As an agency that specializes in motorsports staffing, we enjoy getting out on the trail and networking with women who also share our passion for the industries we love to promote. After meeting Carey Kiehn at Hay Days (the largest snowmobile event in North America) a few years back, we just knew we had to get to know the women behind this business.
Check out our interview of Shari Bisquera and Carey Kiehn from Off-Road Vixens:
Question 1: What is your first memory riding off-road?
(Carey) As a child we had property along Pend Orielle River in Washington State and as far back as I can remember there was never a shortage of dirt bikes, mini bikes or off-road trucks. I first started riding the mini bike or the death machine we would call it when I was five years old all over our property so much that there became a permanent track for it.
(Shari) Probably my very first memories are of snowmobiling with my family as a young child. I can remember riding double with my mom before I was old enough to finally graduate to my own sled. Once I was big enough to ride my own you couldn’t get me off it. I would take it around our property every chance I got. I can remember holding the throttle down with a rubber band so I could use both hands to pull the pull starter. Whatever it took to be able to ride!
Question 2: When did you start your business, and what made you decide to do it?
We started our business in 2009 back when the economy was not doing so good; so it was very scary! I met Shari when she moved in next door to me in 2007. She was looking at a house that was for sale next door to mine and that day my family and I happened to be packing up to leave for the Memorial Day Weekend and Shari noticed that we had a toy hauler and dirt bikes. She moved in and we started riding and camping every weekend together. In 2007 I was a buyer for a company for 10 years and Shari was a stay at home mom with a marketing degree; neither one of us wanted to be doing what we’re doing at the time and wanted to start our own business.
We sat down to brainstorm and asked ourselves what our passions were. Both of us were very much tomboys and had been riding dirt bikes, snowmobiles and had an interest and owned 4×4 trucks and muscle cars since we were very young. At this time UTV’s weren’t really popular yet and were still used mostly for work vehicles. Our passion at that time and still one of our biggest passions aside from our UTV’s, were our dirt bikes. We wanted to create something that would represent who we were as women and girls out on the trails and tracks, something that defined the type of girls we were in the industry.
We wanted something just for us that no matter where it was sold or where you saw it you knew what it applied to. I think for the most part motorsports companies are not geared towards women and girls and create the women’s product as a side note not because it is their target market.
The name Off-Road Vixens came from ORV (Off-Road Vehicle) we wanted to be able to incorporate the acronym ORV with our products. Vixen was the perfect word to go with our image and vixen by definition is a female fox. However, our definition of an Off-Road Vixen is “a bold adventurous female who follows the road less traveled”
Off Road Vixens represents the cool, fun edgy chick and participates and has sponsored athletes in all extreme sports and we are branching out and gaining fans in all outdoor activities.
We wanted a slogan or a tag line as well to go with our company and product and we thought “Girls Get Dirty Too!” was perfect for our female only clothing line. It has kept us recognized all over the country and applies to so many more arenas than we thought possible. Not just dirt bikes and UTV’s, snowmobiles, street bikes, circle track, jeeps, drag cars, mud bogs, sprint boats and archery just to name a few.
We as the home office travel all over the country vending at motorsports and outdoor events and have Independent Representatives in different cities and states that work events in their areas. Our other successful avenues of sales are to wholesale retailers of all sorts and our retail website offroadvixens.com
Question 3: How do you balance running a business in the motorsports industry and getting time to ride?
Unfortunately the scale is tipped the business way; we thought at first we are so lucky to be able to have a business in an industry that we love but it is definitely a lot of work. We try very hard to make time for riding our dirt bikes and UTV’s. Usually we will try to plan a trip around an event that we do in a place that has the terrain we enjoy riding. We do take several weeks a year of vacation and 90% of that is spent riding.
Question 4: Where is your favorite place to ride?
(Carey) Oh, that is a tough one; we have been so fortunate to ride in so many amazing areas with so much different terrain there are several places I love to ride. I really enjoy riding tight technical trails in Washington and Idaho’s National Forest; but those also have wide open spaces and rock as well. One trip we make every year is to Moab and that is definitely at the top of the list; I love the riding on that beautiful Red Rock.
(Shari) I am most partial to woods riding especially in my home state of Idaho, I love exploring new places and seeing new sites. Although it’s fun to head to the dunes or to Moab every year to get my fill of some different terrain.
Question 5: Do you have a UTV and if so, what kind?
(Carey) I have the 2013 POLARIS RZR XP 900 H.O. JAGGED X EDITION, We have modified just about everything on it but it is really the perfect machine as far as size for the type of riding we do. It is not as small as an 800 but not quite as big as the 1000 yet it has four seats. I really hope Polaris or someone comes out with something similar with the upgrades soon.
(Shari) My husband and I finally have his and hers RZR’s . No more fighting over the driver’s seat! I have our 2013 POLARIS JAGGED X that we bought new while he just acquired a 2016 RZR XP-4 TURBO. It’s a little bit of a pain having to haul two rigs around everywhere we go but well worth it when you’re on the trail!
Question 6: How do you support women in motorsports?
Our products convey to the onlooker that person wearing this brand is a strong independent woman who seeks adventure. We bring awareness and support with our products to women and girls in the motorsports and outdoor world who are participating in male dominated arenas. We also have sponsored athletes that we provide support to with social media exposure, discounts, exclusive products, free products and/or race fees and support. Our network allows women to share content and see what different types of sports that are out there and get to know one another in the industry. We want to encourage all women and girls to seek adventure and we as women can do anything the men can do; hence “Girls Get Dirty Too!”
Question 7: Where do you see your business next five years?
We hope to grow our wholesale sales to as many of the lifestyle apparel, motorsports dealers and ATV/UTV resorts all over the country and world. We would also like to grow our product lines to include more technical items such as helmets, goggles, gear and accessories
Question 8: Where can people find your product? What makes your product unique?
We can be found at all different types of motorsports and outdoor events all over the country as well as in many retail stores and of course we can always be found at www.offroadvixens.com
Our product is unique in the way that it makes the women and girls wearing it feel about themselves. Our product exudes confidence, independence and adventure. The fact that our clothing brand has been amidst of all these male dominated arenas for so long makes it special in that we have proven throughout the years that not only does our brand have lasting power, the ladies that wear our product have lasting power and our vixen army only continues to grow.