Where the Wind Blows with Jen Jones
Interviewing Jen Jones on behalf of Spread Stoke is our Co-founder, Tori Sowul.
There is something to be said for aspiration. It acts as a fuel, energizing our soul every time we get one step closer to a goal. Aspiration may bring tears but never defeat, because the paths opened from you reaching toward a dream will be abundant. As a huge dreamer myself, I have always been fascinated with the visionaries, or any artist who paints their imagination onto life’s canvas. In my own quest to manifest my love for the outdoors into a career path, I feel an immense joy in supporting my friends who are already doing so.
Moxy International is a creative collective of talented athletes and professionals working on projects that make a positive impact on the world. They also happen to be some incredible friends of mine from a town that is very close to my heart, Hood River. Jen Jones, producer and director of Moxy International’s latest project, ‘Where the Wind Blows’ tells us about her own ambition and how it led to working with four ripping kiteboarder ladies!
Spread Stoke: Hi Jen – first tell us a little about yourself?
Jen Jones: Hey Tori! I’m excited to share a bit of my journey with you. I consider myself a bit of a dreamer… floating between the space of imagination and possibility. It’s not the most stable soil, but I’m really enjoying the ride :0) I grew up in Florida believing the world was my oyster and spontaneously moved to Oregon about 5 years ago. I love traveling and taking photographs, surfing, tending to my garden and creating with my uber talented friends. My most exciting endeavors this year have been joining the Kiteboarder Magazine team as the new Art Director and of course producing Season 2 of Where the Wind Blows.
SS: How did Moxy International come into fruition and what was it like developing a team? Where did the name come from?
Jen: I’ve been freelancing for over 6 years now and working by myself was starting to feel stagnant and a bit lonely. I wanted to create a company that could represent the work and intention of multiple individuals. Creating the team was easy because most of the people involved inspired my idea to expand. “Moxie” by definition is a force of character, determination, or nerve… all things I felt necessary to embody while getting the gears going. International because my first client as a freelancer was a global corporation based out of the UK, so working internationally was absolutely something I wanted to continue.
SS: Your focus project has been capturing the lifestyle of four bad-ass kiteboarder girls through a webisode series called ‘Where the Wind Blows’. What was it like getting the project started and forming a group of athletes?
Jen: The concept behind Where the Wind Blows was planted when I was first got involved in the sport as a photographer. The story grew organically over the years of submerging my work into the Hood River community and developing relationships with the ladies involved. My partner happens to be a super talented film maker, so getting him on board really set the project on fire.
SS: These ladies RIP – seriously! What has it been like working with these lovely female athletes? What do you think they bring to the sport of kiteboarding? Do you see an increase of female participation in the sport over the last ten years?
Jen: No kidding! The girls are amazing and a blast to work with. There’s an impressive amount of encouragement and sisterhood support in kiteboarding that you don’t find in every action sport. I think their stoke for getting more girls on the water is definitely making an impact on the number of ladies you see out there. I’ve only been on the scene for a few years, but have for sure noticed an increase in the number of women on the water.
SS: You are based in Hood River, Oregon, a kiteboarding mecca! Outside of living in such an incredible community, what have been your favorite places to travel and explore? What specifically draws you there?
Jen: Funny you ask this, as I’m writing to you on a plane ride from India to Baja, Mexico. Someone pointed out to me a few years ago that I’m “solar powered”, haha! I’m a Florida girl at heart and love being in the ocean – especially when the water is warm! My favorite thing about traveling is letting go of everything western society has taught us to be “normal” and truly submerging myself in an unfamiliar place. It may sound hippy dippy, but this disconnect with what I think I know, connects me with things that I didn’t know even existed and puts me in touch with a higher power. It makes the world feel smaller and that’s comforting to me.
SS: Kiteboarding can be intimidating! How can other girls be encouraged to partake in kiteboarding or action sports in general? Do you have any advice on how to not be intimidated?
Jen: Yeah it is! It took me years to get off the beach and give it a try. I think the first step to anything that freaks you out is to tell yourself that YOU CAN DO IT. Most of us aren’t going to be able to ride up wind the first time we fly a kite, but if you believe in yourself and are truly passionate about whatever activity you’re learning, then over time it’ll get easier and you’ll progress. Speak up about what you’d like to do and chances are people around you will help make it possible. The worst thing that could happen is that you find out it’s not your thing and move onto the next dream.
SS: Are there any challenges you have faced during production?
Jen: Oh no, I typically have a pre-production meeting with the wind Gods ahead of time and everything lines up perfectly ;0) Weather conditions are defiantly our biggest challenge! Getting 6 busy and hard working people to be at the same place at the same time a close second. I can’t tell you how many times we schedule a shoot and it’s not windy, or we’re hours from home and it’s super windy and we only have big kites. When it’s on with smooth and steady winds, we’re all humbled by mama nature and super stoked.
SS: How do you fund such amazing adventures? Are you sponsored or have any partners?
Jen: We did partner with a renewable energy company this year, which was an absolute perfect match for Moxy Int. The “selects” had some support, but the time that went into production was still a labor a love. It’s important to me that we stay true to our vision of promoting a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, which means working with companies that we organically align with.
SS: Season two has recently come out! Have there been any major differences while creating the second season? What are the ‘Select’ cuts?
Jen: I think the second time around doing anything is always a little bit easier. Of course we had the weather and scheduling obstacles, but our team’s relationships have grown exponentially since starting out. Our communication with each other is more open and production is fun and light hearted… everybody goes with the flow pretty well. The ‘Select” cuts are mini profile features of each of the ladies. They give an inside glimpse of their lives outside of kiting and some insight into what makes each of them “tick.”
SS: What are your future goals for ‘Where the Wind Blows’ and Moxy International? What do you hope to achieve with both it and the community who check it out?
Jen: This is a big one. My goals with Moxy International are to create projects that have a global impact, to grow stronger with each production and to make a positive mark on the world. Where the Wind Blows is a vehicle we’re creating to achieve those goals and with this particular project, I hope to inspire an audience to believe in themselves, treat their bodies with respect and think about the impact their making on the world.
SS: How can individuals and organizations get involved? Is there anything you would like to promote or plug?
Jen: Right now is a great time to get involved! We’re in the stage of figuring out if, when and where we’re continuing the project and would love to collaborate with individuals and organizations that feel aligned with our message! If this is you, then defo get ahold of us! I also have to mention a couple of amazing companies that are run by some new friends of mine in India:
First, The Shaka Surf Club which is bringing surfing to India. A first effort of it’s kind spearheaded by power couple Ishita Malaviya and Tushar Pathiyan.
Second, the Holy Stoked Collective is teaming up with individual sponsors and city planners to build skate parks in rural neighborhoods in India. Co-founded by Poornabodh, bringing skateboarding to India is giving kids a recreation outlet and great hopes for their future.
SS: Great, thanks so much Jen, it was a pleasure to catch up!
To our readers, learn more about Where the Wind Blows and Moxy Int. via these lovely links. We’ve also scored some Where the Wind Blows “select edits” of the athletes below for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
- Watch the episodes and meet the athletes of Where the Wind Blows here: http://www.wtwboregon.com/
- Follow Where the Wind Blows on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wtwboregon/
- Follow Moxy International on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/moxyinternational
- Follow Jen and Moxy Int. on Instagram here: @jenjofoto | @moxyint
Harnessing Wind After a summer of shooting and an amazing opportunity to partner with Iberdrola Renewables, Moxy International is excited to launch a full-length episode in our second season of Where the Wind Blows. Watch the ladies experience a once in a lifetime opportunity climbing a wind turbine and learn about clean energy efforts happening in The Columbia River Gorge.
Colleen Carroll “Select” - Where The Wind Blows Colleen didn’t seek the nomadic lifestyle of a professional athlete – but she’s been traveling the globe, while pushing the boundaries of women’s kiteboarding.
Sensi Graves “Select” - Where The Wind BlowsSensi has an adventurous spirit. She’s chasing her dreams of kiting professionally, while creating her own line of swimwear.
Lindsay McClure “Select” - Where The Wind BlowsHood River native and no stranger to wind, Lindsay McClure is making strides in influencing the lives of young kiteboarders. Take a peek into her life as a teacher, coach and mentor to students in her traveling high school. Not to forget a stunning display of the skills she’s developed this past year on the road.
Laura Maher “Select” - Where The Winds BlowsLaura has been a staple in the kiteboarding community for over a decade and shows amazing skill in balancing her career goals and pushing herself on the water.
Moxy International in associated with Redtidepictures presents “Where the Wind Blows” // Featuring Colleen Carroll, Sensi Graves, Laura Maher and Linsday McClure // Produced & Directed by Jennifer Jones, Cinematography, and Editing by Wiley Watson // Additional Footage provided by Vincent Bergeron