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Apparel

Wild Rye Celebrates 5th Anniversary, Grows Team and Reflects on Brand Evolution

Five years of crafting apparel for women-identifying adventurers that’s both beautiful and technical in equal measure. Five years of sharing adventures and welcoming all into the outdoors.


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SUN VALLEY, Idaho (August 9, 2021) – Wild Rye launched five years ago to provide women outdoor and mountain bike clothing that was both technical and contemporary. Today Wild Rye is the brand of choice for women-identifying outdoor lovers—from beginners to pros to après enthusiasts—regardless of age, background, size or skill level. This year, Wild Rye celebrates being almost entirely bootstrapped, doubling in revenue year-over-year, and growing a team all with a shared passion and drive for making the outdoors more accessible and fun for all.

In 2016, Wild Rye founders felt frustrated by the lack of offerings and missed opportunities in women’s mountain bike, snow sports and technical outdoor clothing–apparel that fell short in fit, fashion and function, along with durability and value–that appealed to a wide variety of body types. This is where Wild Rye hoped to, and has now five years later, made its mark in industry. 

In 2016, Wild Rye launched with four products. With next to no outside funding, Wild Rye has doubled in size every year since launch, and is on pace to grow 300% this year. Wild Rye apparel is now sold via the company’s online store as well as through larger retailers including REI, Title Nine and a collection of carefully curated specialty retailers. The brand continues to expand its national and international retail partner network.  In the last year alone, Wild Rye became Climate Neutral, joined 1% for the Planet and will also continue to support SheJumps in numerous ways.

Wild Rye has grown from one to six full-time employees, all in the last year. The new team members are in addition to Wild Rye founder & CEO, Cassie Abel, and the brand’s longtime freelancers – Kelsey Van Patten, Designer, and Karen Vergura, Chief Financial Officer. Wild Rye’s newest hires include:

  • Holly O’Brien, Sales Manager, was previously at The Raven Workshop, a sales group in Colorado representing brands such as Dakine, Pivot Cycles and Arcade Belts. O’Brien started full time with Wild Rye in October 2020.
  • Kami York-Feirn, Marketing Manager, was previously at Osprey, where she led social and content strategy. York-Feirn started full time with Wild Rye in March 2021.
  • Tess Malloy, Operations and Sustainability Manager, was previously at the Gear Coop and started full time in April 2021.
  • Sarah Kope, Customer Experience Coordinator, recently graduated from University of Utah and is an avid cyclist and skier.. Kope started full time in June 2021. 
  • Lauren Bertelson, Tech Design and Product Development Associate, has been in the local Sun Valley active and outdoor scene for many years. Bertelson started full time with Wild Rye this month. 

“As we grow, we hope to broaden our communities of support, do better by the planet we call home and support everyone who comes in contact with our brand,” said Cassie Abel, Founder and CEO of Wild Rye. “In the last year we’ve joined nonprofit communities and organizations to help cover costs to offset our entire carbon footprint and to give back to organizations that support our environment and women in the outdoors. While we started as a MTB and snowsports softgoods brand, as we grow, you’ll notice we’ve added and will continue to add more bike- and ski-adjacent pieces to complete women’s adventurous lifestyles – we have so much to be excited about and hope our customers are too!”

This week, Wild Rye is celebrating its 5th Anniversary with 30% off site-wide. This is the brand’s only sale period of the spring/summer season. In addition, Wild Rye will be sharing some behind the scenes stories of the business mishaps and successes they have experienced since day one. Join the celebration and #playwild. You can also find Wild Rye in person at SeaOtter Classic and ROAM events this fall. 

About Wild Rye

Founded in August 2016, Wild Rye™ brings beautiful and technical mountain apparel to all who identify as women, inspires confidence and gets more women outside. Wild Rye never compromises on fit, performance, and contemporary style. Its premium four-season products are carefully designed with a woman’s body, tastes and comfort in mind. Wild Rye is committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive access point to the outdoors, cycling and snowsports, by building confidence and community, protecting the places we play, celebrating fresh air and fun, and empowering women from the backcountry to the boardroom. Wild Rye products are designed and tested in its Sun Valley, Idaho mountain home and are now available specialty retailers across the country and REI, Title Nine and more. Learn more at wild-rye.com.  

Instagram: @wild_rye