Inspiring the next generation of skiers.
STORY BY CASSIE CASSIDY
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY SKI LIKE A GIRL
Ski Like a Girl is a family-run business started by two parents who were inspired by their three daughters. Sean and Corrin Dunn wanted a way to encourage their girls—and girls around the world—to follow their dreams. How could they enlighten their three daughters about the unlimited possibilities they can achieve in life, while also keeping them engaged?
Thus, Ski Like a Girl was born at the family dining room table in East Williston, New York.
“Our motto is ‘Inspiring ski, shred & board girls to be strong, smart & bold girls’,” Founder Sean Dunn says. “And that’s exactly what we set out to do with our clothing and accessories.”
With a collection of apparel items including jackets, hoodies, shirts and stickers, each piece features an inspirational design that encourages girls to follow their dreams and conquer any obstacles they encounter. The designs were created by the couple, Sean and Corrin, and their three daughters — Reagan (12), Alex (10) and Dylan (6).
With their dining room being taken over by boxes, quickly turning into a makeshift packing, shipping and design studio, the family works together to bring happiness and confidence to all who purchase their gear.
“If you work hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen,” is the main lesson the Dunns teach their daughters.
And it seems to be paying off.
“Since my family started Ski Like a Girl, I have learned how to start a business, and how to be successful in that business,” says 10-year-old Alex.
Inspiring entrepreneurship in their daughters and girls who look up to the brand’s mission is also a goal of the founders. That entrepreneurial spirit was sparked in oldest daughter Reagan to start her own business, Barking Buddies. Since starting the brand, 12-year-old Reagan says she has learned that “if you work hard, it can get you places in life.”
For Mom, Corrin, working together on the brand has strengthened their family and brought them closer together.
“It is such a challenge raising young children and instilling the values of family in today’s world. Technology and social media have such a strong influence. When we work together as a family on Ski Like a Girl, it builds trust and togetherness and strengthens our foundation as a family unit,” says Corrin.
It’s a mutual feeling, shares Reagan. When asked about her favorite part about working as a family on the brand, she says, “I like working with my parents, and we get to spend more time together.”
Dylan, who was only 6 when Ski Like a Girl was founded, says her favorite part about working on the brand with the family is “sitting in Daddy’s office chair and acting like I’m the boss of Ski Like a Girl.”
Ski Like a Girl follows its mission to give back to organizations that help girls and women pursue their passions in all aspects of life. The brand has contributed to (and partnered with) programs and initiatives including Girls, Inc., to which they donated 10% of their profits in 2021. Girls, Inc. is an organization that empowers girls with the confidence they need to succeed in life through programs that focus on career development, education, and leadership skills.
The brand also sponsors Molly Raymond, a Canadian U19 Okanagan Ski Team member, with her goal of joining the British Columbia Ski Race Team (BCSRT).
In December 2021, the brand sponsored two racers at the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Junior National Cross-Country Ski Championships in Minneapolis, MN, as well as Brynn Rux, an up-and-coming 10-year-old snowboarder from Minnesota.
Rux also became the first official brand ambassador for Ski Like a Girl’s sub-brand, Board Like a Girl. In 2022, Rux competed at the USASA Nationals competition at Copper Mountain with her team “G-Team” after qualifying at the regional Upper Midwest Snow Series in Minnesota.
An all-around snowboarding athlete, Brynn competes in slalom, giant slalom, Boardercross, Slopestyle, half pipe, and rail jam. While she heads into the off-season, Brynn will be doing dry land training on her Jib Board, working on her backyard trampoline board, and skateboarding, wakeboarding, and wake surfing in the summer months to prepare for next year’s snowboarding season.
Brynn’s goal for this next season is to make the nationals team again and return as a Grommet Girl, with a long-term goal being to be a national champion someday.
“Brynn’s ultimate goal is to inspire other girls in our area to snowboard,” Brynn’s Mom, Stef, says. “One of the things we have heard a lot is that girls don’t feel comfortable in our terrain parks because the riders are mainly boys. It’s intimidating! Brynn is trying to break those barriers and show young girls that they have a place there.”
Wearing Board Like a Girl gear makes her feel empowered and hopes other girls see her and feel just as empowered to “board like a girl” as she does. “For Brynn, it’s not just about achieving her goals, it’s establishing a lifelong confidence wherever she is, and this brand continues to give her that,” Stef says.
Sponsoring these young athletes offers them opportunities to travel and compete in ski and snowboard competitions around the country, Sean Dunn says.
The brand also partnered with the New York Ski Education Foundation on the Women’s Eastern Cup at Whiteface Mountain in December 2021. The Foundation “provides educational opportunities for athletes of all ages to reach their potential in snow sports through professional guidance and financial support.” The non-profit organization also helps young athletes develop personal skills important to becoming confident individuals by building athletic capability, sportsmanship, self-discipline, and self-esteem. Next up on the docket for the brand is a sponsorship of the women’s ski & yoga retreat, Equilibrium, at Stratton Mountain in February 2023, which includes 3 days of skiing, yoga, and networking with like-minded women.
The Dunn family has been skiing at Stratton for over 12 years, a mountain community that has seen countless female skiers and snowboarders move on to be professional athletes.
Nearly a dozen athletes with ties to Stratton Mountain School competed at the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, including Lindsey Jacobellis ’03, Julia Kern ’16, and Sophia Laukli ’19.
These are just some of the successful female athletes who had their start at Stratton and went on to follow their dreams of being professional athletes.
For the Dunn girls, skiing is just a fun family sport for now. “Skiing makes me feel happy and free,” says Alex, and being able to face new challenges is one of Reagan’s favorite parts about skiing. But don’t forget about the best part, Alex and Dylan mention—visiting the candy store in the Village after skiing!
Above all, Sean Dunn says he’s learned “nothing is cooler than Girl Power,” among many other lessons from his three young daughters. “I feel like the luckiest man in the world to have these strong, confident girls and partner in my life,” he continues. “So, I’d like to introduce you to a ski clothing brand I launched in the hope of inspiring confidence in girls everywhere.”
ALL THE DETAILS