Jude, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Well that's tough. I'm not sure what's going to be interesting. I'm a wheel builder by day working with a crew of people that are dedicated to the same outcome--building wheels to provide better performance and creating a product that is repairable and sustainable. Coming to work with this cast of characters really makes work a ton of fun! When I'm not working, I'm hanging out with my dog, Ozzie, running or cycling with my partner, trying to cook :) and working with my husband as a mentor for a kid in our neighborhood who we are (fingers crossed) getting excited about mountain biking!
Why do you do the work you do?
Because I still don't know all the answers and at the same time, I think that I have reached a skill level both in operating the business and in building wheels that I am completely satisfied with. My curiosity is still alive but it's nice to come to work and feel confident!
What are you grateful for?
The good luck i've had in life. the opportunities that i've had and the courage to take them. I feel grateful for the companionship and support of other women and really really grateful for the customers and friends who have supported me in this business. I love riding bikes and I want to share that joy with so many others!
What are open taboo topics in your industry and how can we be more open about it?
No one really likes to talk about changing the way that this industry really works. I was asked, by a vender, to be at a show to help promote their product. I was told in the next sentence that it would be difficult for me to be a part of that show because the show owner was a misogynist. My vender did nothing to help me gain access to the show. No women were showing at that event also. So the industry talks about change so long as it doesn't upset the status quo.
Which women had the biggest influence in your career?
I have some really great mentors along the way. Of the women that were helpful to me, Kate Altman at Altman/Browning Engineering was really helpful in helping me understand processes and how to get the crew to become mindful of recording times. Natalie Ramsland of Sweetpea Bicycles was really helpful in pushing me into the deep end and chase my "Crazy idea". I am very grateful to her. And currently, I wouldn't have the wild joy for my work without my industry friends, Leah Benson (Owner of Gladys Bikes) and Jocelyn Gaudi (Founder of the Komorebi Women's Adventure team) who are a constant source of camaraderie. I also want to say that my riding friends, Diana Rempe and Megan Schubel have really really really been incredible in helping me through the ups and downs of running a business. I am so grateful.
When did you reached out to other creative women and how do you connect with your community?
I was lucky to have a best friend in the creative world who really gave my brand a voice. I am eternally grateful for her work and effort. So, right from the start. As far as other creative women--well I don't know that I was looking to connect with women initially. There weren't as many women to connect with or that were vocal about wanting to connect. It has taken effort over the years to find these women but now I think that the culture is shifting and it's much easier to network and support other women-owned businesses. I'm really grateful for that shift too.
What do you love the most about living in Portland?
It is a bubble and I'm grateful to be in this bubble. I'm grateful that I can still ride everywhere and that there is still wilderness to explore.
Where can we find you when you are not at work and where can we find your shop?
My studio is at 3808 N Williams Ave. I'm in the shop most days unless I'm out for a meeting...or taking Ozzie for a walk.
This honest interview, is what it's all about. A simple way of sharing those real moments. Thanks so much Jude, for opening up about those topics . sugarwheels.com