Tell us a little about you, and when you formed The Outspring?
I’m Tami Jo Benson, I’ve been in Product and Operations for 10+ years, leading teams for in-person and virtual events. I love getting outside with women and going on adventures. I come from a long line of makers, and work in a variety of mediums - recently I’ve been making things out of seatbelts!
What is The Outspring, and what is the inspiration behind forming your company?
I was inspired to start Outspring while preparing for the Rebelle Rally, an all-women, off-road navigation rally for 1600 miles using only a map and compass - no GPS! I knew nothing about off-roading or rally driving and decided to buy a rally-worthy car. I attended an outdoor off-road expo and found that I didn’t feel like I belonged. I searched through the 400+ vendors asking: “Where are the ladies at? How are they doing it differently?”
In all, there were only 8-10 women-led brands. Determined to find more, I left the event and started building a directory of outdoor brands made for and by women. The Outspring officially launched on the same day as the start of Rebelle Rally - which was also my 46th birthday! We’ve got 135+ women-led outdoor brands, curated across products, stories, experiences and services with insights on leadership identity and community impact.
Whom do you serve and what is your goal?
Women who want to get outside! Especially women who have historically been ignored by the outdoor industry. Our goal is to make the outdoors more accessible, comfortable, and fun. Many women are discouraged from going outside: they get an abundance of messages about safety concerns, don’t have friends to learn from or share gear with, don’t enjoy being talked down to while learning new things, and aren’t interested in high-adrenaline sports. They want an encouraging environment for discovery, they want a community to get outside with, they want to see themselves in the stories and images of adventure, they want pants with REAL pockets!
Where do you see The Outspring five years from now? Ten years from now?
I’d love to see Outspring as a place to gather, both in-person and online. It would be an abundant resource of ideas, support and wisdom centered around our experience with nature and each other. A spring found on a trail is a delightful and welcome surprise. Like the water from a spring, I hope to create a space of playful abundance and generosity for ourselves and each other.
I dream of a new table for women in the outdoor industry! It’s not enough to get a wobbly seat at an uncomfortable table. We are quite capable of building our own damn table, thankyouverymuch. It will be beautiful, delicious, and welcoming. I’d love for Outspring to be the workshop and home for that gorgeous table.
Please let us know how companies can sign up to become a sister brand of The Outspring.
Come visit the Outspring: Discover your next women-led adventure, shop for pants with pockets or be inspired by women who are getting outside in meaningful ways. Share with us what you’ve discovered! Submit your outdoorsy brand to be included in the directory: https://forms.gle/hG9xFodoHDk9fUAN8
Photo credit: Dziana Hasanbekava
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