Meet Meg, the Founder of Mountain Girls, a group of women who gather throughout the year, connecting through a mutual love of nature, with the goal of inspiring other women to get out and embrace all the world has to offer.
We interviewed Meg to learn more about Mountain Girls and how she used Instagram to build this amazing network of women.
WHAT IS MOUNTAIN GIRLS ALL ABOUT?
Mountain Girls is a collective of women who have a natural inclination of love towards nature. We gather multiple times throughout the year to inspire and motivate each other through outdoor sports. We hope that through our photos and social media influence that we can expose other girls to this world of courageous beauty.
Mountain Girls hopes to break down barriers of the past between women to let them know they have a huge support within a network of other like-minded women around the world. When we are together as a group we learn differently than guys do. It is so important for women to have a support system of other women who genuinely care. The girls that gather with us usually come alone or with one friend, and leave having made many more new friendships based on a shared love of nature. We mountain bike, snowboard/ski, hike, camp, rock climb.. and every other outdoor sport you can imagine.
Being a Mountain Girl is about embracing femininity, feeling like you can paint your nails and still go mountain biking and rock climbing. We don't need to change who we are to enjoy getting dirt on our hands. Our message is being a woman in nature is simply beautiful.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START THIS BUSINESS?
I was inspired to start a Mountain Girls account when I found out how influential Instagram and other social media accounts were. I overheard some guys talking about "popular" accounts and was naturally inclined to see if there were accounts supporting other women in outdoor sports and nature. I was shocked to see there weren't a lot of accounts with women doing awesome things. Everything seemed quite subjective, and at times, degrading.
Starting Mountain Girls was an almost instantaneous idea. I began making posts about three years ago featuring photos of women traveling the world. Through the posts I was hoping to motivate more girls to realize they could be that girl in the photo too. The whole idea was, "If she can do it, I can too!"
HOW DID MOUNTAIN GIRLS GET TO WHERE IT IS TODAY? QUICKLY WALK US THROUGH SOME OF THE MAJOR STEPS IN YOUR JOURNEY.
Mountain Girls started gaining popularity on Instagram within the first year. With a following of 60% women, I am almost certain my goal of inspiring other women to travel and participate in outdoor sports has succeeded.
Last year, October 2015, I was approached by a wonderful company based out of Utah who wanted to host a first ever Mountain Girls retreat. I had never even tooled with the idea of this before and it seemed like the perfect scenario.
After hosting our first retreat I wouldn't let the buzz settle. I felt like the truth behind this account was to get people off of social media to enjoy the moment. Since last year we have hosted four events and plan on continuing. Our events and gatherings give girls an outlet to do things they have never done before while having a backing of other women with the same interests. The goal now has become to take a moment to put the phone down, get off the computer and really do this!! Live it up and head into nature for a break from it all to realize what this life has to offer.
HOW DID SOCIAL MEDIA PLAY INTO THIS AND HOW HAVE YOU USED IT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE?
Without social media Mountain Girls would have never gained the platform for these ideas. Social media plays a huge role in everyone's daily lives. I think sometimes we aim to be like what we see through these sites. People are generally inspired by other accounts and seek new ideas through watching others. Mountain Girls has been able to use social media as the main form of gathering girls together, allowing these sites to bring us closer to what is real, rather than taking reality away from us.
IF YOU ONLY HAD ONE MINUTE TO GIVE YOUR BEST ADVICE WHAT WOULD IT BE?
My advice is to stay persistent in doing what you dream to do. Don't allow your thoughts of failure or unpredictability to overcome your grand idea and goals. Things take time. If you have an awesome idea that truly speaks to your heart then go for it and be steadfast. There will be trying moments and times where you wonder if what you are doing is for the best. Always remember why you started what you are doing and keep moving forward with positive thoughts of the future.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR MOUNTAIN GIRLS? WHERE DO YOU SEE IT IN 5 YEARS TIME.
The long term goal for Mountain Girls is to continue generating gatherings for women all over the world. There are plans for small, localized meet ups along with large groups full of special activities. In five years time we hope to gather groups with girls of all ages and create a new generation of women who absolutely love nature and want to be a part of the greater world while supporting each other through our journey in life.