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!