Our [Wee] Little Story
In the summer of 2016, co-founder Georgia Grace Edwards worked as one of a handful of women glacier guides on the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska, where she was spending 8-12 hours a day on the ice. Georgia Grace realized the serious disadvantage she faced when it came to using the bathroom on the glacier. In comparison to her male co-workers, whose flies allowed them to simply turn around to answer nature's call, she was forced to trek across crevasses until she could find privacy, completely remove 3-4 layers in sub-zero temperatures, do her thing, put it all back on, and hike back.
It was a waste of time and energy, and it often left her feeling cold for hours after, to the point where she started cutting her water consumption—a story not uncommon among women adventurers in group settings or cold environments. Georgia Grace knew that there had to be a better way to go on the go and, armed with an entrepreneurial mindset after participating in Middlebury College's MiddCORE, set out to see if there were others who shared her struggle.
From Pee Problems to SheFly Solutions
In the summer of 2017, co-founders Georgia Grace Edwards and Bianca Gonzalez met while interning at Goldman Sachs in Salt Lake City, Utah. They bonded throughout long endurance hikes all over the state. On a particularly long hike—18 miles to and from Mt. Timpanogos—Georgia Grace and Bianca experienced several awkward bathroom breaks on the trail, where they were exposed in the presence of others and a chilly wind on the summit. Bianca, like many women, know this irritation all too well, but when she and Georgia Grace looked to the market for an answer, nothing cut it. DIY solutions were unreliable, hiking dresses lacked a fashion-forwardness for the modern woman and remained defenseless in the cold, and female urination devices (FUDs) suggested there was something wrong with women’s anatomies (not to mention their tendency to overflow, and sanitation issues!).
When Bianca and Georgia Grace went back to Vermont to finish school, they met Charlotte, an enthusiastic climber and painter. Charlotte immediately knew the value of SheFlys in the outdoors and helped found SheFly after its initial Middlebury Entrepreneurs class launch in January of 2018.
Alexis, Gabby, Madi, and Allyson have since joined the team and it continues to grow. On your next pit stop, come see us in Burlington, where we work out of the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies and test our SheFlys right here in the Green Mountains!
Hailing from the Appalachian Mountains of Western Maryland, Georgia Grace is a recent graduate of Middlebury College, Vermont, where she majored in International Politics & Economics and minored in Global Health and Spanish. Her parents first exposed her and her younger brother to the outdoors through summer road trips to become “Junior Rangers” at dozens of national parks across the country. When she’s not working on SheFly, Georgia Grace enjoys writing and producing narrative journalism pieces for Middlebury Magazine, teaching wire wrapping jewelry workshops, and attending live storytelling events. She also enjoys crossing new Vermont adventures off of her extensive bucket list now that she can #peefreely. Georgia Grace is currently in the Bohemian Paradise region of the Czech Republic on a Fulbright scholarship testing SheFly prototypes while teaching and learning at a business school.
Bianca is a recent graduate from Middlebury College. (Go Febs!) She majored in Geography, loves all things data, and is excited to weave data and technology into SheFly. Originally from Taos, New Mexico, Bianca grew up playing in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and skiing at Taos Ski Valley. She learned to love the outdoors through her leadership at Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, where she partnered with tribal and local land managing agencies, inspiring teenagers to become the next generation of environmental stewards. Bianca is an avid long distance runner, and is excited to finally comfortably pee on her runs!
Charlotte is a senior at Middlebury College, where she studies Philosophy and Studio Art. Charlotte runs her own art business, Charred Latte Art, and has a passion for exploring the most inaccessible places she can find. She is a Social Entrepreneurship Fellow, HERlead Fellow and captain of the Debate Society at Middlebury. Charlotte grew up in the mountains of Washington State, and came to love the outdoors early in life. She learned to ski before she could walk and got her first ice axe when she was 11. She has had many uncomfortably cold pees and is excited to help bring SheFly to the world!
Editorial and Brand Manager
Originally from Arkansas, Alexis is a recent Feb graduate from Middlebury College, where she studied English Literature & Creative Writing. First introduced to the outdoors as a kid in the Ozarks, she spent her summers going to Camp Thunderbird for Girls in Minnesota, which facilitated extended wilderness trips. After spending the summer of 2017 leading the next generation of Thunderbird campers around the backcountry of the US and Canadian Rockies, she’s collected innumerable stories about the excitement—and the discomfort—that comes along with peeing outside. Wishing she could have had a pair of SheFly pants on some really populated trails last summer, she can’t wait for her next big #exPEEdition!
Gabby is a senior at Middlebury College, where she majors in Environmental Chemistry and is involved in chemistry and geochemistry lab research, She was born in Jamaica and raised in Philadelphia. Though at heart she will always be a city girl, her admiration and love for the outdoors continues to grow. She can’t wait ‘till everyone is Fly-rockin’ the best hiking pants around.
Graphic and Web Design Intern
Allyson is a senior at Middlebury College studying Psychology and Studio Art. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the yearbook and an ambassador for the college museum. She also tap dances and photoshops in her free time. From Los Angeles, CA, Allyson loves exploring all that life has to offer and taking new opportunities when they come her way. She is excited to be a part of SheFly and support such an inspiring women-led and founded company (and pee without freezing)!