The Snow Sports Product Line Manager for Patagonia talks quality, surfing in your lunch break (can we work for Yvon Chouinard too please?!?!) and embracing womenhood
Interview by Anna Langer
I started working for Patagonia in January 2011. It’s been a long time career goal of mine to work for that company. In July of 2010 I saw my dream job posted on their web site and immediately applied. With some good luck and connections I was able to make a visit to the Ventura headquarters for an interview. It was like it was meant to be – we were all on the same page about product and philosophy and it was a total blast. I’m not sure how many people can say that about the interview process.
My role, and the day-to-day tasks are almost identical to what I did previously. The difference is quality, product integrity, and Yvon Chouinards philosophy of building the best product while causing no unnecessary harm comes first here. Oh yeah – and the parking lot is filled with bikes, wetsuits on top of cars, and various other forms of outdoor sports equipment that is being used through out the day. This is an authentic outdoor brand run by employees who engage in the sports we love regularly.
Youth participation is a huge key to developing the female action sports scene. There have been some great efforts made but we have to continue to expand on that. There are more women’s specific camps and clinics starting to happen. It’s key to get young women in a comfortable, nurturing environment to help them progress to the next level.
Growing up I was surrounded with some incredible people who were on the cutting edge of the snowboarding industry. We spent a lot of time creating art, music, skateboarding, and playing in the mountains on snowboards. It was that ideal mix of activities and creativity that drew me to the industry.
My first time on snow was exhilarating! I was on ski’s with my family and was hooked after my first run.
I think initially I wanted to be an artist. I also loved fashion since I was remotely aware it existed. Back to my comment of how I got into action sports – I think my high school experiences combined with the above made a career in the industry destined to be.
I loved art, music, learning, and spending time in the mountains with my family. I grew up across the street from an amazing park and spent most of my free time climbing trees and exploring there. I was also pretty head strong and a little awkward. I mean, what kid isn’t?
I think the most important advise you can get (or give) is to follow your heart, believe in yourself, and know you can do ANYTHING you put your mind to. (I mean it!)
Girls rule. My women friends are a huge foundation for my happiness. Embrace being part of the female tribe.