We had the good fortune of connecting with Joanne and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Joanne, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?

I am the founder of Alpinistas, a women’s outdoor brand that retails top outdoor apparel and gear brands to women along with providing an educational community to support women outdoors.

There are several key elements that had to come together in order for me to launch Alpinistas. My personal challenges with a corporate career, being a female in a male-dominated outdoor sports niche and being able to notice present gaps in the outdoor market but have the vision to drive future change.

I’ve had a long timeline working in the corporate world. I have been fortunate to have met and work with some really great individuals. While I have done decently well with my career, I never felt that my work was meaningful or impactful to the greater good. I strove to make more out of it but have always been left unchallenged. As many others can relate, the corporate world can be vastly empty and I have struggled with feeling unfulfilled for a very long time.  I always kept my mind open to figuring out an opportunity where I could create my own space and do something that has meaning to me and makes the world a better place.

In my free time, I became very active & quite proficient in various mountain sports. Splitboarding, mountaineering, peakbagging (with some climbing thrown in) is pretty much the only thing I do in my free time. As a female getting into these sports, I always noticed how the shopping experience for gear and apparel was such a challenge. From clothing being basic and brown to the in-store experience with retail folks…it just wasn’t anything that I was used to when shopping at fashion stores. I sometimes experienced “man-splaining”, confidence challenges or outright judgement on my outdoor skillset based on my looks.  At one very popular outdoor chain, I was asked if I was buying cams for my son. (I don’t have children, not to mention specifically, a son.) I knew that if I felt this way, other women must also be experiencing this.  This type of shopping experience was ripe for a change but I didn’t see anyone else on the horizon bringing about this change.

So both of these limiting experiences kind of collided around the same time. Rather than staying stuck with my “career”, I put things into perspective and balanced, using all my free time to build Alpinistas. I saw, felt and experienced first-hand the gap in the outdoor market where everyday women weren’t being heard, being supported or given the shopping experience they deserved. In creating Alpinistas, I have provided a beautiful retail & educational space for outdoor loving women: the career women / the moms / the aunts / the weekend warriors.

Alpinistas is really just at the beginning but we already have such a tight knit and highly engaged community that we’re really excited to see what the future brings.

What should our readers know about your business?
Alpinistas is a women’s online retail store that carries outdoor apparel and equipment from the top outdoor name brands. The store features a shopping experience that is different than other outdoor shops by offering products from a female perspective. We specialize in hiking, mountaineering, climbing, backpacking and other related outdoor sports.

What makes our store different is that, for one, no one else is doing this. There are some outdoor ecomm stores but they don’t really approach it from activity specific or provide equipment or equipment advice. All products in store are chosen by expert outdoor women and we only carry the brands and items that we would personally use. Just the good, reliable stuff.

We also offer a female shopping experience that is more similar to boutiques rather than outdoor chains such as “Shop the Gram”, outfit guides and style looks, a glimpse into what real life outdoor women are wearing & more. We also give back over 1% of sales to women’s outdoor programs to support female outdoor education and leadership.

We are still in the beginning phase of brand awareness so there is a lot of work to get the word out about Alpinistas and letting women know that they can shop Alpinistas for all of their outdoor gear needs. While we are still small and growing, our community is highly engaged and tight knit. To see the community grow is one of the most exciting things about launching this business.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.We’re based in Reno, NV near Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada.

The top spots to visit would be:

Sand Harbor, for some standup paddle boarding on Lake Tahoe.

A hike up Mount Rose, Nevada with great 360 degree views of the lake and Reno.
A visit to Damonte Ranch to catch a glimpse of the wild horses in the desert landscape.

Alibi Aleworks & Bite Tapas in Incline are the top spots for beer and food along with heading down to Edgewood for a manicured, upscale dinner at the golf course along the lake.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?

While Alpinistas is female-focused due to there being a need for this space in the male dominated outdoor market, I have had many great experiences learning from male outdoor leaders.

I definitely want to give a shout out to David Vazquez who early on took ex-city girl & her boyfriend out snow camping for the first time. He spent many days teaching us mountaineering skills, patience and the great power of a quiet voice.

My boyfriend. He has been overwhelmingly supportive of my focus on Alpinistas even when it takes away from our time together. I appreciate him so much.

My team at Alpinistas.  They are such a powerhouse and die-hard supporters of the brand.  Their expertise is so valuable and appreciated.

Website: https://thealpinistas.com

Instagram: @alpinistas

Facebook: @thealpinistas

Other: www.thealpinistascollective.com for our outdoor programs.

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