Support Female Entrepreneurs – It’s a Snow-Brainer

In 2013, Jen Gurecki returned from a ski trip in the Sierras with a burning question: Why can’t women-specific outdoor gear be as diverse and high-quality as men’s? It’s no secret that female-specific lines are usually sickeningly glitzy and often underwhelming in performance. It is actually hard to find really good gear without compromise if you’re a woman. A few months later, after finding out that a lot of her community felt the same way, Coalition Snow was born.

Coalition Snow is currently the only company in the world where women are designing skis and snowboards exclusively for other womenand they’re not cutting corners. They offer good-looking gear that suits the shapes, sizes and performance quality women need in order to learn, progress and excel in their sport. Their stuff is the real deal. In fact, they are showing up in retail stores all over the country, most prominently that little outdoor gear mecca known as REI.

In an industry where too many manufacturers make women’s gear by taking entry-level components, shrinking the size and splashing them with lots of pink, Coalition Snow is a breath of fresh air for women who prefer to be taken seriously (um, yeah, all of us).

Coalition Snow not only wants to redefine the standards of women’s gear, but they want to redefine what it means to be a woman; to be a strong female with a voice. Whether you love the powder or not, supporting a future of emboldened women and girls is something we can all get behind. And believe me, us ladies need the support.

By age 14, girls are already dropping out of sports at twice the rate of boys. Why? Because they feel like sports aren’t for them. Most girl’s gear is all glitz and glitter without much functionality while female sports role models are grossly under-covered in the media. Females are simply not taken as seriously in sports. You can’t blame girls for feeling like sports and the outdoors aren’t meant for them. But there is a strong link between the lessons taught in sports and future success in business, and it seems like a lot of girls are missing out.

Unfortunately, as of 2016, female CEOs represented just 4 percent of Fortune 500 companies. It’s like middle school all over again. Female entrepreneurs are met with roadblock after roadblock on the path to success; from challenges in funding to daily struggles in being taken seriously. That’s where Coalition Snow comes in.

Coalition Snow wants to help more women thrive not only in the mountains, but in boardrooms, in Congress, in life, whether they hit the slopes or not. I had the chance to chat with Coalition Snow’s CEO, Jen Gurecki, about Coalition Snow’s mission beyond snow sports, the challenges of being a woman outdoors and in business, and their current Kickstarter campaign.

First things first, why should more women get outdoors?

Jen: Being in the outdoors definitely builds confidence. When you set out to do something and you accomplish it, that sense of accomplishment directly translates to everything else in your life. Being in the outdoors, there is a huge opportunity to have a stronger voice and to build confidence and to build leadership skills, and you can take that from the boardroom to the bedroom to wherever you need to take it. 

Being outside can be as simple as going on a hike, or taking a walk, or getting on your bike and riding though your neighborhood—it doesn’t have to be extreme. When you look at the outdoor industry, a lot of the marketing narrative has been that in order to be in the outdoors you have to go really big, and you have to stomach these mountains and potentially risk hurting yourself or being really scared. And that’s not what being in the outdoors is about. Being in the outdoors is about having fun. That’s what it is. 

Coalition Snow is becoming more than a brand; it’s becoming a female movement. How are you reaching beyond the snow sports industry to encourage change? 

Jen: Whether you’re an avid snow sports participant or not, Coalition Snow is relevant to all women because we really are helping to shift the narrative in a much broader industry. If you think about all the different women around the world who are working on different things, all of our collective efforts can sort of radically transform the world that we live in today. At Coalition Snow, we definitely have our sights set on something much bigger than snow sports.

Female entrepreneurs, regardless of what sector you’re in, are facing a lot of the same challenges, and Coalition Snow is a company that’s really chipping away at some of the stereotypes and the norms that hold us back. From that standpoint, it’s not just about skis and boards, it’s not just about the mountains and snow sports, it’s about women in business. 

How can we begin to show our support for women in business?

Jen: First, put your money where your mouth is, right? Support female-owned businesses. There’s a lot of us now, so as a consumer you have a lot of choices. You can decide who you choose to buy from and what you choose to buy; you can look for those female-owned businesses and support them in that way. 

There’s also obviously a lot of legislation that can be done, or even electing women into office, so getting out and voting is so important. A lot of people didn’t vote in this last election, which is mind-blowing. 

You’re already spending money every day and voting takes about 10 minutes of your time; those would be two of the easiest things that you could do that could make the biggest difference, and it doesn’t really require you to radically shift your life.

Coalition Snow Kickstarter

Tell me a little bit about your current Kickstarter campaign for your Coalition YOUth line for girls.

Jen: Since we’ve started, we’ve always wanted to do more than we actually can do. Let’s just be really honest here, we are women in business. It’s not easy, it’s a hustle, we run into a lot of challenges with funding, which is why the Kickstarter is such an important part of us being able to grow the company. We’ve always wanted to be able to have a broader line and we’ve always understood how important it is to get girls out on the mountain. For us to build a youth line is to really acknowledge 1) that girls are important, and 2 ) we believe that girls should have more choices and the same quality equipment that we offer women. We really want to be a company that can walk our talk. If we’re talking about having this grander vision around how we can shift the narrative in the industry for women, you can’t ignore girls. It’s sort of a natural evolution for us, and this is something we really want to be able to focus on for next year.  

Finally, a company who is supporting women in finally making it to the summit!

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65 comments

Julie C
Julie C7 hours ago

Excellent! Can't wait to tell my snow-loving niece about the company.

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Alexis M
Alexis Miller1 days ago

So cool!

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Jim V
Jim Ven11 days ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S11 days ago

thanks for sharing.

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Angela K
Angela K18 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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Carl R
Carl R23 days ago

Thanks!!!!

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Carl R
Carl Rabout a month ago

Thanks!!!

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O1 months ago

Good for the ladies. Personally I never buy pink.

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Carl R
Carl R2 months ago

Thanks!!!!

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Ingrid H
Ingrid H2 months ago

thank you

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