Meet Movement Maker Joelle Hamm and Learn How She's Connecting Young People to the Great Outdoors
At VF, we power movements of sustainable and active lifestyles for the betterment of people and our planet. This is our Purpose and it is powered by our Movement Makers—associates who are committed to making a positive impact in their communities and around the world. In this new series, we’ll feature these associates and highlight how they’re doing their part to make the world a better place.
Planner/Buyer, Operations, Smartwool®
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
6 years with VF
A little bit about myself
I grew up in a rural area in upstate New York on 60 acres, so being outdoors is second nature for me. I’ve lived in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, for the past 11 years, and have been with VF for six. I’ve had a few jobs at Smartwool, but the most recent is as a sock buyer, which I love!
A typical day for me
As a sock buyer, I primarily work with sock mills to get our products manufactured and make sure they get delivered to our customers and stores. Every day is different, which is what I like about working for Smartwool. I also find time to be outside with my rescue mutt Kai every day. And, when I can have an extra hour during my day, I volunteer as a dog walker for a local animal shelter.
Movements I power
I power Outside Matters. I have been fortunate enough to grow up in an area where getting outside and experiencing nature on my own was easy, but I understand that isn't the case for everyone. My love for the outdoors has only grown more and more throughout my experiences and I'm committed to instilling that passion in today’s youth.
I’ve partnered with Big City Mountaineers (BCM), a wonderful organization that helps under-resourced teens connect with nature and learn important life skills. Last month, four of my Smartwool teammates and I volunteered with BCM on an overnight camping trip with 25 city kids in Golden, Colorado. It was really amazing to be with kids who were sleeping in the outdoors for the first time and really enjoying it. Some of them had never slept in a tent, and had never seen deer before! It was really rewarding to be able to share what I love with others. Also, at the end of August, I’m taking part in BCM’s Summit for Someone program. I’ll summit one of the world’s most iconic peaks—Longs Peak in the Rocky Mountains—while raising funds to support BCM’s youth programming.
What drives me to be a Movement Maker
I have a passion for the outdoors and the natural environment we live in. It’s why I love sharing the outdoors with young people, especially those that have not experienced its beauty and accessibility. Growing up in a rural area helped shape who I am today and taught me appreciation and respect for nature. I’m excited to have the opportunity to expose others to the beauty and wonder of the outdoors.
How VF helps me power my Movement
We have a ton of opportunities to volunteer, and associates get 40 hours of paid time off for community service each year. In 2018, performing at least 16 hours of community service became part of everyone’s performance goals at Smartwool. We also have two full days of company-wide volunteer projects each year. Giving back isn’t just a saying for us, it’s a big part of our culture.
My advice to others
Do what you love. Life is short, and happiness is important. I feel extremely lucky that I can do what I love every day. Not only do I have a great job for a brand I believe in, but I can also get out and be active every day and share the outdoors with others.
Learn more about VF's Movement Makers and the impact these associates are making on communities around the world.