Ep 58 Jen Gurecki CEO Coalition Snow Demand Exceptional

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Once again, I have a phenomenal female athlete to introduce this week. Jen Gurecki is CEO of Coalition Snow, a woman founded ski & snowboard company, Editor in Chief SISU magazine, (uncovering the untold stories of the outdoors), Co-host of Juicy Bits podcast, and Founder of Zawadisha (improving women's lives one loan at a time).
With all that, what excited me most about having Jen on the show was the opportunity to hear an insider's view of selling quality women’s equipment versus "pinking down" something designed by and made for men.

If you’re a regular listener to the podcast, you have heard me talk about my quest for wide cycling shoes and I mention it again in this episode. It’s interesting, this time while editing our conversation it struck me that my feet aren’t really that small and yet I’m nearly apologizing for needing something special. My feet are 7.5, small for a man of course, but pretty average for a woman. Over the years my experiences finding cycling shoes have mirrored what Jen talked about in the episode. 
Jen says that women don’t spend money on equipment "because they don't believe they deserve it". We certainly can do a number on ourselves, so I’ll buy that. However, I’m not convinced that if it weren’t so hard to get what we needed, we’d be spending much more. Stores make it difficult to spend good money on good equipment if we don’t line up with what is expected of us. Often, I find only lower end models stocked. Would most customers know to ask for something better? I’m tired of spending so much time and effort seeking a good pair of cycling shoes. I’m also tired of riding with less than ideal.
I really like Jen’s point about how it takes work to support diversity, to support an inclusive outdoors, to support female-founded companies like Coalition Snow. It’s easy to say you will and way harder to make the commitment to actually take action to really get it done. It’s not easy. 

And the same is true for all undersupported, underrepresented groups. Let’s you and I do the work to spend money at businesses founded by and supporting people of color, LBGTQ, LatinX, and women. I do understand the financials of taking a stand and supporting people outside the center. And as an optimist, I believe there is a way.
Sometimes it takes only a bit of pre-planning. Jen shares a perfect example of not being defensive and then doing work on the front end for a women’s EVO + Coalition Snow ski trip.
A recent New York Times article writes there’s now greater diversity of lead characters in movies, but still directors are mostly white men. This is in part because audiences don’t vote with their dollars when it comes to directors, so there’s been no financial incentive for studios to make changes.
Here’s a partial list from the article of upcoming films directed by women. Make the effort to vote with your $$$.
Frozen II” co-directed by Jennifer Lee
Breakthrough,” directed by Roxann Dawson
The Sun Is Also a Star,” directed by Ry-Russo-Young
The Rhythm Section directed by Reed Morano
Little,” directed by Tina Gordon
Queen & Slim,” directed by Melina Matsoukas.
Charlie’s Angels” directed by Elizabeth Banks  
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” directed by Marielle Heller
Poms” directed by Zara Hayes
Wonder Woman 1984,” directed by Patty Jenkins
Birds of Prey,” directed by Cathy Yan
That’s enough from me. Head right over to Apple Podcasts or where ever you go for podcast listening and tune in to hear from Jen about why she started Coalition and what the impact is of providing excellent gear for sporty women right from the get go. She is able to talk about her experience and challenges as she works to get her skis and boards into smaller independent stores. Right now, not one carries Coalition Snow.
Jen & I also talk about being kind, speaking up, and dealing with making mistakes and quite a bit of other great stuff.