Industry Profile: AM Snowboarder Emily Blewitt
15 Sep, 2011
Job Title: Barista, Competitive Snowboarder
Employer: Right now I work at Cool River Coffee House in Breckenridge.
Years on snow: Since the new millenium. I think.
Days on snow: Over 100 days.
Currently Riding: 147 Bataleon Distortia, Flux Titans
Currently I am: Waiting for A-Basin to open! Then Keystone, then Copper, then Breck. Come on snow!
Shay: Tell us a little bit about yourself
Emily: I just turned 23 this summer and I recently moved back to Breckenridge, CO. I spent the summer working as an overnight counselor at Woodward at Copper so I got to snowboard pretty much every day in their Catalyst terrain park. I have an associate’s degree in Marketing but I don’t really use it (no desk job for me right now). Instead, I spend my time following the snow and working at coffee houses. Pretty much I want to stay happy, have fun and snowboard as much as I can. My dream is to one day find a career that lets me snowboard and use my degree. We’ll see what this year has in store!
Shay: How has snowboarding changed your life?
Emily: In high school, snowboarding became my life. It let me be me, an individual. I decided to not physically attend a university and opted for online schooling in order to travel throughout the winter months. I think that snowboarding made me choose a path less travelled. It’s been an interesting journey with lots of ups and downs, but I have snowboarding to thank for my happiness.
Shay: How did you get your start in the industry, who or what opened up more opportunities for you?
Emily: I think that I’m really just getting into the industry. I’ve been competing for many years now. In 2010 I won several major events like the Volcom Peanut Butter Rail Jam Finals and I was the TramsAM Female Champion. I was also a participant in the Transworld Good Wood Testing at Breckenridge that season. I got some coverage in Transworld Snowboarding which was cool. This past season I tried to focus more on filming and getting photos. I was featured in Snowboard Colorado’s “Killing It” section which was really cool. I hope to get into the backcountry and into the streets more this upcoming season. I’m really excited!
Shay: How has your previous education or work experience helped you in your current job?
Emily: Most jobs that I’ve had just involve customer service. I like coffee so I work in a lot of cafes. It’s pretty much my favorite thing to make a tasty latte and see someone perk up. The problem with working in the coffee business is that it’s a lot of early mornings, so I am looking forward to going back to my job at Inxpot in Keystone where I can work nights. It’s a really cool coffee shop. If you’re ever in Keystone stop by! Obviously I’m not living up to the normal American dream, but at least I’m happy! Oh, I also work part time at Woodward at Copper and that helps me meet people and have fun jumping on the trampolines!
Shay: Tell us about your snowboarding and a description of the work you do?
As a competitive athlete, I work to become a more consistent rider. This means mastering new tricks and becoming comfortable on bigger features. I’m out on the hill almost everyday in order to get better at snowboarding but I don’t consider it training. I mostly try to enjoy what I’m doing. Instead of beating myself up when I can’t land a trick, I’ll go hit another feature and get my mind back to what snowboarding is really about: having fun.
Shay: What’s an average day like at work for you?
Emily: Well, during the normal winter season I pretty much snowboard everyday and then go to the gym at night. Some days I have to work, but I can’t complain about making money because it supports my snowboarding. Some weekends I get
to travel for competitions. Sometimes this means flying or driving, but it always means that I’m going somewhere new and exciting. I think that’s what I appreciate the most about what I do- that I get to experience different places and met all kinds of people. This summer, however, I’m filling my day time hours with work at Cool River Coffee House trying to save up for the winter. There’s also the occasional day off where I get to sleep in and go on long bike rides. I’m hoping to do some hiking before the snow falls. Besides that, I’m just waiting for the snow to fall here in Summit County so that A Basin can finally open!
Shay: What are some memorable experiences from working in the industry?
I think that my best experience so far has been working with my Midwest Oakley rep. Jason Gerardi and his wife, Kim Noble, were the best reps one could ask for. Even though they didn’t get the funding for grassroots teams that many other areas receive, they still supported a handful of riders in the Midwest. Recently they’ve relocated to Colorado to raise their son McKye. Even though I don’t ride for Oakley anymore I will always have that memory of them being the best reps I’ve ever known. Thanks for giving me a start!
Shay: What do you think are the biggest challenges that the snowboard industry faces and what changes would you like to see for the future?
Emily: I think that money is a big issue right now. Every company has a tight budget and they don’t want to pick up anymore riders. That’s what is hard on me right now. I haven’t been able to gain many sponsorships since I moved to Colorado. I need to focus on meeting more people because that really seems to help. In general, I would like to see companies add more girls to their teams and also focus on pushing those girls not just in a competition format, but also filming. I think that Peepshow is doing a good job of seeing the other side of the girl industry. Girls seem to focus so much on competitions that they lose sight of what snowboarding is really about. I think that Peepshow has captured the fun of snowboarding and I look forward to see what they come up with this next season! I think that Women’s Superpark has really been improving every year. Snowboarder Mag is doing a good job of advancing women’s riding and giving us more publicity. It’s great!
Shay: Education vs Experience…which do you think is more important?
Emily: I think that for snowboarding experience and who you know is more beneficial. This is because connections are so valuable in this industry. I still haven’t quite mastered how to market myself even though I’m a marketing student. I find it easier to promote other people than myself, but I should figure that out so that I can use my education and my experience!
Shay: What advice would you give to people wanting to work in the industry?
Emily: Try and try again. There are so many opportunities and eventually, a door will open. Stay positive and remember that someday you’ll get where you want to be. For me, it’s working at Woodward and being on Gatorade’s ambassador program, but we’ll see where I end up! Keep smiling 🙂
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Shout outs to CandyGrind, Woodward at Copper, and Gatorade AM Program!