Demi Haynes // Seashine

Ripped fishnet tights.

Smoke machine.

Dimly-lit nightclub.

Electric guitar.

My younger sister, Demi Josephine Haynes, is without a doubt the cool sister.

By day, Demi is a veterinary technician (exotic birds are her favorite), but, by night, she’s the lead singer and guitarist of a shoegaze band called Seashine.

Late on weekend nights, you can find her with her band in all black, center stage in a hip venue, plugging in her amp to do what she does best: hypnotizing a crowd with the songs she wrote herself.

The most badass part? With Seashine, Demi is helping revive the shoegaze genre (think My Bloody Valentine and Beach House) amongst people who love the ethereal “dreampop” sound. If you live in the St. Louis area, you might have heard Seashine on the radio or live at The Pageant, opening for Explosions In The Sky.

Here’s Demi herself to tell you more about how she moves the world:


BB: Alright, first of all, it’s still so rad to say my sister’s the lead singer of a band. What’s it like to be the Seashine frontwoman and what’s it like to hear yourself play?

DH: It’s an honor to be amidst such talented musicians and good people who somehow also want to listen to what I have to say  — or sing.

Hearing the music that I wrote surrounding me when we play is probably the craziest feeling in the world. I constantly remind myself how lucky I am.

BB: Most people aren’t familiar with shoegaze, which you call a “lost genre.” How do you describe it?

DH: Most people describe shoegaze as a fuzzy, dreamy, reverb-laden wall-of-sound and I’d say that’s pretty accurate. But maybe, at the end of the day, it’s subjective.

BB: It’s obvious when you perform that the Seashine crew is super tight-knit. What does it take to be a member of the band, besides owning lots of cool black clothes?

DH: Considering the age gap between myself and Paul and Bill and Kate, I’m surprised that we could be so tight-knit. But, at the end of the day, we can respect one another because of our shared talent.

We can be intensely involved in an intimate song, and then we can hang out, laugh, have a beer, and nothing is ever awkward. You need to be able to go camping together on the weekends and forget that you need to be recording vocals.

You have to be able to compromise, but also be a leader and a teammate. Ultimately, you have to believe in the music you’re playing. Black clothes help too.  

BB: It’s kind of hard to describe what it was like to see you perform with Seashine for the first time. You seem so cool and collected in front of the microphone. It’s totally badass! Do you still get butterflies when you get up there?

DH: Of course I do. And of course, it depends on the size of the audience, the venue, and if we are trying to impress the touring band.

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BB: One thing I love about Seashine is that you like to record in unique spaces, like old churches and cabins. What does that do for you, creatively?

DH: Recording in open, rustic spaces is very inspiring and very quiet. Not only does it serve well for a silent, maybe echo-y recording space, but it’s also peaceful and relaxing. It gives you a break from interruptions and blue screens. And that is something that every band or artist could use in what sometimes turns out to be a somewhat stressful time.

BB: Tell us about your upcoming album.

DH: Our upcoming album is self-titled and is our first LP (long-playing album), consisting of 10 tracks. We started recording about a year ago in a cabin and have been building on it slowly since then. The album feels long overdue, so I’m very anxious to have it out and listenable.

BB: Where will we be able to hear it?

DH: We’ll have our very own Bandcamp page up and running as soon as the album is released.

BB: Okay, so, this isn’t something that people generally talk about openly, but years ago you were diagnosed with severe depression. You’ve said that your writing is often tied to your emotions. Does that change your music?

DH: I firmly believe that my emotions completely dictate what kind of product I’m producing. In the past, as I struggled through the trials of youth, my music was full of passion, deep desire, and frequent desperation.

And, now, as I am finding my way through adulthood, I’ve found that not only is it more difficult to find the time to play or record, but I am also experiencing new and more complex emotions in my music.

I don’t usually look back at what I’ve written in an effort to analyze the emotions that I must’ve been feeling at that time. But I do find that, listening back, I can easily relive those feelings again, including the pain, the yearning, and the sorrow.

All in all, I believe I would not be able to make the music that I do if it were not for the depression.

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BB: Battling depression takes a lot of courage and you’re a total inspiration to me. Do you have words of advice for other people taking on an entrepreneurial venture like starting a band, especially those with mental health challenges?

DH: I guess what’s most important is that you find other people who believe in the music you’re making unless you are looking for a collaborative environment. If you want a live audience to hear the music that is circling around in your head, don’t let loose that idea and don’t compromise.

BB: You’ve been singing tapping out rhythms on the dinner table since you were a baby. What’s it like to have music be such a key part of who you are (for those of us who can’t carry a tune)?

DH: I guess it’s innate. I don’t listen to talk radio or podcasts; I look forward to driving to work so that I can check out a new album. When I’m with certain people, music is all I talk about.

I’m always looking for inspiration all around me, and my first thought will often be “Hmm, that would be a cool lyric.” It’s really all-consuming.

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BB: Your lyrics are sometimes deeply personal. What does it feel like to sing them to a crowd?

DH: Some of our songs are more personal than others. I’ve found that those songs, in particular, began their lives as one of my solo project songs. That’s the outlet through which I’ve sieved most of my emotions.

But, in the end, whether or not I write lyrics carelessly, they seem to always contain deeper meaning than I ever expected.

BB: What do you hope Seashine’s music does for people?

DH: I hope that it gives someone the same feeling of purpose and inspiration that so many artists’ music gives me every day. I hope that people who come to our live shows can let their minds go somewhere else for a moment. If anything, I hope it can be enjoyed in the background while they work.

BB: What’s the best compliment you can pay a musician?

DH: I believe any artist really just wants to know that their art touches someone else in some way. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that my music makes someone feel inspired or moved.

BB: You and I both have a version of a brain disorder called synesthesia. How does it function for you and does it play a role in your music?

DH: I experience synesthesia in a few ways: music notes, letters, and numbers all have respective colors, I “see” a color-coordinated calendar, and when I listen to music colors and shapes appear in my mind’s eye.

BB: Our dad is a painter and we grew up in a very artsy and musical crowd. Do you think that affected how you pursued music?

DH: Absolutely. Every day I remind myself how lucky we are to have grown up in a family that supports artistry endlessly. I believe that had I grown up in a different environment I wouldn’t have had the support that pushed me to finally pursue my passion.

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BB: What motivates you?

DH: All sorts of things motivate me, although I’m definitely not always motivated to write. Sometimes I’m motivated by positive things like pictures or scenes in my head or songs that I’ve heard. Other times I’m motivated by sheer frustration of lack of will, or by comparing myself to other artists.

BB: What inspires you?

DH: Everything inspires me. Films, other artists, books, stories, conversations, strangers, dreams, nightmares, the night. I like to create worlds inside my head that I can illustrate through my music, and those worlds are a conglomeration of everything that inspires me every day.

BB:  What makes you feel like a badass?

DH: Playing music with my friends who I love and who respect me makes me feel like a badass.

Being surrounded by people who care about and are inspired by my work make me feel like a badass.

BB: What’s your dream trivia category?

DH: Hmm… The Tenth Kingdom trivia?

BB: Is there anything else you would like to add?

DH: I love my big sister and I’m so proud of her.

BB: Thanks, Dem. I love you, too.


Check out this Riverfront Times review of the band to learn more about Seashine.


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Author Micah Larsen is a persuasion scientist and consultant. Her job is to teach people how to use subtle persuasion in their emails, conversations, and campaigns to get others to say “yes.”

Watch one of her short persuasion how-to videos of $9.97 value for free here using code:

BADASSERIE

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Jennifer Knoetgen // Mountain Meat Shares

It’s not a stretch to say that, for me, biting into my first Montana-grown, locally-butchered pork chop was like a religious experience.

Jennifer Knoetgen knows that feeling better than pretty much anyone. An accountant by trade but a homesteader by choice, she started Mountain Meat Shares as a passion project. It wasn’t long before it became something bigger.

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Now, Jennifer serves families in the Missoula area with boxes of local chicken, beef, and pork on a subscription basis. Her customers are well-fed, have a smaller carbon footprint, and know where their meat comes from.

On the Mountain Meat Shares website, Jennifer says that one of her most basic beliefs is that “farm animals, while their ultimate fate might well be your table, should live their lives peacefully, with their needs met, and their days spent outdoors as much as possible.”

What more could you possibly want from your dinner?

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Jennifer sprays down the pig pen so they can create their own wallow to keep cool in the summer.

 

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Here’s Jennifer herself to tell you more about how she moves the world.


BB: You’re a farmer. Was that an unexpected part of your career path or were you always heading that direction?

JK: I think I would call myself a homesteader since the food we grow here at our place in Arlee, Montana is mostly for our own household and not for commercial purposes. I grew up next to my grandparents’ farm and spent my days taking care of animals and always knowing where my food came from.

I developed a deep satisfaction of caring for animals by learning from the practices of animal husbandry from my grandparents.

[They] were Slovenian immigrants and grew nearly all of the food we ate. By the time I came along, they were retired from dairy farming, but we still had a few pigs each year, raised calves for resale, had our own milk, butter, vegetables and fruit, eggs, chicken, and beef. The farm was tidy, the animals clean and happy. I learned that their daily care came first, and it was hard work, but even as a kid, it felt satisfying. We didn’t waste and butchered all of our own animals. When I think back, I have been slaughtering meat chickens since I was probably eight years old!

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One of Jennifer’s Plymouth Rock barred chickens. Her chickens eat kitchen scraps and insects and lay brown eggs.

BB: What led you to create Mountain Meat Shares?

JK:  When friends and visitors to my farm saw how happy and healthy our meat animals were, they just intuitively wanted to have a part of it. I couldn’t commercially produce that kind of volume, and so sourcing the animals from farmers I trust and have a relationship with was a way for me to deliver that food to others.

BB: Mountain Meat Shares is a CSA. What does that mean?

JK: CSA stands for community-supported agriculture. In most cases, it means a customer is making an investment in and taking a risk with the farmer in the upcoming growing season.

There are a variety of ways a CSA can be configured. I would say MMS is like a  CSA in that we are sourcing whole animals from the farmers and the customer isn’t choosing specific cuts or varieties as you would buy at a grocery.

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Jennifer has two goats, Willow and Mina. Willow and Mina will soon be old enough to breed and produce milk. For now, they enjoy eating raspberries and following Jennifer around the farm.

BB: Do you think CSAs are the future of food?

JK: Not likely. There is too much demand by the larger population for choice, convenience, and price. But I do think that the changes and awareness that small, local farms bring will influence customer behavior and future demands of the large food systems.

BB: What differences would people notice if they replaced their mass-produced meat with locally-grown products?

JK: Taste! Animals [raised] outdoors as much as possible, on pasture under the sun, absorb the nutrients from our soil, stretch their muscles the way they were designed to, and just taste better.

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If you live in the Missoula area, subscribe to Mountain Meat Shares here.

BB: What can we all do to reduce our carbon footprint with our food?

JK: Don’t waste! So much energy, water, transportation, land use and carbon goes into our food, and as households, we throw so much of it away. I’m planning a blog post about this soon because I think I’m hardwired to despise waste and wasting food — at all levels of production, distribution, and consumption– just doesn’t make sense.

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BB: What’s it like to turn a passion project into a business?

JK: Fun and exciting. It’s invigorating to take something I’m passionate about — local food — and bring it to the marketplace to actually help families make the farm-to-table connection.

BB: What’s your favorite part of entrepreneurship?

JK: Making all of the decisions myself. Be they good or bad, they’re all mine!

BB: You’re a horsewoman. Is that what you like to do with your free time?

JK: Yes! I have been involved with horses my whole life and they are a challenge but I also have a deeply satisfying relationship with them.

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Riding is one of the ways I connect to the wilderness and take in the seasons and the wildlife that surrounds us.

Although I have had many limitations to my involvement with horses over the years, it’s something I just can’t not do.

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Jennifer and her Arabian gelding, Highlander.
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Highlander wears a fly mask to protect his eyes from insects.

BB: What inspires you?

JK: People working hard outside of the box.

I have little tolerance for excuses and following the herd, so when I meet people making efforts to better their lives, in whatever way that might be for them, I am inspired.

BB:  What makes you feel like a badass?

JK: Bucking the norms and working hard and being resourceful.

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Jennifer grew a patch of wildflowers in her front yard to attract pollinators like honeybees.

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BB: What’s your dream trivia category?

JK: Substitute ingredients.

BB: Like?

JK: On occasion, if a dessert calls for just a small amount of heavy cream, I’ll use half and half. Certainly walnuts in pesto instead of pine nuts.

BB: Is there anything else you would like to add?

JK: Thank you for inviting me!

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Jennifer often rides her Arabian mare, Sundance, into the nearby mountains.

Contact Jennifer at 406.880.3083 or at info@mountainmeatshares.com


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Author Micah Larsen is a persuasion scientist and consultant. Her job is to teach people how to use subtle persuasion in their emails, conversations, and campaigns to get others to say “yes.”

Watch one of her short persuasion how-to videos of $9.97 value for free here using code:

BADASSERIE

Sheila Cornwell // Montana Adventure Shuttle

Sheila’s got restless feet. The kind of feet that were made to wander, to pedal (she’s a bicyclist, too), and, now, to drive.

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Last year, Sheila blessed the Rocky Mountain region with the Montana Adventure Shuttle, a ready-to-go-anywhere 11-passenger van whose slogans include “endless roads, endless possibilities.”

Here’s Sheila herself to tell you more about how she moves the world:


BB: Do you remember the moment you decided to create the Montana Adventure Shuttle? What brought you there?

SC: I was tired of living in survival mode with the feeling that I had no control over my ability to succeed. Add to that the steady, growing feeling of losing my creative spark and feeling stifled by walls, proverbial and literal. Then, in late 2016, I was growing weary in my situation, missing the freedom of self-employment, and reminiscing about the previous summer’s five-day kayaking adventure in Glacier National Park. The urge to get out from behind a desk, coupled with my need for more physical movement, outdoor time, and my insatiable love for travel collected in my mind.

I soon felt this inescapable urge to break out of a failing pattern of attempts at success in the traditional workplace and allowed myself the creative freedom, my YOLO mindset, and my entrepreneurial spirit to take the lead.

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BB: What has been your favorite adventure you’ve taken with the Shuttle?

SC: I truly enjoy every shuttle trip! However, in November of 2017, I experienced my first overnight adventure with what was my first group of passengers from Missoula. A local film crew needed transportation to Helena and Bozeman and to visit some breweries for their show.

We stopped in Helena first, profiled a local hot spring, then headed on to the first brewery and filmed there. [In Bozeman] we … stayed the night at an amazing, historic bed and breakfast, then back to Bozeman’s brewery the next morning to complete filming. The crew was fun and friendly and the entire trip was full of camaraderie and laughter … beautiful scenery and singing on the way back! I remain friends with some of them, and the opportunity to serve my fellow Missoulians was invaluable!

BB: What kind of music do you listen to when you’re alone in the Shuttle?

SC: I have a varied collection of songs downloaded on my phone that I tend to listen to most. Artists and genres also spread across many genres, but mostly I listen to:

… Currently, I’m hooked on the song “Renegades” by X Ambassadors. I like to think of this as the theme song for all of us entrepreneurs!

Get persuasion tips from persuasion scientist & Badasserie author Micah Larsen

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BB: What inspires you?

SC: First and foremost is the beauty of this place; Montana, the Rocky Mountain environment, and Mother Nature. A close second to the environment we live in is the healing effect it has on me as well as the energy it feeds me. … I am inspired by other Montanans who also enjoy the numerous opportunities we have here to enjoy outdoor recreation. Their participation is a wonderful, daily reminder of what we can do here.

As a business owner, my fellow entrepreneurs are a huge inspiration, as they have a sort of energy of their own, which is kind and generous.

My children also inspire me, though they may not realize it. They are the reason I give instead of just take in this life! They need me to succeed as much as I need to succeed and I try to be a good role model for them.

Finally, but not least, my passengers inspire me to keep going with what I’m doing. They have offered a wealth of positive feedback and encouragement and ideas. Just their participation in my shuttle is validation and proof of the accomplishment.

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BB: What would you say to young women who are considering becoming entrepreneurs?

SC: Do not let the world intimidate you. I emphasize that word, “let.” Nor should you let the amount or type of work … prevent you from seeing your dream through to the end. There is a reason you are considering this option in life, so give it its due attention and examine not only who you truly are but what you want out of this life.

Your uniqueness is meant to shine, not hide behind fears.

BB: What makes you feel like a badass?

SC: Seeing this dream of mine becoming a reality. From what once seemed like a crazy idea. The idea coming to fruition.

The process itself is equally satisfying [and I’ve been] faced with big challenges every step of the way. With little funding, step by step I have been able to conquer each challenge by listening to my own instincts, and often with the help of others’.

Ultimately, I have to allow courage to spur me to take the actions necessary … instead of letting my fears hinder me. When I watch the desired outcome occur, there are feelings of pride and joy that rush over me. Then I feel like a badass!

I have also been known to squeal with delight, “This is working!!”

 

BB: What’s your dream trivia category?

SC: Oh, I would love to say, anything about bicycling or music, but I’m really more inclined to say that I’m a person who knows a little about a lot.

BB: Is there anything else you would like to add?

SC: I am incredibly grateful for the people who have shown me support in this community. That includes Missoula [Montana] as a whole, and the entrepreneurs and tourism organizations and other business owners I have met and become friends with.

Support is key when starting your own business and I have benefitted not only from emotional support but their combined wisdom and willingness to network as well!

I extend a hearty thank you to all of you who continue to help me, including you, Micah!

BB: Aw, gee, thanks! Ditto.

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Book your own memorable shuttle adventure with Sheila here and sign up for Montana Adventure Shuttle’s inspirational newsletter here.

 

 

The Ladies of Blue Marble

Y’know what’s more inspiring than one badass, innovative woman?

Nine badass, innovative women.

I’m talking about the ladies of Blue Marble Biomaterials, a research and development company that makes products out of plants and where six of the ten STEM leadership positions are filled by women.

As if that wasn’t enough, Blue Marble is also home to Bearhat Beverages, an eco-friendly beverage company that produces a fermented tonic water so sparkly and delicious it’ll knock your d*** socks off. 

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Bearhat, Co.’s signature brew contains live cultures and a whole lot of lemony, herbaceous fizz.

How could a biomaterial company create a fermented tonic, you may ask? Because it’s chock-full of gutsy, badass scientists and business gurus, that’s how.

And here they are to tell you a little more about how they move the world:

 

From top left: Rheanna Dorman, 35, Business Development & Marketing Executive; Coral Main, 27, Accounting Manager; Breana Pabst, 27, Chemical Engineer; Amanda Slater, 32, Vice President of Development; Kellie Hefstetter, Administrative Assistant; Katie Kettler, 25, Analytical Scientist / Quality Technician; Rachael Kropp, 29, Quality Control / Quality Assurance; Allison Wittkopp, 24, Biochemical Engineer; Franny Gilman, 29, Vice President of Research & Development


BB: What makes you feel like a badass?

AW: The look on people’s faces when I tell them my degrees and what I get to do for a living. A lot of older people don’t seem to expect a girl my age to have two engineering degrees. It always makes me grin when I see a look of surprise!

BP: I feel like a badass when I am able to solve problems or overcome challenges that once seemed very difficult. It’s a great feeling when you’re finally able to reach a goal or solution that you’ve put a lot of work into.

CM: Blue Marble is this little company in Montana that these huge food companies come to with the problems they can’t solve and ask us to figure it out for them. And we’re pretty successful at it!

I’ve done so much in my five years with Blue Marble that a lot of people never experience in my field in twice that time and I’m very proud that I’ve come out the other side with that knowledge and knowing how much of an asset I can be.

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BB: How do you feel female scientists are represented? 

AW: I’m lucky to say I’ve had great experiences being a female scientist. The College of Engineering at Montana State was always encouraging, inclusive and fair, in my opinion, and now I work with a bunch of awesome ladies in science as well. It makes me sad to know that others have not had pleasant experiences, but I do think it’s getting better. And I consider myself lucky to have had all the opportunities I’ve had in the [STEM] fields.

KK: I feel like women in STEM fields are getting better recognition, but things still need to improve. While I think women in science are being promoted more through social media, men are still getting more formal recognition.

RK: Women scientists — and women professionals in general — have received a lot more visibility within the last year or two because of smart and funny social media campaigns.  We’re able to connect and share experiences through hashtags like #womeninscience and #distractinglysexy

FG: In the general public, female scientists are gaining more support, but in order to create equal opportunities and to maintain a diverse work-force, we need more support.

Women frequently leave the workforce and academia. A system needs to be put in place that allows us and prepares us to flourish even if we’d like to start a family and continue working while doing so.

BB: How did you end up at Blue Marble?

RK: I applied to Blue Marble about 4 years ago because I was looking for a research and science-based job in a Missoula.  They hired me on and I’ve never looked back.

BP: After graduating and spending a fair amount of time being a ski bum and traveling, I wanted to work for a company that did meaningful and interesting work and also gave me the opportunity to live in a place with ample access to outdoor activities. I was drawn to Blue Marble’s commitment to sustainability and past work with algal biofuels. I reached out to Blue Marble and was lucky that a position opened up not too long after that.

BB: Montana has been recognized as one of the most entrepreneurial states in the country. What has been your experience with the entrepreneurial community?

BP: It’s cool to see new companies starting in Montana, especially in the tech field. We work with a few other companies in the area, and it’s great to be able to share knowledge and capabilities to help us all succeed.

KK: No matter what we or other companies are doing, we are all trying to redefine the status quo. It encourages collaboration and unique approaches to problems.

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BB: When you aren’t working hard breaking glass ceilings in the STEM world, what do you do for fun?

RD: Well, first of all, I don’t believe that I’m personally breaking the glass ceiling, but I do encourage and support the women that I work with who are STEM leaders to share their own stories and spark the movement within our own community. For fun though, I enjoy hiking and biking the Rattlesnake area with my two young boys. Or visiting Montana’s sweet ski hills to teach my kids to snowboard!

RK: In my spare time I enjoy skiing, fixing broken toilets in dive bars, eating pizza, and riding my bike around town.

BB: What motivates you?

FG: Learning new things about microbiology! I’m fascinated by the “unseen” world. As well as working towards a goal of becoming a strong, female leader.

RD: First of all, I am in a place that values me and where I get to bring my whole self to work every day! Also, knowing that my role in this organization’s ecosystem has a positive impact on our client’s businesses and their consumer’s health and environment.

Like what you’ve read so far? Join persuasion scientist Micah Larsen‘s mailing list and get free persuasion tips and Badasserie updates.

Just text APISPLEASE to 22828 or click here.

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BB: What do you think our world would be like if people had a better understanding of and appreciation for science?

RD: My perspective as a parent has altered my own appreciation for science. I get to witness the pure excitement and joy my son expresses when he works on a science experiment or when we watch old episodes of Bill Nye the Science Guy. His innocent reactions impact the way I now view science. So, I guess if everyone experienced science the way I’m experiencing with my six-year-old, then I would say the world would probably look something like Disney’s Tomorrowland!

AS: We’d all be vaccinated and investing in clean energy.

KK: To me, science is about collaboration and revisiting established ideas. Just because something has worked in the past doesn’t mean it is the most efficient process or even the correct way of understanding a concept anymore. It is a constantly evolving field. I believe that if more people had a better appreciation for science, there would be more encouragement for funding across all STEM fields.

Science allows us to understand the world around us and people should be interested in it.

BB: What inspires you these days?

FG: The strong women I surround myself with continue to inspire me, like my co-workers, friends, and family members. They motivate me to continue to work hard so that women are represented in leadership and decision-making roles.

RK: Lately I’ve been inspired by Janelle Monae’s latest album.  She put down some really badass tracks and visuals about women, power, and her experiences with both.

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BB: What’s your dream trivia category?

CM: Harry Potter, for sure.

AW:  Disney movies and/or soundtracks. I crush it every time. I am not ashamed of this knowledge.

BB: Is there anything else you would like to add?

RD: I love my job!

AS: Go out and grab a P&C Tonic!

 

 


Want to get your hand on a bottle (or a case) of Bearhat Co.’s finest wares? Find yours here.

Stir up a Bearcat-recommended cocktail with one of their signature recipes here.

Mallory Ottariano // Kind Apparel

Mallory is a mover and a shaker. And as a mover and a shaker, she needed clothes that could move and shake, too, so she created Kind Apparel, a women’s adventure clothing company based out of Missoula, Montana.

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Mallory is wearing a Fjord dress of her own design. Get yours here.

Kind Apparel isn’t your run-of-the-mill clothing company (though her clothes are perfect for the runners among us). Mallory designs her own fabrics as inspired by nature and printed on recycled material made from plastic bottles.

Here’s Mallory herself to tell you more about how she moves the world:

BB: Tell me about Kind Apparel.

MO: Kind Apparel is a small women’s adventure clothing company. We design and make colorful and functional wearables for the outdoor-ist in you that are focused on celebrating the uniqueness of every woman. Our fabrics are what make our products special! Everything is made from stretchy Lycra that’s made from recycled plastic bottles and printed with my own graphics and artwork.

There is not a single solid colored fabric in our offerings and everything is very bold and very bright. Think psychedelic moonscapes, citrus fruits, paisleys, water reflections, and succulents.

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Kind Apparel skorts are designed for running, swimming, hiking, and backpacking.

BB: What do you do when you’re not working on Kind stuff?

MO: Honestly, these days I’m working most of the time, but I do make time for exercise every day, whether that’s in the gym or on a run during the week or a ski tour or bike ride on the weekends. I try to fit in as much skiing as I can during the winter/spring, and I play soccer all year round.

In the evenings, you can find me out on a Missoula trail taking my dog for a walk with my fiancê! I love to be in motion, whether that’s physically or just tackling many activities during a busy day. So when I’m not working, I’m usually moving in some capacity.

BB: What drew you to design specifically for women?

MO: Personal experience. I believe we can design best for ourselves, so as a woman it’s easy for me to know what is wanted and needed in the market. I also think — although this is certainly changing — that there is a significant lack of functional and technical yet cute clothing out there. Most women’s outdoor clothing tends to be available in frumpy fits and bland colors and I wanted to change that to include the colorful prints of lots of casual women’s clothing.

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BB: Have you ever had a “lightning bolt moment” or a sudden flash of inspiration?

MO: Yes! I had known I wanted to transition to custom printed fabric eventually, but when an opportunity dropped into my lap I certainly became inspired by how my company could grow.

On a backpacking trip, I was looking around at all the texture and color in the lichen on a rock I was taking a break on and I thought, “My prints should be inspired by nature and the amazing places where women are wearing the clothing I make!” So my next two collections have been entirely inspired by the natural world.

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Kind Apparel’s swim tops are reversible and versatile.

BB: Has being an entrepreneur changed you?

MO: Yes, in so many ways. It’s given me greater confidence. It’s taught me to be my own champion and cheerleader, and it’s taught me introspection and humility.

The most profound change is accountability. I used to, and still do, pass blame, decisions and challenges to everything and everyone but myself. But when you work for yourself and things go wrong or there are big problems, you must confront them.

There isn’t anyone else who can make the decisions that need to be made and any fault is almost always my own. I’m learning to own my mistakes and grow from them.

BB: What makes you feel like a badass?

MO: When I live up to my expectation of myself. Ha! I’m hugely competitive and set a very high bar for myself. It’s also an amazing feeling when I see women around Missoula — or abroad — wearing my clothing. Or when I introduce what I do and someone says, “Oh, that’s your company?! I have one of your dresses and I love it!”

I used to derive a lot of pleasure from physical or athletic accomplishments and as I get older this mentality and associated high do, too. Now, I feel like I badass when I see an impact I’ve created.

BB: What would you say to women who dream of starting an apparel company?

MO: It definitely sounds narcissistic, but I would say to anyone starting a business, “Put yourself first, love yourself the most, and believe in yourself the hardest.”

Certainly, you should have compassion and care for others, but no one is going to be as big of a supporter or believe in you as much as you will have to in yourself. You are your own best asset and the biggest tool to your success. Have confidence in that! Some people will dislike you and that’s totally okay.

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BB: What’s your dream trivia category?

MO: I am absolutely terrible at trivia. If there were somehow a category that allowed you to create your own questions and answers or a dream interpretation category I would be amazing at that. I’m good at bullshitting, but you can’t bullshit facts.

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BB: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

MO: I’ve been reading this incredible collection of stories lately that really inspire me as a creative woman in business. It’s In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney. If you ever need a pick-me-up or validation, you’re on the right track. The pages contain so many amazing stories of creative women living out their dreams and the journeys they’ve taken to get there.


Shop Kind Apparel and get your own unique, environmentally-friendly design by Mallory here.

Order In The Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs from your local bookstore or from Amazon here