Jeff Ladra grew up on the San Francisco peninsula, but became an outdoorsman at an early age. Learning to fly fish at 8 years old, he spent every summer vacation with his family exploring the rivers and streams of Northern California, Oregon, Wyoming and Montana.
His love for the Outdoors led him to attend college at the University of Oregon, where he earned a degree in political science ... while truly majoring in fly fishing for steelhead trout. After graduating, Jeff moved back to the Bay Area where he worked in sales for a subsidiary of Pitney Bose.
While successful in sales, Jeff always dreamed of working in the outdoor industry, so he enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) San Francisco and focused his program towards outdoor apparel. His program emphasis was in product development, which led to a job at VF Outdoor where Jeff worked for the JanSport brand.
Jeff spent seven years at VF climbing the corporate ladder from a specification technician to a developer. He then landed the position of product line manager for the entire Outdoor/Outside category of technical backpacks - a category he grew in 2 years from $2MM to over $10MM globally.
During his free time, Jeff created a line of outdoor flannel shirts that would eventually turn into the Pladra brand. Jeff and his business partners spent over four years working on Pladra as a side project, until the company gained enough traction for Jeff to take the leap of going full time. Jeff is now committed to creating and manufacturing the highest quality of outdoor apparel in San Francisco.