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Meet the Team: Libby Ouellette

 

Today we are sitting down with our very own fierce fisherwoman and wicked-awesome wholesale manager Libby Ouellette! Hailing from New Hampshire on the “Ice Coast”, Libby joined us at Fishe Wear here in Anchorage four years ago and has never looked back. A Jill of all trades, Libby has done it all for Fishe - from customer service to shipping and receiving to her current position as Wholesale Manager.

 

How did you first get into outdoor recreation? Into fishing? 

I attended college in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont - the Green Mountain State! As you can imagine with a name like that, mountains (and recreating in them) were a big part of my college experience. I ended my four years with a degree in Recreation Management and a concentration in Adventure Education. Through this experience I learned a great deal about the ins and outs of the outdoor industry as a whole - from the tourism side to the gear and apparel side, and everything in between! 

Little did I know that my studies in outdoor recreation would culminate in a job at a women's fly fishing company… Even though I grew up in the outdoors skiing and hiking, I never picked up a fly rod until I moved to Alaska and started working for Fishe! 

My craziest Alaska story started with… 

Pulling out of a parking spot in downtown Anchorage and backing straight into a moose! Don’t worry, both my Chevy Cruze and the moose surprisingly came away from the encounter without a scratch… 

 

What has changed since you started working at Fishe? What have you learned?

The change I’ve seen in Fishe since I first started is like day and night… When I started at Fishe four years ago, it was just Linda, Cheny, and I selling 4 patterns out of a shoebox-sized retail space. Now, we are a team of over 15 employees and contractors, selling a diverse array of products in 13 patterns. Our beautiful retail space, is a nice upgrade too! 

As for what I’ve learned, I can proudly say that I’ve personally grown right alongside Fishe. I always tell Linda that I have learned a bachelors degree worth of information in the business realm through my various job titles at Fishe. On the fishing front, I’ve grown a great deal as well. I feel like a different person from the girl who asked Linda at her interview “will you hire me if I don’t know how to fish…” Through my job at Fishe I’ve traveled all across Alaska fishing some of the most spectacular waters in the 49th state! 

Speaking of fishing, what has been the highlight of your career as a fisherwoman here in Alaska?

Catching a 15 pound silver salmon! By far the biggest fish I’ve ever had my hands on. I hooked it, got it into the boat, and filleted it all by myself. It was a proud moment to fly home with a fish box in tow so I could share my silver with my friends and family back East! I caught this on theWomen's Fly Fishing Kenai Cannery trip in the summer of 2021. Not only was this my favorite fish I’ve ever caught, this was also hands down the best “business trip” I’ve ever been on.

 

 

I have a passion for… 

Adaptive Sports. For the past 5 winters I have volunteered with a plethora of adaptive recreation organizations teaching skiing! Leaps and bounds have been made in adaptive skiing technology in recent years and it’s an incredible experience to help folks partake in an activity that they thought was never in the cards for them. The fact that skiing is one of my favorite hobbies and that Alaska has some of the best downhill terrain in the world helps as well… 

Other than fishing, how do you like to spend your free time?

  1. Skiing! Proud to say I’ve convinced Linda that ski-passes-as-sales-incentives are a good idea :-) 
  2. Training my dog, Fenway! She’s a stray sled dog that I rescued from Nome <3 
  3. Drinking ice coffee! Sub zero Alaskan temps can’t stop me… 

What are your hopes and dreams for Fishe? 

I want to expand my wholesale program to include stores in all 50 states!

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