Kula Adventure Series - Julianne Mahoney, creator of Dirt Chalk Bags
Today on the Kula Adventure Blog, I am so honored to introduce the incredible Julianne Mahoney, the founder and creator of Dirt Bags - a company that makes stunningly beautiful and eco-friendly chalk bags for climbers!
Julianne and I connected over social media, and I was immediately drawn to her passion, love of art and her genuine desire to bring something beautiful into the world. Her chalk bags are not only useful - they are an intentional statement that deeply expresses a love for the wilderness in a way that is truly captured by the art that evokes the feeling of those special places.
In addition, Julianne is an advocate for Leave No Trace ethics and for a true community of intentional adventurers. I'm so proud to know her and share a little bit of her story on the Kula Blog today. I truly believe that her vision and mission will inspire you to pursue your own passions in life.
- Who are you and what excites you most in life?
- What does Leave No Trace mean to you? Why is it so important?
I firmly believe nature is meant to be explored. Explored and respected. As much as I love being out in nature, I love protecting these sacred spaces even more. Leave No Trace is caring for these wild spaces and giving back to them the same love and joyous feeling they give to us. The wild is meant to stay wild. Trampling native species or leaving human waste and garbage ruin these wild spaces for other visitors, animals, and the planet. The harm done to the earth by visitors ignoring LNT guidelines is permanent and irreversible. LNT allows us to visit wild spaces with as minimal damage to nature as possible. Keep nature wild.
- Tell us about your business, how did this come to be and what is the mission that fuels your passion for creating this unique product?
Soon after I started climbing, I realized I needed to invest in a chalk bag. I searched the internet for days without stumbling across one that I really loved. I know it's just a sack to put chalk in but I wanted something better. So I thought, "why not just make it myself?" Handmade, eco-friendly, artist-designed chalk bags. Climbing is such a creative movement and climbers deserve bags that reflect their vibrant and beautiful personalities. A few prototypes in and I was selling them to my friends and then to strangers. Over the past year, my stoke has grown and grown as the climbing community has done so much to support me and my little chalk bag dream. Everytime I see someone climbing with a dirtbag, my heart shines knowing someone else out there was looking for the same thing I was.
- Kula means community. What does it mean to be part of the outdoor community?
Being part of the outdoor community, means supporting others in all of their outdoor endeavors and welcoming all individuals, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, or ability, into the wild with open arms. It means doing your part to protect wild spaces and teach others how to as well. It's respecting the plants, the rock, the animals, and the water ways so that all people for generations to come can experience the wild.
- What is your vision for the future of dirt chalk bags?
This is something I've had to do a lot of thinking about lately. As a one-woman company, it's hard to dream big but you have to believe in yourself wholeheartedly to make your dreams come true. If you don't, nobody else will. When I started this company last January, my goal was to sell 100 bags. A year and 500 bags later, I've got to set much bigger goals. I'd like to see Dirt Bags in climbing gyms and crags all across America. Additionally, I'm hoping to expand to other climbing products like rope bags, yoga bags, stuff sacks, ect within a year or two.
Tell us anything else that you'd love us to know about you!
While Dirt Bags is my favorite side hustle, my other passion is sports dietetics. I'm currently completing my dietetic internship with a concentration in sports nutrition. After I pass my RD exam in April, I plan on starting my own nutrition counseling business specializing in outdoor sports and athletes suffering from disordered eating. Science and metabolism fascinate me endlessly and I love teaching people how to respectfully fuel their bodies through intuitive eating. This has been my dreams for the past several years and I can't wait to make it a reality. I'm excited to help others on their journey to honoring their body while enjoying the joys outdoor athletics have to offer.
Connect with Julianne:
You can buy a Dirt Chalk Bag here: www.etsy.com/shop/dirtchalkbags
You can check out Julianne's instagram page here: www.instagram.com/dirtchalkbags (or search for @dirtchalkbags)