The inspiration for #iamladyhawk is to feature woman that I have met over the years that are crushing the outdoor and active lifestyle industry. You may not know these up and coming leaders, but believe me you will! These woman are putting their passion first, authentically, and without any apologies along the way.
I am so excited to feature Hannah Van Arsdell, Marketing Manager of Sego Ski Company in this installment of #iamladyhawk blog posts. Hannah is quite possibly one of the nicest women I have met in the ski industry. In a sea of bros, she is standing confidently and putting her passion first. One of the founding members of Sego Ski Co, Hannah is elevating the brand and industry by using her platform and delivering solid ski options for ladies that shred the mountain.
In an industry, where hard good manufacturers tend to use the same designs for men’s skis and offer women a “shrink it and pink it” option. Not Sego Ski Co, recognized by Freeskier Magazine for Editor’s Pick for Women’s Ski Category this season, “Built with aggressive, hard charging skiers in mind. The UP Pro Earned the highest marks in stability, playfulness and float.”
Hannah, keep it up and charge on! Excited to follow your career and can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next season.
Name: Hannah Van Arsdell
Hometown: Driggs, Idaho (Teton Valley- the quiet side of the Tetons)
Profession: Marketing at Sego Ski Co.
Passion? HVA: Finding myself outside in really any capacity, and connecting with my loved ones doing things outside, too! But mostly, skiing.
Favorite piece of gear? HVA: I adore my Flying Unicorns, aka the UP Pro women’s model that Lynsey Dyer designed for our women’s line.
What inspired you to be a part of a start up ski company?
HVA: I actually helped to found the company here in the Tetons. My boyfriend, Peter, his brother, Tim and I had been founding partners of another ski company that focused on custom built products. We were inspired to start our own project that really got to the heart of the ski industry, but included having a stock lineup instead of doing custom projects. We wanted to have fun with it, and to manufacture skis that would allow others to have the most fun in the mountains in any condition.
Peter and I were inspired to enter into the ski manufacturing world really to have an excuse to ski every day, as well as live a sustainable lifestyle. We came up with a ton of different ideas to do so while we were living in the basement of the Goldminer’s Daughter in Alta, UT, working in the bar and the restaurant, skiing every day, loving life, but needing a more stable future in mind for ourselves. This turned out to be the idea that stuck. After working for 3 years on the other side- service, ski shops, etc., we were inspired to build skis that we wanted to ski, that we knew were in demand and not being made- especially in the women’s realm of the industry.
What are the biggest misconception around women skis?
HVA: My thought is that the biggest misconception is about women who ski- that we want lighter weight, easy-to-handle, not-as-burly skis that are meant to perform in the all-mountain area. In working with many athletes, customers, and buyers, we’ve figured out this isn’t actually the case. Women want to be able to drop that cliff and to land in a stable position, or to get into the backcountry and feel confident in gnarly terrain, and that has a lot to do with the planks that are strapped to our feet. We have had to choose between an all-mountain women’s model and a men’s model, but I see that becoming a trend of the past. While I could say that the “pink it and shrink it” platitude is the industry standard, I think there’s just not enough attention being paid to what women are asking for, and we aim to change that.
What is Sego doing different compared to other manufacturers?
HVA: We have really seen that the fact we manufacture everything in house, that each ski we put out has been inspected for quality control by the ski maker, and that we have an extremely high expectation of the quality of ski we put out to be a huge strength within the industry.
We have also concentrated on bringing local skiers to our athlete team, who we look to to help us develop our line, design their own skis, and provide feedback on the models we are developing. Our athletes are a huge part of our process, and we are lucky to have so many great skiers working with us. In return, we support them with any ski endeavor they aspire to accomplish- whether it’s competing on the Freeride World Tour or in a beer league at Grand Targhee.
It’s also pretty cool that we get to test out our skis in some of the most epic mountains on earth- and that Teton Pass is our testing ground for all our models.
Best piece of advice you have received? From who?
HVA: Honestly, I read the article that Freeskier put out about one of my skiing heroes, Angel Collinson, this winter and was so inspired. That article led me to the book by Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. Those four guidelines are: Be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best. Those guidelines have been leading me in a really transitional (and honestly difficult) part of my life in the past few months, and I am forever grateful.
What can we expect next from you?
HVA: That’s a great question! I have done a lot of healing indoors from a major back surgery over the past two months, and next I really hope to be able to concentrate on getting back outside with some rad ladies doing some rad things here in the Tetons.
Favorite Quote? HVA: May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. –Ed Abbey