Shelby and Jordan describe themselves as soulmates. After spending a weekend with them, it became clear that was no exaggeration. They laugh heartily at every joke, and even finish each other’s sentences. They possess a special bond that only happens when you’ve shared unforgettable experiences together. I spent a weekend with them to learn about their best adventure yet: Divas Outdoors.
One year ago, the duo started an Instagram account called @DivasOutdoors with the hope that it would inspire other women to get out and explore. Being an outdoorsy woman comes with stereotypes, and Shelby and Jordan saw an opportunity to break the perception. As Jordan explains, "there's a stigma about women being outdoorsy that says you have to be polar this or polar that. We're trying to teeter in between."
"We still want to be feminine and be outdoors, but also accomplish things that make us feel empowered.”
Today, they’ve expanded their passion project into a larger movement, capturing inspirational images from outdoor divas all over the world.
Both Shelby and Jordan are avid snowboarders and surfers, and Jordan does some skating on the side. To celebrate the anniversary of launching Divas Outdoors, they got a group of women together for a spring snowboarding weekend at Mt. Hood Meadows, and invited Gnarly Girls to tag along.
The weekend crew started out as semi-strangers. A few knew each other as acquaintances or through a friend of a friend, but for the most part, each person only knew a handful of the other girls. It made for a diverse group of girl riders at different skill levels. I was surprised at how quickly we all connected. Thanks to Shelby and Jordan leading the charge, by the end of the weekend we were laughing together like old friends.
Throughout the weekend, Shelby and Jordan gave me so many great nuggets of advice it was almost impossible to capture in one interview. We ended up talking for over an hour, and I hung onto every word they said. Divas Outdoors resonates because it validates the fact that you don’t need to be a “bigshot” to start a movement. Shelby and Jordan knew they were passionate about adventuring, but also wanted to stay true to themselves, so they owned their “diva tendencies” unapologetically. They prove you don’t need to succumb to the pressure of acting a certain way to fit into a pre-existing cliché – you can be yourself, and still kick ass.
Shelby and Jordan showed me the magic that happens when a group of girls join together to share in what nature has to offer. It was heartwarming to see their eyes light up as they talked about their adoration for the universe's beautiful unknowns. The entire experience illuminated the success of Divas Outdoors. Through them, I was reminded that women are meant to wander, explore, and get a little dirt underneath our fingernails once in a while... Even if those fingernails are finely manicured with a fresh coat of shellac. Their project serves as a nice nudge to get outside, find the next adventure, and enjoy what life has to offer.
As Divas Outdoors puts it: “There’s always something bigger to attack next.”
Photos courtesy of @DivasOutdoors