8 Badass Brands And The Women Who Run Them

As the outdoors industry booms in popularity, more women are at the helm of brands that build community for adventurous ladies.

outdoors women
Photo by Alejandro Poveda and stylist Mia Flanagan

The great outdoors are big enough for everyone, if you know where to start. These eight female-run businesses make space for more women to learn, try, and do in wild spaces.

She Jumps (founded by Claire Smallwood, Lynsey Dyer, and Vanessa Pierce)

Mission: “With over 45 volunteers in seven regions around the United States, SheJumps is growing every day. Our mission is simple: get more girls and women outside doing fun things.”

At Its Core: She Jumps teaches biking, alpine climbing, camping basics, and more to youth and adult campers. It’s focused on entry to mid-level athletes and is a good way to get started on your chosen endeavor.

Get Involved: Find the SheJumps programs in your region. Check out the Youth Initiatives for ages 6-18, Get The Girls Out for all ages, and work your way to the Alpine Finishing School.

giraffacorn
Participants sporting the SheJumps ‘girafficorn’ mascot at a mountain biking event in Washington state. Photo credit: Ryan French

Cairn Project (founded by Sarah Castle and Alison Wright)

Mission: “Through an adventure-driven, community-based funding model, we support programs that expand outdoor and wilderness opportunities for young women.”

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At Its Core: The Cairn Project just launched this month. It’s a crowd-funding platform that turns members’ adventures into charity campaigns.

The website highlights indviduals’ upcoming hikes, bike rides, climbs, and other activities, and helps them connect with sponsors to raise money for women’s outdoor education and travel.

Get Involved: You can start a fundraiser for your own sponsored adventure, or browse active fundraisers and donate.

WYLDER Goods (founded by Jainee Dial and Lindsey Elliott)

Mission: “WYLDER is an online adventure goods marketplace for the modern outdoorswoman: dirty feet, salty hair, chalky hands, and a free spirit.”

At It’s Core: Wylder is a marketplace and outfitter for “the modern outdoorswoman.” We previewed the brand this spring during its Kickstarter campaign. It launches this fall with a full line of gear and apparel designed for every body type.

Get Involved: WYLDER’s marketplace is actively populated now. You can support it and other women-led businesses by shopping the site. You can also submit original content from your adventures for consideration in the WYLDER Journal.

Jainee and lindsey
Wylder founders Jainee Dial (left) and Lindsey Elliott (right)

Camber Outdoors (Executive committee: Julia Clark Day, Susan Viscon, Jill Layfield, Audrey Hicks, and Therese Thompson)

Mission: “Camber Outdoors is building a community of talented, qualified women who love being outside and active. Our job board is the only career-search platform in the active-outdoor industries targeted at attracting these women as employees.”

At Its Core: Camber, formerly the Outdoor Industry Women’s Coalition, helps promote and develop female professionals in the industry. Perhaps its most notable initiative is the annual Pitchfest. The event highlights upstart businesses run by women and gives them professional guidance from the industry’s most successful executives.

Get Involved: Own a small business? Have an idea to start one? You can apply for Camber’s mentorship program for one-on-one direction from manager and executive-level women in the industry.

You can also apply to be included in Camber’s annual Outdoor Retailer Pitchfest, or visit one of Camber’s events that occur throughout the year.

Verde Brand Communications (founded by Kristin Carpenter-Ogden)

Mission: “Verde Brand Communications is a full-service public relations, marketing, branding, and consulting agency, with an emphasis on corporate social responsibility.”

At Its Core: Carpenter-Ogden steadily built a powerhouse in the outdoor industry with clients like KEEN, Petzl, Ibex, and more. Verde sets itself apart from other PR firms by availing clients to its Corporate Social Responsibility consulting service. The CSR is a training module to help brands foster equity and fair labor practices “behind the curtain.”

Get Involved: If you own an outdoor brand and are seeking representation, contact Verde PR.

Misadventures (founded by Zoe Balaconis, Marybeth Campeau, and Jessica Malordy)

Mission: “Mis­ad­ven­tures champions women who embrace cre­ativ­ity, take risks, and go out and beyond. We spotlight inspi­ra­tional feats and fig­ures, beau­ti­ful spaces, honest-to-goodness adven­tures, and dis­cov­er­ies of all sorts.”

At Its Core: Misadventures in an online and print publisher of women’s adventure and travel stories, photos, and essays.

MisAdventures covers everything that relates to women’s adventures in the wild, from cooking recipes to music reviews and gear tips.

Get Involved: To be inspired, you can subscribe to the next three print issues of MisAdventures for $28.50. You can also submit your work for consideration. Online contributors are volunteer authors, print authors receive compensation.

misadventures

She Explores (founded by Gale Straub)

Mission: “A website for inquisitive women in the outdoors, on the road, and besides.”

At Its Core: She Explores is a publisher of travel-inspired stories, photographs, gear reviews, and more, by women, for women. It also hosts a women’s adventure podcast.

Get Involved: There are a number of ways to get involved with She Explores. You can also subscribe to the podcast for stories of women on their own expedition.

You can also subscribe to the online newsletter, shop the She Explores store, submit your original work, or donate to the publication

Outdoor Women’s Alliance (founded by Gina Bégin)

Mission: “Outdoor Women’s Alliance is a nonprofit media & adventure collective promoting leadership and confidence for women, from pre-teen through adulthood, via human-powered outdoor experiences.”

At Its Core: The OWA is a volunteer-run organization with mentorship and training options for women looking to “get their foot in the door of the outdoor industry.” It strives to help with skills in storytelling, social media, marketing, and more, all through the lens of adventure sports.

Outdoor Women's Alliance

Get Involved: OWA has a Grassroots Team in six areas across North America: British Columbia, Central Oregon, New England, Southern California, Colorado, and Utah. You can sign up to join these teams on an upcoming adventure. Grassroots Teams teach skills on organized trips and are also available to provide support for your own adventure.

You can also follow the site, try your hand as a guest contributor, or join the OWA team as an intern.

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By

Adam Ruggiero is an all-sport activity junkie - from biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming. If it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.

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