396: Follow YOUR Curiosity! An interview with Kris Cody – CEO & Founder of Paka Apparel.

Kris Cody

396: Follow YOUR Curiosity! An interview with Kris Cody – CEO & Founder of Paka Apparel.

Kris Cody is the CEO and founder of a freakishly cool clothing company…  Paka Apparel! 

While in college… Kris took a trip to Peru and while he was there… he came across a sweater made with wool from alpaca fiber.  He loved the thing… and when he came back to the states… he realized all of his friends wanted one too.  As Kris started to dream about the possibilities… he was also struck with the thought of sourcing everything right from Peru… from the families that he’d interacted with on his trip.  He also loved the thought of hiring local women to craft sweaters and clothing he could send around the world.

With that dream in mind… Kris started a company called Paka Apparel in 2017.  He fueled the launch of Paka with a Kickstarter campaign that initially had a goal of $20,000 and they hit that in under 24 hours.  Kris and the campaign went on to raise more than $350,000 in 30 days. 

From that exciting start… Paka has now created a line of washable alpaca apparel and ethical performance outerwear, along with Paka’s tried and true sweaters, hoodies and socks.

And get this.  Paka Apparel… under Kris’s leadership… has been celebrated for their efforts to localize Paka’s supply chain: 

  • All of Paka’s alpaca fiber is sourced from free-roaming herds in Peru.
  • 90% of products are manufactured in Peru.
  • And… over 100 Quechua (keCHwa) women weavers are employed and Paka pays them a wage that’s 4x the living wage in Peru

And the clothing looks awesome too!  

I’m loving this story!  And Kris is obviously living the DREAM THINK DO life… so let’s get to this!

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Find out more about PAKA: www.pakaapparel.com

Find Kris on Instagram: instagram.com/kris_cody

Find PAKA on Instagram: instagram.com/paka/

You can learn more about Kris Cody here: https://bit.ly/3Plba2n


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Here’s some of the videos that Mitch and Kris referenced during their conversation.

Here’s more of the backstory on PAKA:

Here’s more of the “scoop” about how PAKA’s wool is traceable: 

Here’s a little bit more about why PAKA does what it does:

Encouraging the EncourGERS


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How about it!?  

What did you think of Kris’s approach to life and how curiosity led him to start PAKA?

I just love out “curiosity” led him to take that initial trip to Peru.  And how finding that one sweater led him to starting a MOVEMENT.

By the way… that’s exactly what I think PAKA is.  Sure… it’s a freakishly cool clothing brand.  But… I think Kris and his team are starting a MOVEMENT… one small step at a time.

How about YOU?  How might you apply the concepts he was talking about to start a MOVEMENT of your own?

You sure don’t need to launch a clothing brand… but how could you “follow YOUR curiosity” to find more of the things YOU were put on the planet to do?

By the way… Kris is young and he started young.  And that’s awesome!!!

But I think that his approach can be applied to ANY stage of life… especially if you give yourself permission to take small but intentional steps forward!

Want proof?  Check out THIS EPISODE where I interview Shawn Askinosie about how he left a successful career as a criminal defense lawyer to start a bean-to-bar chocolate factory.  He was in his mid-50’s when he started that journey… and he… as Kris would say, “kept following his curiosity” and he’s never looked back. 

By the way… Askinosie Chocolate is a small batch, award-winning chocolate factory located in Springfield, Missouri. They source 100%  of their cocoa beans directly from farmers across the globe. Askinosie Chocolate was recently named one of the 25 Best Small Companies in America by Forbes and Shawn himself was named by “O,” Oprah’s magazine, as one of the 15 guys who is literally saving the world. Very cool.

Okay… now you know the question is coming!  Are you ready?  

Here it is: What’s something (BIG or small) YOU want to do as a result of hearing THIS episode? 

Lastly… PLEASE share this powerful conversation with a friend or family member who might be needing it… right now! 

They’ll thank you!

And hey… remember… I believe in you!


Episode Minute By Minute: 

  • 0:00 Welcome back! Let’s talk about big dreams amidst doubts and fears.
  • 4:17 Mitch shares his excitement about today’s guest, Kris Cody, and recounts Kris’s journey from discovering alpaca fiber sweaters in Peru to founding Paca Apparel.
  • 6:50 Kris’s backstory of backpacking in South America, paying for his travels with high school savings, and working at an animal refuge in Bolivia.
  • 8:19 The inception of Paca Apparel, from finding the original alpaca sweater to starting the company out of his dorm room at 19.
  • 10:06 The Kickstarter campaign story: how Kris’s vision and a video of Peru’s beauty and the people behind the clothing captivated the internet.
  • 11:27 The importance of transparency and connecting consumers to the origins of their clothing, highlighting the problems within the apparel industry.
  • 13:40 Kris reflects on feeling unqualified and overcoming imposter syndrome through authenticity, asking for help, and learning from mistakes.
  • 16:48 Kris shares how he found mentors and advisors to help guide Paca Apparel’s growth and his approach to seeking advice.
  • 18:34 The announcement of Paca Apparel’s flagship store in Cusco, Peru, to serve as a physical home base and an adventure center.
  • 23:08 Mitch and Kris discuss the concept of traceable alpaca, allowing customers to know exactly where their garments originate from, highlighting Paca’s commitment to transparency and impact.
  • 27:56 Kris offers advice to dreamers: get in touch with yourself, ignore external noise, and understand the finite nature of time as motivation to pursue your passions.
  • 37:17 Mitch’s Minute! Biggest takeaways and action steps
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