Wylder Good Social Entrepreneurs

Photo: Aly Niklas

“Starting a business is no easy task,” Elliot says. “It is by far one of the most committed things I’ve ever done. [You can’t] go into it shy or undecided.”

Jainee Dial and Lindsey Elliot know a thing or two about sacrifice. The women behind Wylder Goods, a new online marketplace for women’s outdoor gear, are familiar with early mornings and late evenings, giving up time with family and friends, and cramming an outdoor adventure into a twenty-minute midday break.

In their devotion to launching Wylder Goods, they’ve discovered the isolation and exhaustion that can come with entrepreneurship. Working long days and experiencing the anxiety that comes with taking risks isn’t easy, but both women are driven to create a values-focused business in the industry they love.

When asked what keeps her going through the ups and downs of starting a business, Dial says, “I have to hold onto little nuggets of faith and remind myself that on the other side of this sacrifice is a landscape that looks entirely different. I get small glimpses of it and that’s what keeps me motivated.”

Wylder Goods, which launched mid-November of 2016, aims to supply quality gear and clothing to women that are hungry for more and better options. Inspired by companies that act as agents for change—like Patagonia and Cotopaxi—Wylder Goods registered as a Benefit Corporation (B-Corp). Like other businesses, Wylder will be profitable but as a B-Corp, the company must meet and exceed set standards which help society, workers, communities, and the environment.

To assist in fulfilling this role, Dial and Elliot will aim to carry brands that are transparent about their manufacturing practices, repair their goods, use post-consumer-recycled materials, and design beyond the planned-obsolescence that is so common with consumer goods.

“We believe that taking a hardline on your business’ impact doesn’t lead to financial impotency,” Dial says. “Consumers want to put their money where their mouth is, where their heart is.

“Business can be profitable and good for the world.”

Lacking other startup capital, the two began Wylder using a Kickstarter campaign. After the first three weeks of the campaign, the company met its fundraising goal and generated significant buzz. Elliot says the success of the campaign had an additional benefit: it became proof of both their concept and audience.

Wylder Good Social Entrepreneurs

Photo: Aly Niklas

As with any entrepreneurial journey, the challenges didn’t stop with securing funding. Since starting Wylder, Elliot says, both she and Dial have less free time to spend with friends or pursue the outdoor activities that inspired them to start their business in the first place. Figuring out things like funding, how to approach brands for partnerships, and how to build an online commercial platform requires a lot of energy and focus, leading them to feel “zonked” at the end of the day.

Elliot says the community of entrepreneurs they have found in Salt Lake City, Utah—where the company is based—has been key in starting their business. The community, particularly those in the outdoor industry, has been willing to share resources, they say. Elliot says the pair are also fortunate to be entering the industry in a time when women are making leaps and bounds in getting involved in the decision-making and design roles in the industry.

“In addition to that, there is an incredible community of outdoor women in writing, film, activism, and photography who all contribute amazing content based on their passions and initiatives,” Elliot says. “We’ve found everyone to be collaborative with our mission, rather than competitive, which has been such a wonderful surprise.”

This community has also helped them learn how to balance the demands of entrepreneurship and life. Using the support of those who help them to celebrate milestones—like reaching a fundraising goal or cementing a partnership with a brand—Elliot and Dial are learning how to give their fire to Wylder without burning out.

“Starting a business is no easy task,” Elliot says. “It is by far one of the most committed things I’ve ever done. [You can’t] go into it shy or undecided.”

The duo anticipates life becoming easier as Wylder brings on new hires to share the workload and as they find a better cadence to their work. Elliot says each day is a lesson in stress-management, finding ways to rejuvenate themselves, and learning what resources they can use to find balance.

However, dealing with those challenges has given the women tools that will help surmount future obstacles.

There’s an old saying I love,” Dial says.“‘Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.’ Every misstep or miscommunication on this journey has led to deeper understanding and growth. I know we’re going to make mistakes, but mistakes are very different from failure. Failure means you don’t get back up and fight, and that’s just not who we are. We’ll always get back up because we value learning, humility, and resilience.”

Get Gear, Do Good.

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