Written by: Claire Smallwood / Photos by: Shannon Corsi
Wild Rye and SheJumps were both founded by women looking to break barriers and transform women's experiences outdoors. This collaboration represents our aligned goals of creating an inclusive space for self-identifying women and girls to build confidence and community in the outdoors—and we couldn’t be more excited about it! Read on to learn more about SheJumps and how they are supporting our future generations.
Can you give readers a brief history on why + when SheJumps was founded?
SheJumps was founded in 2007 by three women who found that encountering fear and fun in the outdoors was an amazing way to unlock transformative experiences that carry over to everyday life. Our founders believed that growth is in our nature, but fear of stereotypes, failure, rejection, labels, etc.—those spoken over us, spoken inside of us and what we’ve believed—limit our growth. SheJumps was founded to provide access to the outdoors but it’s so much more than just hiking, biking, or snowboarding. SheJumps inspires growth by helping women and girls break through fears and internal or external barriers in life so they can grow to their full potential.
What impact does SheJumps have on getting more women and youth involved in the outdoors? More specifically, snow-related sports?
Over the past 14 years, SheJumps has been steadily growing to impact as many women and girls as possible. With our roots in the snow sports world, that has been an area of particular focus, especially since the introduction of our Junior Ski Patrol program in 2016. Junior Ski Patrol is a day camp where young girls learn mountain safety and first aid while working with the strong women of the mountain community. Our snow-related courses typically start with Junior Ski Patrol and advance all the way to backcountry education with Avalanche Certification courses and even ski-mountaineering adventures, crevasse rescue, and glacier travel courses.
SheJumps’ snow-related sports events include nordic skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, skiing, and backcountry skiing/splitboarding. Last year, we hosted our first-ever “Getting Started: Winter Travel Prep” event that was designed for people who might not normally get outside during winter months. We know that a huge portion of our community are passionate backcountry users, so for the more advanced supporters, we also introduced an online course meant to bridge the gap between avalanche education and ski-mountaineering through our Alpine Development School courses. These online events had more than 3,000 participants combined.
Snow sports are inherently expensive and to address this barrier, we created the Snowpack Scholarship program in 2018 to provide avalanche education certification scholarships to women across the United States. In 2019, we expanded the scholarship locations and also added an Ikon Pass Scholarship to provide WOC (women of color) with Ikon Passes and full ski set-ups. More than fifty percent of our Snowpack Avalanche Scholarships and one hundred percent of our Ikon Pass scholarships go to WOC, a group of people who have historically been excluded from outdoor spaces, specifically snow sports.
On average, SheJumps has around 6,000 participants per year. With the introduction of online programming however, we’ve been able to grow that to 10,000 participants in 2020! While it’s not all snow-related, our vision is to provide pathways of experiential learning to help any skill or ability progress to the next level.
How did the Wild Rye x SheJumps winter collaboration come to be? What plans do we have to partner in the future?
Wild Rye has been a generous partner of SheJumps for a long time through many donations to our regional events for raffles and fundraising initiatives. Our hope is to continue this partnership and collaborate with other products that help women lead an active lifestyle with comfort and confidence in their clothing options.
Why is SheJumps excited to partner with Wild Rye on this base layer set?
Claire: SheJumps loves this base layer set because it’s use is not limited to skiing or snowboarding. The merino layers are stylish enough to be worn alone or for any outdoor exploit (i.e. taking your dog on a chilly winter walk). Inclusive sizing is also really important to SheJumps, and it’s great that we can offer a product that goes from 0 up to size 18 so that more people can feel like the outdoors are saying “you’re welcome here, too.” Unfortunately, most outdoor brands only size from S to XL, and that sends the wrong message to many women when it comes to selecting products that help them explore the outdoors with confidence, warmth, and comfort.
Cassie: I’ve admired SheJumps dedication to welcoming more women and girls into the outdoors since the early days, through safe and approachable clinics and skills courses. Having spent my career and the bulk of my free time playing in male-dominated industries and sports, I know first-hand how important a supportive community and safe spaces are in order for women to jump beyond our comfort zones. SheJumps’ mission is perfectly aligned with our own here at Wild Rye, so when the idea of a collaboration that gives back came up, it was an absolute no-brainer for us! Through many iterations, we’re proud to present the collab print – a wearable base layer that screams SheJumps!
How does a partnership with Wild Rye help push forward the mission of getting more women and girls outdoors while building an inclusive community?
Working with a women-owned business is really important to SheJumps. When we were founded 14 years ago, people laughed and told us stuff like, “We already make pink skis, what more do you want?” Supporting women-owned businesses wherever we can helps to disrupt the patriarchy of the outdoor industry and be more intentional about how we are driving change as a community, working together.
Our partnership with Wild Rye accelerates our mission in a few different ways. First of all, we are being exposed to additional community members through Wild Rye who might benefit from more opportunities to engage in outdoor play at SheJumps events. Most importantly, the financial support that this partnership offers to our organization accelerates our ability to keep our programs free or low-cost. We have a goal of maintaining a minimum of 35% of our events to be free or donation-based. SheJumps has a lot of premium events that are more expensive, but we recognize that the outdoors can already be an exclusive place, so lowering the barrier of entry wherever possible is an important part of building an inclusive community.
What is the inspiration and story behind the chosen print?
The Girafficorn is half giraffe, half unicorn, and 100% magic. It represents keeping your feet on the ground and your head in the clouds above chaos and drama. The print for our base layer is part giraffe and part Girafficorn, with the magic baked in! We feel this print is playful and unique, just like our community members.
Through our sustaining partnership with Wild Rye, the mission of SheJumps will be accelerated and our amazing community will continue to grow. The Wild Rye base layer set is the perfect addition to any winter wardrobe and the proceeds SheJumps receives from the sales will directly impact thousands of women and girls nationwide through expanded and inclusive programming. Shop the collection today!