As many of you know, we're major fans of women who chart their own paths by starting businesses and supporting women's specific initiatives. Gina Lucrezi, founder of Trail Sisters, checks off all the boxes when it comes to #unstoppable women entrepreneurs who are making an impact in their respective communities.
Trail Sisters is a women’s trail running community and online journal. The TS mission is to increase women’s participation and opportunity in trail running through inspiration, education and empowerment.
We're excited to introduce Gina as the first woman featured in our 'Women-Led' blog series! (Hopefully, many more amazing women to follow.)
Before starting TS what were you doing and what inspired you to create the TS community/online journal?
Right before TS I was working various contract jobs for different outdoor brands, all within the marketing arena. I was doing a lot of athlete management and promotional activation. The idea to start TS was something that had been on my mind for quite some time. To be honest, I can't remember what exact event prompted me to take action on April 11th, 2016...but I had witnessed and experienced enough that I couldn't sit back and not try to make things better for the sport as a whole.
What has been the most challenging part of running/creating TS?
Good question, and a toughie to answer! I suppose the most challenging piece to running/creating TS is time. I'm so excited and motivated to implement various opportunities, but it takes time to create, launch and then sustain each objective. Thus, more time in a day would be awesome!
What's been the most rewarding?
Ahhh! The most rewarding thing is receiving comments or notes from people who have been impacted from what Trail Sisters is creating. Even if TS is only able to help one person, well then everything was/is worth it!
Is there a specific race/issue that you brought awareness to regarding equity in trail running that you think was the most impactful or that you are the proudest of regarding how you approached the situation and the outcome?
Alternatively, is there a specific race/issue that you wish you would have handled differently?
Not yet... at least nothing that comes to mind. I always wish I had more resources to make bigger impacts, but that will hopefully come with time.
Do you have a favorite Trail Sisters article that's stuck with you through the years?
It's hard to pick because there's so many, but Katie Grossman's A Woman's Place is one of my favorites.
How would you like to see TS grow and evolve when you think about the future?
Honestly, I believe we are only scratching the surface, so right now my focus is on going awareness to the site (and it's resources), along with growing our local groups. I believe that the local groups are one of our strongest and most powerful opportunities to really help women find their way within the sport (and general issues within society).
Any advice you'd give to someone looking to create a business?
Know your strengths, your passions and your industry. Rely on your strengths to carry you through and to push you forward. Only create a business that you're passionate about. It can NEVER be about the money, but instead about creating a better opportunities or solutions. If you make it about $$$ it will be a short lived business. As for industry, you need to know/understand your community and business/organizations that run/control it. As mentioned earlier...education is a powerful tool, so understand your subject matter is key to creating a successful business.
What is your proudest accomplishment as a runner?
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't prideful over my past race achievements, but honestly, my proudest accomplishment thus far is creating a platform that can help others. I didn't realize what Trail Sisters was going to be or morph into, but am so thankful for what has become and for all the support it has received from the community.
When you're not working on TS or running (or sleeping!)...what do you like to do to occupy your time?
Ha. What time? Any free minutes I have are generally spent goofing off with Justin and Ezra. It's important to us to make sure we do some non-running related things when we can. Other than that I post up on the couch and watch the latest and greatest on Netflix. :)
Too many! I really like the Leadville Silver Rush 50 mile though. TransRockies is also a favorite in the stage race category!
High Lonesome 100 and the Black Hill 100. I'd love to do the UTMB someday, but not sure I'll have time to acquire all the points needed to get in.
There are a lot of good ones, but honestly, I don't have enough time to really find a favorite. Maybe on my next road trip, I'll download a bunch to have a better answer :)
Do you look up to any particular woman in sport?
I look up to my mom, who actually didn't have the opportunities I do within sports. I'm very motivated and driven by the people who have gotten the short end of the stick, versus the women who seem to be excelling. I'm very much inspired by those who are successful, but I look up to those who have had it the hardest.
Do you listen to music while running? What's on rotation at the moment?