While most college students headed back to campus are focused on their classes and social calendar, Anna Jobe, 20, is balancing academics at the University of Montana with a start-up business she founded last year called Powdered Soul.
Powdered Soul is a nonprofit clothing brand that will give out scholarships to young ski racers. Earlier this week, they launched their first Kickstarter campaign to raise funding.
Powdered Soul is now accepting applications for ski racers between the ages of 12 to 18 for scholarships of up to $1,000. With annual race fees amounting up to $30,000, it's a modest start, but Jobe hopes the business continues to grow. For the two scholarships she'll award this season, she is looking for racers who are leaders on and off the mountain.
"Our motto is 'Pass on the passion,'" she says. "We want kids that are so passionate about the sport that they want to teach younger kids, that they want to keep people in the sport and help others understand it."
Jobe began ski racing at Whitefish Mountain at the age 6, sparking a lifelong affinity for the mountains and skiing. After graduating from Rowmark Ski Academy, Jobe wanted to continue racing, but was unable due to financial constraints. She started Powdered Soul as a way to raise funds for herself, but saw greater potential, and registered it as an official 501(c)(3).
"I wanted to make it about other people and about helping kids, so they didn't have to do what I did and quit ski racing," she said.
Funding for the scholarships comes from donor contributions and profits from the emerging clothing brand, featuring the Powdered Soul logo, which Jobe designed. The Powdered Soul product line is something Jobe hopes to expand in the future. For now, she sells hats, t-shirts, and stickers.
To spread the word, they launched their Kickstarter campaign with a goal to raise $15,000 in funding to go towards scholarships and expanding the brand as a whole.
In the future, Jobe wants PowderedSoul.com to become an online community ski racers and their families can turn to for support, something she believes ski racing is lacking. The scholarship recipients can contribute to a blog, highlighting their accomplishments and sharing their struggles for young ski racers to learn from.
"I really want to create a community where families and younger ski racers and older ski racers can connect," she says.