When it comes to marketing to women, outdoor gear companies have traditionally taken the ‘pinking and shrinking’ approach: offering smaller and rosier versions of men’s products with little regard for what women actually need when they’re in the outdoors. A new, and decidedly ballsy, wave of female entrepreneurs is pushing back, though, and fighting the good fight to connect adventurous women with the gear and the products that they want.

Niki Kourboulis is one of those entrepreneurs and her Boulder-based company, Bold Betties, curates outdoor experiences specifically for women, which means that they suggest itineraries, rent the necessary gear based on the woman’s experience level and body type, and then offer the opportunity to purchase the gear, review it, and then share experiences with the Bold Betties community. Think: REI meets Rent the Runway. Bold Betties breaks down barriers to entry for women seeking adventures in the outdoors. Offering women the opportunity to test out gear and find the perfect outdoor product, among the many shrunken and pinkened ones out there, is a huge component of that mission.

Other local, female-led companies such as Goldilocks Gear and SaraBella Fishing share the Bold Betties passion and have been growing like gangbusters just to keep up with the pent up demand for high-quality products that make women look good and feel good in the outdoors. In a gear-obsessed city like Boulder, the more usable gear products are available, the more women will be likely to participate in outdoor activities. It’s important for the Boulder outdoor community to be welcoming to women and it’s crucial that women feel like they have a supportive space to learn new things and develop new skills. Bold Betties has emphasized the community aspect of their business, allowing women a chance to communicate with each other by organizing hikes, bike rides, and even a trip to Africa to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro. As the community of bold, like-minded women grows, so will the demand for truly awesome gear that is made for women, by women.


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