- Quechua Arpenaz Family
- Heat Reduction
This is an exciting time to be a woman who thrives in the outdoors. Our role is a dynamic one—it’s coming in and out of focus as we choose which boots we want to fill. The past decade has brought about exponential growth in the number of women who want to create products and services for women. This is what this our film documentary, “Venturous Voices,” is all about.
Starting a business is as hard as it is rewarding. It’s rife with friction. It’s working into the night and reminding yourself to celebrate the smallest of victories. It’s wrapping your whole heart around a problem because you know it can be solved. And it’s not so different from the challenges we face in the outdoors. If you’re reading this, you probably enjoy stepping outside. You live and breathe the demands relevant to your skill set. Why? Because the prize of the mountain view or perfect swell or fluffy powder is sweeter for that discomfort.
My partner Jessie Davis and I set out to make a film about entrepreneurial women in the outdoor industry because we were curious. We’ve been quietly watching a movement of women-led businesses within the outdoor space that we love and we noticed that it was part of a trend that transcended industry. According to the 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, the number of women-owned businesses has increased by 45% in the last ten years. This is five times that of businesses nationwide, and while this is a thrilling statistic, we couldn’t find any research about the outdoor industry. We decided to seek out the voices of the venturous women who are carving out the change they want to see in the outdoors.
While conceptualizing the documentary in the fall of 2015, Jessie and I started a spreadsheet of businesses. We walked the halls of the big Outdoor Retailer show and scoured the internet for female entrepreneurs. It was slow at first. We feared that maybe these women didn’t exist. But as time passed and our knowledge of the industry grew, the rows in the spreadsheet accumulated. We narrowed down our subjects to the voices of four venturers who are representative of the future of the outdoor industry.