Editors Note: Charlotte is a Leavenworth local, apparel co-creator/business owner, is 26-years old and has climbed all the volcanoes in Washington state. She is driven, passionate and competes in Nordic races. She travels abroad, speaks at TedTalks and is an artist. We look forward to learning where she is in 15 years with her pursuits, as this woman is going places! Read on to learn more about Charlotte Massey.
Question: Charlotte, please tell us a bit about yourself. Your hobbies, interests, etc.
Answer: I’m 26 years old and I grew up in Leavenworth. I spent a lot of time outside as a child Nordic skiing, alpine skiing, mountaineering, backpacking, and just exploring this beautiful valley. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed new hobbies like painting, making craft cocktails and mocktails, foraging, and practicing yoga and meditation. I equally enjoy pushing myself in my outdoor pursuits and embracing time outdoors as an opportunity for rest and restoration.
Question: You seem to be a well accomplished woman. An artist using coffee and juice as your medium, co-owner of SheFly Apparel, travel the world solo to gain knowledge on how women become employed in trekking and mountain guiding industries, TedTalk speaker…I think the world is in for much more from you! What goals do you have for 2023 both professionally and personally?
Answer: My biggest goals for 2023 are around my company, SheFly. We are releasing two new products this year (shorts and leggings) and are launching in new stores across the US and also internationally. There’s some other big changes coming that I can’t wait to announce later this spring!
In my personal life, I’m focused on creating a healthy balance between the business of running a startup and being able to enjoy time outside and time creating art. I want to get outside for a full day at least once a week this year, read 20 books, and explore some new art mediums including embroidery.
Question: We heard you have climbed all the volcanoes in Washington State, can you tell us a bit about this?
Answer: Yes! I started mountaineering with my father at a young age – he bought me my first ice axe at age 11. My first volcano was Mount Rainier when I was 14, and we climbed the rest of the volcanos together throughout my time in high school and college. I love the feeling of getting to the highest point around and gaining a new vantage point on the world, and the sense of accomplishment and confidence in my own strength that I gain from pushing myself. That said, mountaineering is always hard and often physically uncomfortable! Training ahead of time and bringing food that I know my body reacts well to makes the experience a lot more fun.
Question: Are you also a Nordic skier, we heard you used to compete? Do you still ski? Which is your favorite, Skate or Classic?
Answer: I grew up ski racing in Leavenworth, although I stopped racing in high school. I still Nordic ski and am racing in the Prince Haakon 15K at the American Birkebeiner race in Wisconsin in February. My favorite technique for going fast is skating but I love a casual classic ski with friends.
Question: We have read a lot about you being the co-owner of SheFly Apparel, a women’s pant company. What drove you and your other co-owners to develop a pant that allows you to go to the bathroom discreetly using your patented zipper system to your pants? We are stoked to finally have a pant on the market that is accommodating to women for going to the bathroom outdoors! Thank you!
Answer: I co-founded SheFly because I was frustrated with how difficult it was to go to the bathroom. When I was on rope teams climbing volcanoes, the men could easily relieve themselves without removing their harness, and I couldn’t. I had to choose between holding it in, dehydrating myself, or removing safety equipment and exposing myself to my rope team. That didn’t seem like a fair choice, and my co-founders and I knew there must be a better way. We went through hundreds of prototypes and are extremely proud of the patented design we developed.
Question: We are super excited about the leggings you are launching later this year. We live in leggings! How are the SheFly leggings different from your hiking pants?
Answer: The leggings have a patent-pending zipper design that is fully compatible with our pants, so you can wear them as a base layer or own their own! The leggings use a thinner invisible zipper and have a zipper garage pocket that hides the zipper puller, so you can’t tell that there’s a zipper in them at all. They still have our patented internal fabric lining and are very comfortable with and without underwear.
Question: Charlotte we heard that you grew up in Leavenworth, then went to the East Coast (is this correct?) for college, where do you reside now?
Answer: I went to Middlebury College in Vermont and loved experiencing a different part of the U.S. that still felt similar to home. I now live in Seattle.
Question: What are your current favorite outdoor activities for both winter and summer sports?
Answer: In the winter, I love alpine skiing, nordic skiing, and snowshoeing. In the summer, I love hiking, mountaineering, and foraging. I also love just spending time outside having picnics or painting – it doesn’t always have to be about exercise!
Question: Most memorable outdoor memory and why?
Answer: Watching the sun set from camp 3 at 20,000 ft on Aconcagua. I was absolutely exhausted from two weeks of gaining altitude but the glorious red and orange sunset over the Andes reminded me why I love climbing big mountains, even when they wear me down.
Question: What are your hopes and dreams for SheFly? Where would you like to see your company in 10 years?
Answer: My dream is for our zipper technology to be the rule instead of the exception. Everyone should be able to comfortably use the bathroom without exposing themselves to the elements or other people outside.
Question: What does a typical day look like for you? What do you do?
Answer: My team works remotely, so most of my day is spent on Zoom calls or answering emails. I love hosting in-person events whenever possible and also spend time reviewing and testing new samples when they arrive from our factory partners.
Question: What sport are you most excited to challenge yourself more on? Or a new sport or activity you would like to try out?
Answer: I’m excited to be pushing myself in nordic ski racing again, and improving my alpine skiing skills. I haven’t improved much since high school and this season I’m finally making progress again, which feels good.
Question: Favorite life quote and why.
Answer: “Paying attention is a form of reciprocity with the living world”– Robin Wall Kimmerer. I love this quote because it reminds me that I am part of what we consider ‘nature’ and that I can have a positive impact on my environment by being present and reflecting on my actions.