Fitness heroine

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Hannah Bailey, the creator of action sports consultancy Neon Stash, chats to WF

‘I’d rather read about girls doing amazing things than about eyeliner’

Nudging women and women’s sport into the limelight, advising major brands, interviewing Olympians and hitting the skatepark is all in a day’s work for entrepreneurial action sports fan Hannah.

Where did the idea for Neon Stash come from?
Neon Stash started as a tumblr back in the day. It was a bright and colourful place to collect together all the projects I was working on in the boardsports world! At the time I was working for brands such as Roxy and writing on the side for Cooler [magazine], plus photographing for Lomography. It grew into something official and is now an action sports creative consultancy. Advising brands and finding platforms for skate, surf, snow and other outdoorsy stuff… with a slight bias to the female scene.

What’s the best bit about your job?
The best thing about my work is that I collaborate with a load of different people. I run Neon Stash as a network, where I link up with brands, people, events and projects. It means I am out there running around most of the day!

Why is it so important to push women’s sport in to the limelight?
For me, it’s not just about pushing women’s sport, but it’s about pushing women doing things! There are so many inspiring women in the world that deserve a platform – not just for them but to inspire others. The media doesn’t always give girls the right messages, but females out there are doing rad things – climbing, snowboarding, skating, adventuring, running across a desert… I’d rather read about girls doing amazing things than about eyeliner.

Have you always been sporty?
I’ve always liked doing sports and keeping fit, but the underlying current for me is that I love just doing. When I was younger I dreamt of running at the Olympics, but my problem was I loved doing all sports so never concentrated on just the one. I was a bit of a ping pong whizz, though (don’t tell anyone because I like to hustle)! These days living in the busy city restricts me a bit (where’s the mountain and the sea?), but I cycle everywhere, do yoga frequently and love a good run. However, skating is my favourite city-based exercise!

How do you like to stay in shape? 
Yoga and skating: the perfect combo. I love a good stretch and yoga helps me mentally to stay in shape as well as physically. But skating is the best for my fitness, especially when you are a beginner like me and have to put extra effort in. I’m always sweating away at the skatepark. It’s great for your overall fitness, though you do take the odd slam…

Who’s the most inspiring person you’ve met through your job?
I have met so many of my inspirational idols through my job! And not only met them, but had the chance to interview, feature and push their stories. It’s an absolute honour; in fact, some of them are now my genuine friends. A highlight this year was going to the Olympic homecoming press conference to interview Jenny Jones. She’s given the girls’ snowboard industry so much and her medal is historical – getting to report on that was amazing!

What’s the toughest bit of your job?
I love working with people, brainstorming and being sociable, but running my own thing means I am often… on my own! Sometimes that means you get more done, sometimes I am skiving off in the sun. It’s also tricky to separate life from work, especially when your life is your work. Luckily, life is great!

What’s next for Neon Stash?
Neon Stash has big plans! But not necessarily with Neon Stash. It will continue to consult for brands and campaigns, and work on other projects. But I have plans to work on something specifically for girls that has a great cause. I want to do good with business and give girls something to be inspired by… coming soon!