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Support Female Owned Businesses On Women Led Wednesday

As the holidays arrive every year, those of us who identify as having a “gear problem,” and frankly, everyone else, start to look for the best holiday deals on that thing to add to our gear closet per the “n+1” model. Days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday and tales of people lining up outside Target after their Thanksgiving dinners have been around forever. But in recent years, movements to keep holiday shopping away from large corporations have started. Things like Small Business Saturday and OptOutside have encouraged consumers to support smaller businesses. Then, in 2018 Wild Rye founder Cassie Abel started Women Led Wednesday. Taking place the day before Thanksgiving, Women Led Wednesday encourages consumers to support female-owned businesses in order to help achieve a more gender-balanced economic landscape. The initiative has partnered with over 300 brands that are all women-owned in order to help highlight and empower these businesses. As firm believers in supporting women getting rad in all spheres, we’ve decided to share a couple of our favorite brands involved.

Alpacka Rafts

Sheri Tingey moved to Jackson, WY in the late 1960’s. She was one of the first hardshell kayakers in the Valley and also possessed sewing skills from her childhood. She opened a ski shop in Jackson which she owned and operated until the late 80’s. Many years later, Sheri’s son Thor completed the 160-mile Alaskan Range Traverse through his college’s outdoor program. Packrafts were an integral part of this adventure and the ones he used were wholly inadequate. When he returned home, he used his newfound knowledge of packrafting combined with Sheri’s sewing skills and the two created the first Alpacka Packraft in 2000. Alpacka Packrafts is one of the only female-owned businesses in the whitewater world.

BigHollow Designs/WhatVest

WhatVest was started by Colorado native Nadia Burton. Burton skied professionally throughout her 20’s while living in Jackson Hole. In 2016, she started Big Hollow designs as a jewelry and apparel line. The same year, she realized the importance of a party vest and started making them. The progression from party vest to on-mountain utility vest was an easy one and five seasons later, WhatVests can be seen on skiers and patrollers all over the world.

Kate’s Real Food Bars

Kate Schade was enjoying the finer parts of the ski bum life waiting tables and skiing as much as she could in Jackson. She needed a quick, easy, snack that could keep her fueled throughout her long days and decided to make the “Tram Bar,” a tasty granola bar from the best ingredients she could find. Once she perfected it, she started sharing them with her friends and eventually selling them. Kate’s Real Food bars was born then and remains a staple for ski bums everywhere.


In 2008, Corinne Prevot started sewing fleece hats for her nordic ski teammates at Burke Mountain Academy in Vermont. As demand grew, so did Prevot’s brand and Skida was born. After 11 years, Skida hats are a staple for outdoor enthusiasts in many disciplines and the brand remains committed to local production and being a fresh face in the outdoor world.

Wild Rye

Wild Rye was started by Women Led Wednesday founder Cassie Abel. After working for larger brands for years, Abel was sick of not being able to find technical apparel for women that fit their needs and standards. Based in Sun Valley, Idaho, the brand makes sought-after technical bike and ski apparel for women and serves women-identifying outdoor enthusiasts. They also work with organizations such as SheJumps to help empower women in the outdoor sphere. 

About The Author

stash member Teton Gravity Research

It all began with a dream and a little cash scraped together from fishing in Alaska... Since 1995, we've been an action sports media company committed to fueling progression through our ground-breaking films (37 and counting) and online content.

I am on mission to help Women find their Identity and Respect, and make them their Favourite person in the world by making them best version of themselves.

I don’t understand what the problem is with women’s business. A friend of mine has created her own website soirishcasino and her own clothing store. She did it all on her own and without any problems.

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