Sender One’s purpose is to discover ourselves and connect with others. We commit ourselves to offering an inspiring climbing, yoga, and fitness experience; an opportunity for self-discovery, and a sharing, social atmosphere for every customer, partner, and guest who walks through our doors (or who we meet outside of our doors).
Sender One’s origin is the story of what indoor rock climbing means to each of the founders—Wes Chu, Alice Kao, and Wes Shih. For each of them, indoor rock climbing was an avenue for self-discovery and a wellspring for community during transitional times in their lives.
For Wes Chu, indoor rock climbing wove its way into the fabric of his identity during his professional life. Having endured a painful break-up and a challenging move across the country from San Francisco to New York for a fresh start, Wes found himself adrift in a big city knowing few people and searching for himself. At the local climbing gym, Wes discovered a diverse community and a path to re-centering his life.
Alice had an almost identical story. She found climbing after ending a long relationship and arriving in London to start a new job. Ever an adventurous spirit and determined to get over these difficulties, Alice found herself at the local climbing gym, the Westway Climbing Center. She quickly fell in love with a sport and a lifestyle she had never experienced or imagined. Now, married to Wes Shih and helping raising a toddler born of the experience, Alice can’t fathom who she would be without climbing.
Wes Chu, Wes Shih, and Alice Kao with Simon Sinek at Simon’s LA book launch in 2016.
Wes Chu, Wes Shih, Alice Kao at the Sender One design launch event (2012)
For Wes Shih, the local rock gym was his literal home away from home. After finishing law school in Boston, rather than moving back home to California, he instead moved to Arkansas to intern for a judge. The first place Wes sought out on arriving was the Little Rock Climbing Center, which had only recently opened its doors. There, he found climbers that welcomed him into their little corner of the world with open arms. Only a couple of months after arriving, Wes found himself leaning into that community for support more than he had planned—his judge passed away suddenly.
When Wes, Alice, and (Other) Wes opened the first Sender One, they found in each other a shared experience and motivation for climbing—to discover themselves and connect with others. This became Sender One’s core purpose–a purpose they each wanted to share with as many people as they could. While people initially come to climb the beautiful walls, they stay because of the communities they find and what they learn about themselves through climbing. We hope everyone who comes to a Sender One–from the child coming to their first Sender City party to the seasoned outdoor climber–discovers the joys of climbing; and achieves the same self-discovery and connection with others and their surrounding communities through climbing.
Our Core Values
Share Your Passions
You love something; something makes you happy—whether it’s climbing, working with kids, or teaching. Pass that love along so that others can experience what you feel.
Find Creative Beta
Harness your imagination thoughtfully by finding novel and interesting approaches to our everyday responsibilities.
Learn from Your Projects and Send them
Learn and grow from each task, challenge, and interaction. And follow them through to the end.
See the World from Other People’s Perspectives
Treat others as they would want to be treated by conscientiously putting yourself in their shoes. Help others to also understand your point-of-view.
Work together, support each other, share ideas, and earn trust.
Sender One Santa Ana (SNA)
In 2013, Sender One opened the doors to our very first full-service climbing facility in Santa Ana, CA. This gym offers Sender City, bouldering, and rope climbing with 50 ft. walls and an iconic feature in our rope area called the “Ice Cream Cone”. In 2018, we took over the lease of a neighboring building and expanded our fitness, yoga, and aerial silks program right next door! We added two beautiful yoga studios and moved our fitness area into a larger space. We decided to repurpose the “old” yoga and fitness space by adding more climbing! In 2019, we expanded our existing bouldering area by adding more bouldering terrain and a MoonBoard. Sender City also received some extra love in 2019 with the addition of some new interactive, fun walls.