Another year, another birthday, another season of movement and chaos and growth and ever-expanding community. Sometimes I feel like a broken record writing about life and work at and around Wild Rye. It's fun, it’s busy, it’s frustrating, it’s fulfilling, it’s exhausting—and all worth it. I cycle through these feelings (and countless more) a hundred times a week. But, what Wild Rye truly makes me feel – always and unwaveringly – is proud. I’m proud to be a part of a team that cares so much and has each other's backs. I’m proud to be a part of a company that never compromises its mission or its values. A company that always puts its community and people first. And I’m proud to be a part of a community that demands this of us, and that helps us stay true to it along the way.
This year has been full of firsts (and seconds), missteps, mistakes, good saves, good people, and loads of fun. Not to toot our own horn (too much), but I put together a run-down of the biggest hell-yeah’s from this last year so we can look back and remember these moments.
A big list of things wild rye has accomplished since our last birthday…
We became B Corp Certified!
If you haven’t heard of B Corp yet, it’s a pretty big deal. B Corp is changing the playing field (aka the global economy) by challenging businesses to be a force for good and elevating the expectations for what it means to do good business. The B Corp certification is earned by passing an assessment and meeting high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. The assessment looks at everything about your business from supply chain management to employee satisfaction to community impact to environmental management practices. This past year, we became B Corp certified, but it doesn’t end there. We’re always looking to continue improving and becoming more of a force for good every year we're in business. Read more about B Corp here.
We helped bring to life NEXUS, the first ever feature-length all-female ski film.
Wild Rye's founder, Cassie was one of the first people photographer (and now producer) Shannon Corsi floated her big idea to. With Cassie's encouragement, along with the support of many others in the industry, Shannon and her crew pulled off a first in the world of ski films—a feature-length ski film created by all-female videographers, photgraphers, producers and athletes. We were so excited and honored to play a small role in helping the crew share their stories and talents with the world.
When the film was ready for the world, Wild Rye hosted a premier event in our hometown alongside Sun Valley Resort. Not only does the film feature two of our very own Wild Rye Pro Team athletes, Lucy Sackbauer and Ingrid Svenstaag, it was unparalleled in the energy it brought to town. Skiers of all ages came out to watch what felt like a monumental moment in women's film and skiing.
If you haven’t already seen NEXUS, stop what you’re doing and watch it!
We had our largest product launch to-date!
Our Spring ‘23 launch was a rollercoaster—partially due to insane lead times, factory delays, and the post-covid shipping industry, which is STILL affecting brands across the world! In the end it was mostly a whole lot of huck and pray. But, we somehow pulled it off and launched some new products into the world that we’re SO proud of. Things just keep getting bigger and better around here and we can’t wait to share what’s next.
We hired 4 new employees!
Our tiny team became a little less tiny! Our team actually DOUBLED in size, and our office is livelier than ever—more dogs playing (and barking), more Modelos clinking, and more keyboards clicking. We expanded our marketing, product, sales and operations departments, and everyone is kicking ass. I feel so lucky to genuinely like and respect and look up to all of my coworkers. Everyone’s roles and contributions are unique and valued, and IMO, with all our combined efforts, we make a pretty badass team. For those of us who have come from other realms of the outdoor industry, it’s gotta be one of the most supportive work environments ever (especially for females) in the outdoor industry.
Our founder/CEO/HBIC was awarded funding from Bend Venture Conference (and some other fantastic partners).
We all know Cassie is a badass. But, in case you didn’t know, Cassie is a badass. It’s pretty cool to see your boss and someone you look up to receive (much deserved) recognition in a space that historically has overlooked people doing what she is doing.
That same HBIC was the winner of this year’s Inspiration Award for Emerging Leader at Outdoor Retailer.
We opened X new doors in X new states.
The X’s stay because I truly can’t keep up with how quickly we’re growing and getting picked up by retailers. By the time I finished writing this blog we opened at least 3 new accounts.
Our tiny sales team (looking at you, Mariah) made some HUGE moves all across the country and I’m pretty sure she’s the golden child of the outdoor industry right now. We love her, our accounts love her, everyone loves her.
We made two epic collabs with three epic brands: HEST & Juliana & Skida.
I love love. And I love cool women-led and women-first brands in the outdoor space. And I love when cool women-first brands love each other. So, it was obvious that I was going to love working on these collabs. It’s always incredible to watch an idea go from a quick thought thrown out in a meeting or a brief email to a real, physical product.
We hosted our very first WR fashion show along with EVO and Juliana!
A collaboration with Juliana deserved a party. So, we threw a party. It wasn't a regular launch party, it was a cool launch party. We had speed-dating and a fashion show and cute branded mugs (thanks Miir!) and a ton of fun.
Don't worry if you're feeling a little bit of FOMO right now, we'll throw another!
One of our biggest accomplishments this year has been the evolution of the pro team. This team is near and dear to my heart and deserves such a huge shout out because each and every one of these badass ladies has worked so hard to be where they are and I want to yell at the top of my lungs about them. They are real and inspiring and hard-working and kind and supportive and will change the world and we couldn’t be more proud to be alongside them for the ride.
We were featured in some very exciting media outlets.
Wild Rye was covered (and beloved) in Shape, Outside, Travel & Leisure, SELF, Forbes, Good Housekeeping, Refinery 29, Ski Mag, and MANY more…check out a few of our faves below.
Travel & Leisure; The Best Thermal Underwear of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
We attended our first Crankworx.
Wild Rye’s first international event was a huge success - mainly because we somehow found ourselves watching Joyride while drinking fancy champagne at the top of a sponsor tower. And also because of the trails we rode, the people we connected with and the massive support and excitement we were met with in Canada. For all you Canadians reading this…stay tuned for Wild Rye popping up in your favorite BC sports stores!
Because everyone LOVES a good teaser…here’s a quick glimpse at some fun things we have coming up in the next 365 days….give or take
- RedBull Formation
- Expanding our product line so you never, ever have to take your Wild Rye off…
- The 6th annual Women-Led Wednesday is coming up in November and we have plans to make this the biggest one yet
- Wild Rye in print?!
- More travel
- More events
- More races
- More parties
- More powder days
- More all-gals ski films
- More women+ on bikes
- More women+ on skis
- More women+ getting the support and recognition we deserve
All in all, it was a wild year that flew by far too fast. With the unwavering support and loyalty of our incredible customers and community, we are more than ready to step into a new year and see what happens next.
Above all else, we’re so thrilled y’all are along for this ride.
xoxo, The Wild Rye Team