Louise Sanseau grew up in Oakland, California, an outgoing and outdoorsy kid from the start. She picked up telemark skiing while in college in Colorado and after graduating, she followed a couple of friends to the ski town of Jackson, Wyoming, thinking she’d spend a year or two ski bumming before figuring out the rest of her life.
In Jackson, she worked multiple jobs, as ski bums tend to do—helping at-risk youth, waiting tables at a high-end restaurant, and teaching yoga—and she skied every day she could. “My first couple of winters there, we got over 400 inches of snow,” Louise says. “You’d get five or 10 runs inbounds before crossing another track. I was hooked.”
After a couple of winters, she started entering big-mountain telemark competitions, traveling to Alaska and Crested Butte and Tahoe to huck herself off cliffs in front of a panel of judges. It was fun, sure, but it wasn’t a career. Louise was itching for something more.
So by 2010, Louise had an idea: Why wasn’t there a hot yoga studio in Jackson? So at the age of 25 with no prior business experience, she made a deal with a silent investor and opened her own yoga studio, called Inversion Yoga, which has since been voted best yoga studio in Jackson and now employs over 20 yoga teachers. “I had no idea what I was doing at first,” Louise admits. “I was just going with it.”
It's visionaries and entrepreneurs like Louise that resonate most with us here at Flylow—people who see a void in a mountain town and come up with a solution to fix that problem while also creating jobs in a place they want to live.
When the mountains call, you must answer. Or at least that’s what happened to the four characters profiled in the newest season of Flylow’s webisode series, Westward, produced by KGB Productions and now in its second season. Westward follows the life stories of four unique individuals who’ve chosen to forgo traditional lives—like desk jobs in skyscrapers and 9-to-5 commutes—for alternative paths in the mountains. They have ventured out on their own, choosing to risk it all to follow their inexplicable devotion to snow-covered peaks. Through that leap, they have become their own bosses, setting their own destiny and breaking their own trail in a world that’s rugged, wild, and beautifully unknown.