We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelley Wren & Leanne Wren and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kelley Wren &, what role has risk played in your life or career?
VNTRbirds (venture birds) is a female owned brand empowering women through outdoor education and adventure. Through this company, we help grow the outdoor community so more women are getting into outdoor sports and recreation like backcountry skiing and splitboarding, as well as mountain biking and more. VNTRbirds’ main objectives are for all people who identify as female to be self-reliant, knowledgeable and confident outside. This, in itself is a substantial risk.

VNTRbirds is run by two sisters out of Breckenridge, Colorado. Leanne Wren is the lead backcountry guide for winter and Kelley Wren is the head mountain bike coach for summers. Both of these positions come with a great cause for risk assessment and finding tolerances. It isn’t just the guides out there, but a lot of women who are beginners, also taking a risk of learning something brand new. Finding the right terrain to bring clients is a main discussion of risk that comes up in conversation with our guides and owners. Where is it appropriate to bring beginners, intermediate and even advanced riders? Will everyone be challenged, yet in a safer zone that can entice progression over fear?

Risk can be a tricky game to play. Every individual has their own limits of what they will risk to learn something new. Some have high risk tolerances – like owners Leanne and Kelley who now devote time and money into building VNTRbirds in hopes to create something unique and meaningful. They commit to their own training, certifications and endurance. This is both mental and physical risks.

The role risk plays in the life and career of VNTRbirds is a daily occurrence. Will we risk descending a steep pitch with 10 excited clients, most likely, as long as the potential outcomes have been evaluated. Risk over reward is a common phrase while discussing very detailed trail plans. This something guides do well before clients are taken out, but addressed again creating a group dynamic in all decision making.

VNTRbirds is an exhilarating risk to take, especially with the amazing outdoor community Colorado has to offer. It is an astounding career that opens up opportunities for so many individuals rather than just for the company. We look forward to being apart of women’s journey’s into the outdoors and evaluating all personal and group risk together.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Some version of VNTRbirds has been around for twelve years now. It’s pretty incredible to see how this women run company has grown, evolved and matured along side ourselves. The journey of VNTRbirds has been anything but easy, but it has always been worth the extra effort, late nights, and at times emotional stressors.

Owning a small company requires a lot of commitment without much payout to start, so one of the biggest challenges that we experience is putting in so much to this company, our certifications and creating an inclusive and encouraging environment all while also working full time day jobs. We want to do it all, we want to see VNTRbirds hosting full on outdoor festivals, international excursions and so much more and we are putting in the work to get there.

As the owners it is a constant learning habitat. Each course we host, we figure out something new and better to teach, with every workshop we pick up a new tip or trick that we can share next time. I am very proud on how far VNTRbirds has come and how many women want to be apart of our community. I think because VNTRbirds does more than just educational courses, but we also provide free workshops and group meet ups to grow the outdoor community is what really sets us apart. We are here to watch women grow with the outdoors as we have no matter their age or previous experience.

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.
Flying into Denver makes it easy to access adventure. VNTRbirds loves visiting the Front Range to see all the culture and art the city has to offer. For experiences, we would recommend Meow Wolf, Denver Zoo and checking out the Colorado Avalanche hockey team kick some butt.

Score some dinner at Linger then enjoy a dessert from Little Man’s Ice cream right next door.

Once you’re ready to travel further into the mountain is where VNTRbirds calls home. Summit County has all the outdoor adventure you could ever hope for. Come mountain biking with us on some of Breckenridge’s trail systems, SUPing on Lake Dillon, touring the backcountry once snow is on the ground and then downing a cold beer from Broken Compass Brewery to finish the day with friends.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many different people, companies and businesses that we would love to get a shout out to that help VNTRbirds along this journey of owning a small and local company. Thank you to all of our sponsors that help fill goody bags and keep guides geared up: Smith Optics, Rocky Talkies, Phunshun Wear, Wild Rye and Skratch Labs. Thank you to other shops who donate their time and space for us to host our workshops and clinics: RMU Breck, Wilderness Sports, Powder7 Ski Shop and Underground Snowboards. Finally, a huge thank you to all of our clients and friends that help us continue to grow and thank you to our family who has supported us through the entirety of not just creating VNTRbirds, but giving us the opportunity to fall in love with the outdoors ourselves. You are the reason Leanne and I are able to encourage more people to find their own passions outside.

Website: www.VNTRbirds.com

Instagram: @VNTRbirds

Facebook: Facebook.com/VNTRbirds

Image Credits

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