Women Involved Series: Lisa Slagle

I own a creative agency called Wheelie (wheeliecreative.com) and an action sports photography workshop series called Wheelhouse Workshops. We work with companies all over the nation to promote fun and creativity and elevate women!

My business social handle is @wheeliecreative and personal is @montanarado

You can learn more about me here!

Tell us about Wheelie and why you wanted to bring and create thoughtful content pertaining to the outdoors and the folks involved?
Wheelie is a creative agency for people who thrive outside. That means strategy, branding, design, photography, video, etc. for companies who work in the outdoor industry or want to attract outdoorsy people.

I started the company 10 years ago as a means to fuel my snowboarding habit, and it has grown into something beyond my biggest dreams. My team is amazing, creative, and hilarious. They're the real magic now.

Tell us about the podcast series Outside By Design-
Outside by Design is our company podcast highlighting the business side of creativity in the outdoor industry. I am lucky enough to meet and work with lots of brilliant people, so this is a platform for them to tell their stories and to share the stoke with marketing managers, creatives, writers, and brand managers across the industry.

What do you love most about the podcasts highlighting women involved in the outdoor industry?
Growing the field! Elevating people is fun, and it's cool that we created a platform for doing so. The outdoor industry attracts passionate people, and it is an honor to share some stories and laughs with some of the industry's smartest people.

What do you love most about having your own company that can aid folks in the outdoor industry in so many ways?
I love instigating change or flipping things upside down and asking, "What if we look at it this way?"

What has been the most inspiring thing you've learned since becoming involved in the outdoor industry?
I take a lot of things from the outdoor industry to business. Like getting up early, working through the suck, and celebrating victories.

What has been the most challenging?
Everything. There is no manual for life, and I have to be composed when everyone turns to me for answers. I think having a great team dialed has been monumental in growing the business.

Tell us about the introduction to your #bikelife and how it influenced you from then on-
I worked in my first bike shop in college, in Fort Collins. I learned a ton about bikes, but more importantly, I met bike people. And that shaped the friend crew I have now, a decade and a half later. Also, collectively, the bike mechanics were super mean to me, a 19-year-old who had never worked in a shop before, and it made me tough. I learned how to really really know what I was talking about and to ask questions to be better. And to always put tools back where they belong. We eventually grew to be great friends.

Can you take us back to your first few mountain bike rides? What did you learn and what made you say "Yes! This is for me!"
They were hard. I yelled, "I should have bought hiking shoes!" and threw my bike at my best friend, Chris, who still reminds me of this frequently. I tried harder and got better and then it became really fun! I went on bike trips. I rode my bike as much as possible. My hamstrings and quads grew. Life became magical.

Clips or flats? What do you use when and why?
Mostly clips. I do a lot of huge rides! Flats when I'm downhilling so I don't tear ligaments in my ankles again.

When you started out riding, what were some handling skills that challenged you? Do you have any suggestions for what helped you grasp them?
When in doubt, pedal out. I used to give up when something was hard to climb, but I learned to power through climbs, and now I'm an animal! I used to be such a downhiller, but now I love climbing. My advice is to push and push and then push one more time, and you can probably ride it.

What do you love about riding your bike?
Going fast, feeling the wind in my helmet, spending time with friends.
Tell us about your bike(s), what they are like and why did you choose them?
Right now, I have a Liv Hail that I ride all the time. I love it. It climbs well, and I have a great time descending any terrain on it. I also have a New Belgium Cruiser that the first bike shop I worked at gave me as a birthday present one year. It means a lot to me.

Why do you feel it is important for women to be involved in the cycling industry?
Women attract women. It's important for lots of people to be in the bike industry. I love bros, but I also love commuters, roadies, and beach cruiser crews. Bikes are a great way to show personality, and the more personalities, the bigger the picture of the industry we show.

What do you feel deters women from getting involved with cycling? Especially mountain biking?
Intimidation. Bike mechanics being mean to you. Confusion. New vocabulary words. Falling on rocks. Bleeding. Crying. All the stuff that eventually becomes what you love. I think if you want to get into mountain biking, you have to really want it! It helps when friends make it easier!

What do you feel could change industry-wise or locally to encourage more women to be involved?
More men showing up to support women. What I mean by that is this-- think about your high school life. Did the whole school go to girls' soccer games? Or tennis? Or track? Nope-- the whole school went to boys' football games. I think that women-specific events are great, but I really appreciate it when the industry sends dudes to the event too. It shows that women are integrated, not just a side sector.

What inspires you to encourage women to ride?
Playing with gravity and seeing new things! I'm not into going to the bars or sitting around gossiping, so I love having friends who do active things with me.
My closest friendships stem from surviving long rides or seeing new terrain or sharing a smashed PB and J on top of a mountain.

Tell us a random fact about yourself!
I can hold a pogo stick with my knees and spin a jump rope at the same time.