Friday, November 6, 2015

Women Involved- Jennifer Killian (ASDT)

Jennifer Killian is the co-founder of AndShesDopeToo along with her husband and best friend Taylor Killian. She and Taylor live in Utah with their 2 very adventurous kids Noah (7yrs) and Shiloh (3yrs). 
When she isn't working on ASDT she and her family love exploring the Wasatch, traveling to new destinations, and just being outside as much as possible. Jenn absolutely loves meeting new friends and trying new activities she has never done before. This is what lead her to create ASDT, a community of women who teach, inspire, and give back to those who need it most. 
Jennifer is happiest laughing with her family, being goofy with her husband and teaching her kids how to live peaceably and treat people kindly. If Jennifer had one wish, it would be to have an automatic timer in all screens that would turn off immediately when work ended for the day, summer started and would encourage more people to get outside and move.



You have a grassroots clothing company- And Shes Dope Too, ultimately, what made you decide to get involved with clothing/gear?
Honestly, we didn't ever think we would do a clothing brand until our community wanted to have our logo on apparel items. We made some hats and tanks and the hype started growing that we knew we needed to add to the line. What was nice is we didn't just have an idea and see if it would work. The idea was made after the demand was given.

Eliminating comparing and competing among women, why do you feel this is important?
People face the compare and compete culture in almost everything. Women aren't the only ones. But experiencing it personally I knew this is something I never wanted to feel ever again. Social Media has had such an impact on how women think and feel about themselves. I wish it wasn't the case and I do have to say there are women who are naturally strong where this might now be an issue. But majority of women will see social media has affected their joy of being outside. Now, everything is documented. If it wasn't seen on a post, no one will believe you did it. So now, people are more involved with the idea of making sure they get a picture and are seen than enjoying that very thing they loved doing. Women are afraid to go out and try new things because of this compare and compete mind set. They already have pressure to prove something and now they have to deal with proving to other women they can hang with them and that's just not the case. There needs to be more friendly, accepting, arms open to all skill level women's outdoor groups.

Getting women involved with the outdoors- what are some of the meetups provided?

We have many different style of meet ups. From Yoga in a studio/park, trail running, hiking, climbing, SUP/Kayak, Mountain Biking, trail clean ups and with the season changing we will have winter oriented meet ups.

Tell us about "Dope Too" and what it should inspire among women-
What being "dope too" is not to denote that we are elite. This is for the girl who is just now getting on the trail. she is walking, and not running, she is dope too. The girl that is just now learning how to rock climb, she is on a top rope, not lead climbing, and she's dope too. It is for any woman who is trying something new, or for the woman who has been doing "it" her whole life. No matter what your skill level, no matter what your income level, no matter what your social level, this is for everyone. AndShesDopeToo

What do you hope to see with your company in the next 5 years?
As now, the clothing is the tip of the ice burg. The apparel helps fund projects such as Raise Nepal, and provides for meet ups and event costs. We want to always have a foundation that gives more than takes that can provide our world wide conservation efforts and local community efforts in a big way. To always have an identity in our community who will always help when needed and support those who can't support themselves. We would like to have our chapters formed all over the country and into Canada and eventually world wide.

You are an outdoorsy woman yourself! What do you love to do outside?
I love exploring. I love backpacking so much. Having everything you need to survive in a bag on your back is exciting. Being on a new trail and the conversation you have on a trail is priceless. Being unplugged and disconnected from the noise of the world sometimes is required. Having my feet get me to destinations I've never been to is quite beautiful.

Tell us about mountain biking and why you love it-

I learn something new every time I ride. I learn that I can progress each time and I'm the only one in the way of that. I learn that my bike knows how to ride, I just need to trust it. I love doing something new that I was afraid of the last time I was on my bike.
Always smiling and always happy. I love riding with my family. To my 3 yr old daughter on a strider, to our 7 yr old riding his full suspension for the first time. It's the moments you create on your bike with the people you love. It is a lifestyle of fun, thrill, and excitement.

Tell us about your bike(s), what they are like and why did you choose them?
Well my first whip was a Specialized Safire and I LOVED it. First love. Grateful I had that bike because it taught me to trust my bike. Just like climbing shoes, once you develop that trust, you push yourself. In Mountain Biking, it's very similar, when you trust your shocks and brakes and the sole purpose your bike was made for. It's beautiful. My specialized taught me that. Until some idiot decided to steal it off our travel van :( Heart broken...but only for a short time because then I found her. My new love haha. I currently have a Giant Liv Intrigue. This bike has pushed my limits, taught me to balance my body and lean. I needed a bike built for a women who has a smaller frame and this was made for me. I absolutely love it. One of my favorite toys on her is her dropper seat. It makes it a lot easier climbing a hill to an immediate down hill. That element alone has helped me with my speed up and down the mountain. It's crazy that little component can add so much but it does and I will never go without one now.

What do you feel deters women from getting involved with cycling? Especially mountain biking?
I have heard so many women say they never want to Mountain Bike because they don't want to break their face lol Or they're afraid of crashing. I think there is this common fear that mountain biking is this intense 100% hitting jumps, in the mud, going fast downhill, and yes it has all of that, but you don't have to do that. There are so many varieties of Mountain Biking that I'm beginning to learn myself.

What do you feel could happen (industry/locally) encourage more women to ride?
Have more groups like ASDT that encourage all skill levels. You invite a very novice rider out to just learn basics from another women and it changes their opinion completely. Too many times (me being one) we learn from our boyfriends or husbands how to ride, when really we need to learn from other women. We ride different, we sit on a bike different, we have different areas of the body we need to protect, we naturally feel more confident when empowering other women. I love to ride, and I learned from my husband. But when I ride with other ladies, we learn from each other and women need that.

What inspires you to encourage women to participate in outdoor activities? (hike, bike, climb, etc.)
Oh my gosh! It is a necessity to be outside in the fresh air. It changes your body in so many levels. It is movement. When are bodies are simply moving, it is healing and completing our balance. We are happier outside. I'm totally going to quote Elle Woods on this but I think she nailed it when she said, "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands" haha So true!! When I leave my house, I am a better wife, a better mom, a better friend, sister. I am a better version of myself because I was able to move. Women naturally have so much stress and are natural nurtures. We need to take time for ourselves, and sometimes that's very hard. But it's needed.

Tell us a random fact about yourself!
A random fact.. I love the smell of holidays. I get this giddy childlike feeling inside that brings me so much joy when it's time to decorate for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. My husband laughs all the time at me because I have a constant smile on my face. Pulling out the candles, and decorations that your kids have made in school, creating that environment in my home that my kids will always remember. I love my home. I love making it cozy and warm and a place to create memories. Having leaves crunch under my boots and smelling the rain in the air before it comes. Yes, Fall is a beautiful time of the year :)

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