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Leading Lady

Build a women-owned business and create a massive ripple effect.

Women’s outdoor apparel brand Wild Rye is well known for funky, nature-inspired graphics (Sawtooth Mocha and Midnight Poppy are our faves) and bike shorts that actually fit women’s bodies (hallelujah!). Led by founder Cassie Abel, the brand is also moving mountains when it comes to building women’s confidence, both on the trail and off. “I’d worked in and around the bike, ski, action, and outdoor sports industries for much of my career, [and I] saw a serious shortage of women in everything,” Abel says. So when she started Wild Rye, she decided to do something about it.

In addition to acting as the official sponsor of Ladies AllRide, a series of women’s mountain bike camps and clinics, Wild Rye is a financial partner to female empowerment-focused nonprofits SheJumps and World Ride. Beyond the saddle, the brand donates to Planned Parenthood, and Abel herself founded an annual holiday, Women-Led Wednesday, which encourages holiday shoppers to “vote for women in leadership” and buy from women-owned businesses on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. (Mark your calendar for Nov. 23!) 

“The ultimate goal is a massive ripple effect,” Abel says of the shopping holiday. If consumers buy from women-owned businesses, then these businesses will succeed, which means more women in the corner office, more female role models, and thus “more opportunities for young up-and-coming women in business to soar to the top in the future!”
        —Courtney Holden

Cover Photo Courtesy: Wild Rye

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