ideas.

    Bringing those ideas to life is what's really exciting, though. We spend a lot of time perfecting the designs on the computer (putting my education to good use, mom!), and then we dive into finding the perfect color combination to finish it off.

    How could you not have a nice day in one of these happy hats?




    The "made for climbers" thing

    We're lucky to have an amazing shop in Denver that prints our tees. With each design, they work with us to get the softest possible print so that our shirts are never heavy or constricting like some can be.

    It's always been important to us that our shirts be soft and comfortable to move in so that you don't even think about them while you're climbing (except maybe for the selfie at the top, haha). This is why we've chosen polyester blends for our tees and tanks whenever possible, too, so they're breathable, stay cool, and move with you as you climb.

    soft-breathable-rock-climbing-shirtsOur focus has always been on making our products as comfortable and breathable as possible. Climb on...and on!

    Matt, another awesome ambassador, putting our Conquistadors tee to the test.

    But as fun as it is to create our products, it's been way more rewarding to hear the stories our customers have in relation to them – we've heard so many epic tales of climbs in The Black, for instance! And, really, nothing beats seeing pictures of our products mid-adventure. We still get pretty geeked when we see our product on real live people, haha, but seeing them out in the wild is a whole different kind of thrill.

    A big thanks to @tnobleman for this pic wearing the Colorado Crags tee in the Black Canyon.

    And we love this shot of Zen (in the Run It Out tee) and Lisa hanging out on the top of Father Dyer Peak.

    We'd be nothing without customers like you and want to say a huge thanks – for your orders and stories alike. They're what keep us going!

    Amanda (+ Jack)


    Jack & Amanda Schuler—Gneiss Founders, Designers, Climbers, and New Parents—Break Down the #GneissLife

    Jack & Amanda Schuler—Gneiss Founders, Designers, Climbers, and New Parents—Break Down the #GneissLife

    "Sunburned lips and shredded tips, multipitch routes and bouldering hoots, dirty faces and campfire races....THIS is the GneissLife.  This story of what it means to climb—for the scare, the glory, the thrill, the laughs—this is is what makes us feel alive, what keeps us climbing, and what makes us happy.”

    Jack and Amanda SchulerColorado-based Gneiss Apparel Supply Co. founders, designers, new parentshave at times encountered moments that have tested their resolve to climb, but in each instance remember that the end reward outweighs the initial effort. In climbing, and in life, these two have taken that approach to everything:  the adventure of the journey is a formative experience, contributing to who they become as people to create the reality that they want.


    Selfie in the South Platte

    This entrepreneurial couple isn’t your average outdoorsy pair:  they both put in their time at design agencies before traveling the world and resettling in Colorado to explore, start a family, and focus on integrating their love of beautiful, meaningful design with the climbing lifestyle that forms a large part of their collective identity.

    The journey to form Gneiss wasn’t so straightforward, however. Through a serendipitous and circuitous series of events, these two met post-college through a parental connection (that admittedly evoked an “Ugh, Dad!” moment from Amanda when her father encouraged her to reach out for post-design school advice from Jack) and began their outdoor exploits on a whim after meeting in Denver for one fateful Valentine’s Day date in 2009.

    A graduate of the prestigious ArtCenter College of Design, Jack had burned out from city life and a tremendous workload in Los Angeles, “pack[ing] everything I could into my Jeep and [driving] it straight back to Colorado.” This return to his home state would be pivotal for Jack’s professional, climbing, and romantic future:  over the course of just a few years, his freelance career would take off and, meeting Amanda, they’d become Colorado outdoor addicts together.


    Views from a favorite camping spot in the Lost Creek Wilderness 

    With excursions from Rocky Mountain National Park to the South Plattespending a particularly large amount of time in Devil’s Head and the Lost Creek WildernessJack and Amanda explored the Centennial State, thirsty for new experiences:

    Over the years we’ve explored new types of climbing, and with each transition—going from the gym to outdoor sport and now to trad—we fall in love with the sport in a new way. Each change has its challenges, of course, and can be pretty terrifying in the beginning, but it also makes it that much more of a thrill when you finally get the hang of it.


     Amanda taping up for Scorpio Crack


     The Schulers' home away from home

    The shift between climbing types didn’t come without a cost, thoughbecause for every epic memory, there are an equal number of epics that got buried in their shared subconscious. Amanda and Jack’s term, “Schuler Adventure Times,” describes just this sentimentas well as Gneiss’ approach to lifestyle products as a celebration of self:

    "We're all about celebrating adventurous spirits and the endless thirst for more. It's about long days and getting scared. It's heinous approaches, enjoying sun and friends, getting dirty, and shredding tips. It's the thrill of finally doing what seemed impossible! This is what we really love about climbing and what we want to celebrate with everything we do."

    What adventure is complete without some good ol' bushwhacking?
    After a wet hike out from a climb
    Unexpected snow storms led to camping in the back of their SUV
    If not for Schuler Adventure times (i.e. when Amanda learned to lead at Parachute Rock), these two wouldn’t have known the mettle of their true grit and their commitment to each other, climbing, and exploring the stuff of which they’re really made.
    The two climbing in Devil's Head, a favorite / Photo: Mark Billesbach

    Climbing and Colorado had these two hooked, though, and together they began to develop a shared vision:  first, with through-hiking the Colorado Trail, next with starting a life together that meshed their love of the outdoors with an expression of creativity speaking to the tenacity, resolve, and inspiration that moves their friends in the outdoors community.

    Through-hiking was an epic undertaking (another story for another time), but with that experience bookended with a trip to Cambodia, Amanda quit her job to join Jack in the freelancing life. At some point, they both saw “a need for well-designed lifestyle clothing for climbers, mountaineers, and general outdoor enthusiasts. Freelancing gave us the time to develop the brand. We started out designing the shirts, a bunch of them….” and from there, Gneiss Apparel Supply Co. was born.
    “Our ultimate goal is freedom. Freedom to spend life the way we want to, to have more time for our daughter, to not be tied down.” Jack’s words echo the approach many of us see in our own lives. To thrive and grow as individuals, in our relationships, and in support of the communities that help define who we are, the Gneiss ethic promotes the indomitable spirit that characterizes the experience of the everyday climber and adventurer. 


    Jack finishing a climb in the South Platte

    Not surprisingly, Gneiss tees are tailored to a lifestyle as easily appropriate in a meeting as around a campfire or in a squeeze chimney. Amanda:  “[Our] shirts...are super soft, easy to move in, and breathable. We...paid special attention to the printing process and carefully chose methods for each of the designs that would result in the most comfortable/breathable end result possible.”

    Taking their designs back to the foundation where they got their start, Gneiss will build off their initial appearance at Boulder’s Reel Rock 10, sponsoring 2016’s Reel Rock 11 showing in Denver on September 17.


    Have fun. Make time. Be Gneiss.


    Interview date:  June 2016
    To learn more, contact Jack or Amanda
    Guest interviewer:  Dani Reyes-Acosta

    The Gneiss Life

    Your Fun-hogging, Epic, Adventuring Moments Celebrate the Climbing Spirit For Batso’s Birthday



    #GneissLife Adventure Times

    Sit down and mull this over:  Five miles down a terrible dirt road, three hours into a gnarly approach, dark clouds ominously threatening, have you had the thought run through your head:  “Am I really that stoked to do this?” Yet for some (unknown) reason, you keep trudging up the trail, wiggle into your harness, and tie into a rope that’ll take you to the top of a climb that inevitably changes your perspectiveon how you approach the day, the week, maybe even the year—and you’ll regret ever questioning your resolve.


    Sometimes the journey IS the adventure

    In encountering those pre-climb moments, Jack and Amanda SchulerColorado-based Gneiss Apparel Supply Co. founders, designers, and new parentsfound inspiration to celebrate the uncrushable spirit characterizing climbers regardless of their circumstances. In recognizing that we, as climbers, belong to something larger than ourselves, this celebration of those “adventure times” moments belongs to our community, not just the Gneiss team.

    Still sitting? This story of what it means to climbfor the scare, the glory, the thrill, the laughsis a story of not just us, but of you. It is a story that we’re telling over the next two weeks, leading up to the birthday celebration of one of climbing’s original personalities, Warren “Batso” Harding. And, it’s a story that we want you to help write.


    Jack and Amanda Schuler gearing up to climb

    Jack and Amanda created Evergreen, CO-based Gneiss to represent the adventure-seeking, fun-hogging, teeth-gritting tenacity that drives each of us to forge the paths in life that make us happy and allow us to thrive. Jack sums it up:  “our ultimate goal is freedom. Freedom to spend life the way we want to, to have more time for our daughter, to not be tied down.” There’s a little bit of the riotous Batso energy in all of us, isn’t there? That same renegade spirit that drove Harding to put up numerous Yosemite FAs may not mean we’re scaling 1000+ ft walls, but it does mean we laugh in the face of “normal” to pursue our own freedoms.

    When Batso’s birthday rolls around on June 18, we’re giving away 3 of these limited run Batso tees to the most liked and shared Instagram and Facebook posts you submit--stories that show the world your take on those adventuring moments that make you who you are.

    Gneiss Apparel Supply Co. "Batso Airlines" Tee

    Win the Gneiss Apparel Supply Co. "Batso Airlines" Tee When You Show Off Your #GneissLife 

    Use the hashtags #begneiss and #gneisslife, DM us on Instagram or Facebook, or email us at and we’ll share your story.



    Between now and June 18, we'll share some of our own "adventure times" moments so you can learn a little more about us, and what it means to #begneiss. An example from Amanda:

    …[It was] one of the first times I’d trad climbed. We were on the second pitch of a climb at Parachute Rock and it wasn’t the tallest climb but it felt pretty stinkin’ tall when I had to place my own gear. I was inching my way up, carefully testing each piece as I placed it. And of course, to add to the excitement, we could see a storm starting to roll in so I had to get moving. I had a bit of Elvis leg going on but I had to suck it up and force myself to move above each piece as I placed it, trusting that it’d hold. When I finally made it to the top it was such a sense of relief that I couldn’t help but start yelling – and I’m typically a pretty quiet person, haha. I kinda couldn’t believe I’d made it.

    So share your story with us today, and you could win one of the Batso Gneiss teeswhich is just as appropriate around a campfire as worn in a squeeze chimney. Amanda:  “Our shirts are super soft, easy to move in, and breathable. We paid special attention to the printing process and carefully chose methods for each of the designs that would result in the most comfortable/breathable end result possible.”


    Gneiss Ambassador Kayleen coils a rope at the end of a day of climbing at Clear Creek Canyon. Kayleen is wearing the Betende Hände Tee.

    These ultrasoft tees aren’t the only thing you’ll take away from the Batso comp: this tee represents the everyday you, and the you that you’ll become…because that’s just who you are.

    Have fun. Make time. Be Gneiss.


    Finishing a day of fun at Scorpio Dome

    About Gneiss Apparel Supply Co.
    Gneiss clothing is gear made by climbers, for climbers, to express the lightheartedness, seriousness, and every feeling in between that goes into the climbing lifestyle. Every design is inspired by climbing, from the ultra-soft combed cotton tees to the graphics we design to the Denver-based production. Gneiss tees are designed to feel as much like your favorite, worn-in tees as possible, and are just as comfortable on multi-pitch climbs as they are in the boardroom. Sold online at, you can also find Gneiss for sale at Reel Rock 11 in Denver. Gneiss supports the Access Fund, the American Alpine Club and the American Safe Climbing Association, donating 1% of its profits to these organizations’ efforts to promote safe, accessible climbing for all.

    Press Contact:
    Dani Reyes-Acosta
    Nomad Creativa Media
    (970) 205-9006

    Company Contact:
    Amanda Schuler
    Gneiss Apparel Supply Co.
    (720) 588-0368


    Originally published here:

    View contest rules

    The adventure begins!

    Hey there! We’re starting this blog as a way of officially setting off on this crazy adventure together. It all started in a cabin in the woods as a random idea and has grown into one of the most fun journeys we’ve ever been on. We’d love if you’d come along with us!

    Our cabin, where it all began

    Where it all began!

    Longs Peak Tee art

    Our Longs Peak tee in the works

    Betende Hande Tees

    Betende Hände tees, fresh off the press