Women in the outdoors are not just in the Instagram photos we’ve all become familiar with. No, those women are real, and they’re out there, and they’re leading a charge of social awareness, conscious shopping, and empowerment that the outdoor community at large is just now coming to terms with.
This isn’t just “outdoor lifestyle” as we marketing fools like to call it, it’s the melding of outdoor as lifestyle, one and the same, carrying our outdoor values of conservation of our mother earth, support for each other’s goals, and doing more with less.
To further this change, two young women have come together in a partnership born of living in the wild, and hardship, kinship, passion and talent.
We caught up with the Wylder ladies at last week’s 5Point Film Festival in Carbondale, where they were announcing the launch of their new multi-media and shopping platform – WylderGoods.com – in what was seemingly the most apropos place in the world for such a serendipitous coming together.
Jainee Dial is a digital media producer who brings more than 12 years of experience in web design, film production, and creative content curation to Wylder. Lindsey Elliott brings a professional background in sustainability advocacy, international development, strategic program development, and non-profit management.
“Wylder was first born out of personal need — Jainee and I, over and over again weren’t able to find gear comprable to what’s out there for men to pursue our passions. We took the idea to the streets — at Outdoor Retailer, etc., and over the course of two years realized there was no national retailer speaking specifically to the modern outdoorswoman,” said Lindsey, an immediately gracious and glowing individual. “We found that the outdoor industry is changing, and there is a movement beginning to take shape, of women and brands who feel similarly to us, and we decided to build a marketplace around it.”
Their goal with Wylder is to find and aggregate the brands that bridge the gap between urban and outdoor worlds, and use storytelling and engagement to create community – and return visitors.
“We see our combined skillset as the asset that will make this platform not just another store to buy things, but an online community of bold, sustainability minded adventurers who give a damn about conservation, community and creating an authentic voice for women in the outdoors,” they told me on the porch of a house party at the 5Point Film Fest in Carbondale, Colorado. “We’ve surrounded ourselves with industry influencers, creatives and buyers in order to gain the most relevant and well-rounded perspective for our platform.”
When I met Jainee, I knew she was special. There was literally a sadness over her beautiful eyes that caused her to be shy, protective, but not able to bury her incredible sweetness and desire to interact. I met her and Lindsey in the Venture Out section of Winter Outdoor Retailer earlier this year.
“We met in northern California, and to be honest, our relationship is rooted in having endured some serious tragedy and life-altering circumstances. When Jainee lost her boyfriend in a climbing accident in 2014, our entire community came together. Through many experiences climbing, hiking, and spending time outside, we began to really commit to Wylder as a source for us to strengthen and unite our voice. We are resilient and compassionate toward each other because we’ve been through hell together and really, climbed out stronger.”
They have announced B-Corp status for the new venture, and some of the initial brands involved include United by Blue, Zeal, Truce Designs, Coalition Snow, Synergy, Holden, Woolrich, Mohinders, Watershed, Nau, Meridian Line, and Juniper Ridge. Environmental partnerships will be announced this Fall, but look for American Rivers, Outdoor Alliance, the B-rad Foundation and others to be on board.
–Follow Elevation Outdoors contributing editor Aaron Bible on Instagram at @ahbible.