For decades SCARPA has been making products for athletes who reach extremes in the world of mountain adventure. But that’s not all they do, and many of the people who are a part of the international SCARPA family avoid extremes, and focus more on balance, body and a healthy way of life. So is the case for Gina Pedrett, SCARPA’s production designer, who is a central character in the company’s everyday goings on. The active wife, mother of two, and engaged outsdoorswoman has her own goals and her own rewards, which are every bit as valuable to the fabric of the SCARPA lifestyle. Let’s hear what she has to say.
You’ve been in the outdoor industry for a while. Did you always think you’d end up in this kind of work? I moved here from Missouri a week after college graduation, and first and foremost, I needed a way to support myself. After several stints and layoffs with “dot com” start-ups, I began my search for a different industry. I found an ad from Backcountry Access, and got my foot in the door there. I wouldn’t say I sought out this industry in the beginning, but now that I’m here, I’m a bit spoiled and can’t imagine going back to high-tech. It’s definitely more suitable to my lifestyle and attitude.
What is production design like for a company like SCARPA? My title is Production Designer and Marketing Assistant, and there are only two of us in this department, so my job varies quite a bit day-to-day. I create the dealer workbooks and product manuals, and any other print collateral pieces, re-size and traffic ads, keep up the website, send out monthly specials, post and track social media data, etc. It’s a dream job really, since I get bored easily. I love the variety. I work with our headquarters in Italy a bit to make sure we’re adhering to their graphic standards as well.
What are the rewards and challenges for you? Rewards, as I mentioned, are getting to work in a flexible position, in an active industry in a job with much variety. Challenges are fewer but do exist nonetheless. Much of marketing is deadline management and that can get pretty stressful when you’re pushing to get every piece of data updated for a new season at relatively the same time.
Working for a company that has several athletes who take outdoor enthusiasms to extremes can be a bit intimidating to more conventional outdoor activities. How do you qualify a healthy outdoor lifestyle? Yes, I follow many of our athletes on Facebook to keep up with their schedules. They head to Everest, the South Pole and other far away places on a fairly regular basis. It’s hard to not to feel like a slug sometimes. I think a healthy outdoor lifestyle consists of doing those things you love to do whenever you are able. That varies widely from person to person but persistence is key. Take care of yourself and the lands you play on. We are trying to raise our kids that way.
Do you have a favorite SCARPA product? What’s your main go-to? My three go-to SCARPA shoes are the Mojito, Caipirinha and Luna. I wear the first two nearly everywhere year-round. The Luna is awesome on trails and especially great now that we have some snow. Oh, and my Sparks! That’s my exercise shoe whether it be on the elliptical or a run. I’ve never been a ‘shoe girl’ until starting here. It’s amazing what a good pair of shoes can motivate you to do.
You have a two- and four year old, a husband who’s the Park Manager for Eldorado Canyon, and you cycle to work when you have the time. Maybe you’ve found the balance between livelihood, family and the great outdoors. Can you speak to that? Ha! Balance? It seems the scale is always tipped in one direction or another by the end of the day. Perhaps it’s just the guilt of being a mother. If I take time to exercise, the house doesn’t get cleaned, the kids may not get adequate attention, or it’s pizza for dinner. If I play/cook/clean during the day then I’m grouchy that I didn’t get to get my heart rate up. I am extremely lucky that I just work 3 days a week at SCARPA (Thanks, SCARPA!!!) but it’s still hard to fit it all in. We did get a nice elliptical for the basement, so that has helped immensely in the winter. The kids are also getting really good on their bikes, so jogging is slowly coming back into the picture as their speed increases. The scale hasn’t bottomed out, so I guess I do maintain as much of a balance as I can at the moment.
Would you like your children to find a love of skiing, hiking and climbing, perhaps making them a central part of their own lives? Absolutely! Ideally I’d love for them to find an outdoor passion that gets them motivated if they can keep their heads on straight. I hope that they have common sense and an education to fall back on. Like any parent, you want them to be happy.
At this point in the family’s evolution, hiking and camping are still possible, but there’s that magic mile (the distance the children can manage before meltdown) that will soon change. Do you welcome it, or is it bit daunting? I welcome it! I’d love to get my kids backcountry camping as I used to do quite a bit. I miss that! They need to be able to carry a little weight and hike a little further, but they’ll get there. What I’m really NOT trying to do is rush it. They are growing up so fast. As much as I wish we could go and do things as we used to sometimes, there is so much joy to be found in the everyday things right now. Their use, and misuse, of language; the pure wonderment of the holiday season and Santa; the little things they learn every day and the unlimited things that you get to introduce them to for the very first time… It’s really amazing.