Meet DMOS Collective Founder Susan Pieper

Today’s Basecamp is brought to you by two woman-owned businesses. And we’d like to introduce you to our first one, DMOS Collective.

The Rebelle is all about self sufficiency and skills. It’s about having the right tools, and knowing how to use them. But as we know, sometimes people can go overboard. That’s why we keep it simple. A reliable tire compressor, tools we know how to use (don’t forget duct tape zip ties, and hose clamps), a set of MAXTRAX, a power pack for jumpstarting when a second vehicle is no where to be found, and of course – a collapsible shove.

We couldn’t be more excited to find a shovel company that is purpose built, innovative, and woman – owned. Not only does DMOS founder Susan Pieper pose a never-give-up, positive spirit just like a Rebelle, she is a Rebelle: Team #178 – Teton Drift: The Fast and Luxurious.  DMOS is not just another simple SKU in a big company’s catalog. They are all about creating, and are product-specialists who live and breathe design and delivering great products for those who need it. We caught up with Susan to find out the brilliance behind DMOS:

DMOS Collective – what’s in a name?

My Company DMOS is all about empowering big experiences in extreme conditions. If you’ve ever been out there and gotten stuck, you know how bad it is not to have a shovel. Existing shovels are either too small and are short-shafted making digging unpleasant or they are too dumb, heavy, and awkward to stow so that they are not something you want to own. DMOS has turned shovels into your essential gear that you want to own and carry with you that allows you to “Do My Own Stuff.” We are all about empowering you by giving you the right tool.

You’re a young company (est. 2015) that has morphed quite a bit in a short amount of time. What have you learned in the transition from now being so much more than just a shovel?

I’ve learned that a small idea which resonates with people can grow into a big idea quickly! And, that that takes tremendous perseverance, persistence, and will power to see through. We had one product in 2015, launched our second in 2016, moved production from China onshore to the United States in 2017, have currently 6 different shovel models on the market today and are in the process of making vehicle mounts, kits, and storage cases. Our dream is to allow you to explore more by having the right tools and storage for your car, truck, RV, camper, snowmobile, ATV, etc.

Why is a DMOS shovel such a vital tool to empower big adventures in the outdoors?

Have you ever been stuck? Because, if you have, you’ll know that a shovel is your first, most basic tool to getting unstuck. Even without traction pads, if you can dig around your tires, you can always find rocks or sticks to use for traction and get unstuck saving you untold hours, expense, and just a delay in having the adventure you seek. We aim to keep you moving, in style. Our shovel is also perfect for grooming your tent site and tending your campfire as well as making sure it is out. You never need to buy another shovel… you’ve got one that is for all season, all terrain types – how cool is that?

You have so many events to consider, why did you choose to support the Rebelle?

We wanted to support the Rebelle because we believe in getting out and after it and the Rebelle is 1200 kilometers of adventure for sure! We also love the idea that the Rebelle empowers women to be extremely competent offroad drivers and navigators and the empowerment piece of Rebelle fits us a brand. Plus the Rebelles do a lot of digging in sand and we know that they will appreciate having a great shovel tool (in awesome colors!) which is what we’re about.

You shifted from being made overseas to made in the USA (Portland) What drove this decision?

We wanted to make the most quality tool you could own “buy once, buy the best” and we also wanted to shorten lead times to be able to bring products to market faster. We accomplished both of these things by vertically aligning with Lit Workshop in Portland, Oregon, a Deming-inspired factory that manufactures all of our products. It was a bet the company change in 2017 but having just come from the factory last week, it was totally worth it. Our Safety Red shovel looks like a Ferrari and our Silver Streak is like a Porsche. The tolerances are perfect and we know that people will enjoy the ownership experience of these fine tools which really is the goal. We can’t wait to get your feedback!

Can you go into more details about DMOS Collective’s sensible design approach?

I’ve always been a fan of minimalism in design. I admire the work of Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright. DMOS’s shovels are built to be super functional, extremely durable (daresay unbreakable but someone can construct an way to break one, I’m sure), and compact. We do not use the extra weld in the corners because it’s unnecessary and allows a strap to be inserted in the wings so that you can secure the shovel to any pack or rack. We made the entire family of Alpha shovels and Stealth Pro all on the same platform as the Stealth as the Stealth is already perfect. Now that we’re in development on our new Delta shovel, it’s really challenging us to evolve the minimalistic design into a new product family that still is DMOS. Stay tuned!

Lastly, any words of wisdom for entrepreneurial, adventurous women?

GO FOR IT! I can honestly say that the journey of building DMOS is one that is making me into a better version of myself: more compassionate, faithful, persistent, and resilient. No, it’s not easy, but neither is the Rebelle! Yet both are about recognizing we only get one life so live your dreams and don’t hold back.

And this week only, Rebelle fans following the rally can order at 20% off using REBELLESDIG20 at dmoscollective.com – and just in time for Christmas!

Meet DMOS Collective Founder Susan Pieper2018-11-26T10:59:54-07:00

Team Week 2018: Tory & Jennifer

Team Sticky Tires #117, Tory Capezza and Jennifer Magli, first joined the Rebelle in 2016. Like the other 70 Original Rebelles, they were the first ones to embark on the rally and had no idea exactly what they were getting into. But they took the chance on the unknown, and now two years later they’re back for more challenge, growth, and spectacular scenery. And we couldn’t be more thrilled to show them what we have in store for 2018.

Tory is originally from Boston, and resides in Washington, DC now where she is the Post Production Media Manager for Discovery (Tory’s translation for us – the digital janitor for the Discovery networks). She’s happy to be competing again with Jen this year, describing the two of them a good balance of sweet and salty – “Jen is your typical kind Southern lady, I’m your typical foul mouth Yankee. She’s a mom so always looking out for you, too.”

Tory’s leaving her busy, daily life in DC for ten days of life off the grid, and we wanted to know why.

“I think we humans have a tendency to stay in our comfort zone as we age. The Rebelle is an event that pushes you out of your comfort zone. You have no choice but to grow or break. No matter your age or your life experiences, you’ll learn something new about yourself during the Rally. That personal growth impacts all aspects of your life.”

Although she’s looking forward to the rally, she’s going to miss dogs. Any dogs, really. And if you’re a dog person, you’ll 100% understand that Tory has to have dogs part of her life. When she’s away from home, she needs to get her “dog fix” and will approach strangers to pet their dogs.

And her favorite thing about the Rebelle is how many amazing women it has brought into her life. Tory works in a male dominated field where she’s often the only female in the room. She didn’t realize how much she was missing having a community of women around her until the Rebelle. And her least favorite thing about the rally is how little time she gets to spend with the amazing women during the actual event!

Jennifer is originally from West Palm Beach and now lives in Daphne, Alabama where she’s busy as the business owner of Fish Window Cleaning in Mobile. Being so “connected” in her routine, she loves the break from technology during the rally! The ringing, dinging, e-mails & voicemails are great indicators of a growing business, but Jennifer mentions it can be very noisy and stressful to be “on call” every day. She’s looking forward to having a conversation and not be interrupted by her phone!

She loves all aspects of the rally adventure (she summited Mount Kilimanjaro), although one of her least favorite “adventures” was when she was a commercial beekeeper – the most stings she received in one day was 35. The worst sting ever was delivered up her nose (cringe).

Jennifer mentioned her and Tory just “click,” and concurs with Tory’s sentiments of them working well together. She’s comfortable with her and at the same time Tory pushes and challenges her…and most importantly Tory has agreed to do the math and figure out the Rebelle Enduro Challenges!

Speaking of challenge, Jennifer’s got open arms for her upcoming “take two” of the Rebelle and everything it entails.

“The Rebelle is ‘my thing’. I have something to work toward and look forward to doing that is mine. It’s a challenge to find time for myself and relationships when managing the daily responsibilities of the business, family and life. I struggle with feeling selfish, but I also know that I need balance in my life to be a better mom, employer, and partner.”

Her least favorite moment? Crossing the finishing line because the adventure is over.

Team Week 2018: Tory & Jennifer2018-10-09T02:09:32-07:00

Team Tuesday 2018: Nena & Chris

We thought we’d ring in our inaugural Team Thursday (team profiles twice a week!) in our third year with a team who is entering their third year as Rebelles. Today’s team has Ram Truck supporting them in a stock 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel truck, and earned the coveted Bone Stock award last year. And they’re gunning for that win again this year. Please welcome back Team 4 Corners Nena Barlow and Chris Mayne!

Nena’s hometown is Palm Springs, but you’ll now find her in Sedona, Arizona where she’s a 4WD trainer and guide (fitting as when she was three she her tied her tricycle to the family goat like a wagon.) In her element in the elements, Nena is familiar with all types of vehicles, terrain, and their coexistence. Which is why she’s so excited about the Rebelle Bone Stock category, noting it’s the ultimate display of engineering:

“Can you build something that meets all of the federal requirements, meets mass public demand, can get the groceries, AND take you off-road for 1,500 miles across the desert for seven days? Who would think their car can do that?”

 Any pressure to bring that Bone Stock trophy back for the third year in a row? Nena stated absolutely, even more so than the previous years. Helping take the edge off? Her teammate, Chris, whom Nena described as not one to get flustered — even when anything can happen.

 Competing in a challenge like the Rebelle can change daily life, and for Nena, it’s affected her viewpoint and prioritizing for the better. She’d love for other women to find out how it will change them:

 “It breaks my heart to hear people say ‘I wish I could do that’ because everyone can. It’s the choices we make every day, and the priorities we set in our lives that determine what we can and can’t do…I had NOTHING but desire and will when I started my business. I worked for others for ten years learning the industry. I had to beg and borrow from friends and family to scratch six Jeeps together to get started. If I can do it, anyone can.”

Chris Mayne is coming to the Rebelle all the way from Chaville, France, but she’s originally from Paris. Her occupation? A singer, although we like to refer to her as a rockstar (she literally is). Chris is taking two weeks out of her life in France to fly all the way over to the U.S. next month to do one thing – join the Rebelle. Why? She always tries to do better in everything she does. Including the Rebelle. Chris learned so much with Nena last year, and this year it’s time to apply those lessons!

As a rally veteran with competitions and wins from across the globe under her belt, Chris loves the challenge of the Rebelle.

“It’s all about precision and decisions. You’re always in doubt, but you know you have to go beyond that, trust yourself, and push yourself further.

One of her most memorable moments from the 2017 Rebelle was when her team made a 100% on the first day of the Marathon Leg last year…and then a more than bad second day on that same leg telling us that “definitely keeps you humble!” This year, she’s looking for the grand slam – winning the competition.

“Well, I feel proud and lucky to be back with Nena this year. It’s really something I’ve been waiting for all year. I love having this competition as a goal, as it’s a unique opportunity to be part of an international event with so many different competitors. So cool!”

Team Tuesday 2018: Nena & Chris2018-10-02T03:23:41-07:00

Coola – 2018 Rebelle Rally Suncare Sponsor

Rebelles, you know and love the brand, and future Rebelles you’ll get to know it very soon. The name is COOLA, and we can’t live without it. We’re so excited to welcome them back as our suncare sponsor for 2018!

A triple threat – Organic, high-performing, and nourishing, COOLA is effortless to wear and conquers whatever we throw at it – literally. And we’re devoted. COOLA thank you for always having our back!

Coola – 2018 Rebelle Rally Suncare Sponsor2018-10-02T04:05:13-07:00

Meet Mike Shirley, Rebelle Rally Course Official!

Mike Shirley is a familiar face on the Rebelle. Staff, competitors, and media recognize him as the man on the dirt bike whose drive (literally) ensures the course is set up, manages situations on site, and builds the Rebelle Rally roadbooks provided to the competitors. Mike brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Rebelle, and has been an integral staff member since the start of the inaugural competition in 2016. He’s also an off-road enthusiast who finished 10th overall in 2012 at the NORRA Mexican 1000, competed in the Rally Mongolia in 2010, and was crew at the Dakar Rally in 2009 and 2010. We caught up with Mike this past week where we were eager to delve deeper into his business and Rebelle sponsor, Rally Navigator, and what it was like watching his 77-year-old mother, Pat Shirley, compete last year.

You’re part of the “Original Rebelle” core staff, having assisted with 16’, 17’, and now, the upcoming third competition as a Course Official. What about the Rebelle stands out that makes you leave your daily 9-5 for 10 days in the desert?

The Rebelle Rally is an incredible event in so many ways. Creating the course itself is a mind blower. We get to build a massive scale off road scavenger hunt in the beautiful deserts and mountains of the Western US. During the event, I love seeing the personal transformation of competitors from nervous laughter on the Start line, highs and lows during the event and 100% pure stoke at the Finish. It’s a genuine challenge for Competitors and Crew to pull it off each year. I’m proud to be on the team.

You reside in Reno, NV, a place synonymous with off-road trails and backcountry. Have you always been an off-road enthusiast, or is this a newer passion?

I’ve been living in Reno since 2001 and spending a lot of time exploring the deserts on my dirt bike or camping in my truck since 2007. Fortunately, my work allows me a bit of free time to spend playing in the desert and I make the most of it.

You also happen to be the developer of Rebelle sponsor, web-based roadbook software Rally Navigator. Can you explain how Rally Navigator works, and the inspiration behind it?

Shortly after I began riding dirt bikes, I was fortunate to meet several Dakar Rally competitors and take part in Roadbook navigation training. At that time, there were only two or three people making Roadbooks in the United States and it was tough to get access to Roadbook riding. I created Rally Navigator to simplify the process of creating roadbooks and expose more folks to the thrill of off-road navigation. It’s been a fun project and I’m always excited to see a Rally Navigator Roadbook in use at rallies around the world.

Rally Navigator uses digital mapping on desktop and mobile along with GPS to create the Roadbook including waypoints, distances, CAP headings, tulip drawings, text info and other details of the route. Then we test drive the course and check the roadbook in the field and make final edits and corrections. Try it for yourself at rallynavigator.com.

Your fearless mother, Pat Shirley, competed in the Rebelle Rally last year at the young age of 77. How did it feel watching her take the start line that very first day?

My mom grew up on a farm and isn’t afraid of very much. I was proud and excited to see her take the start. My daily highlight was catching up in each Basecamp and getting her take on the day’s competition. It was an unforgettable experience to spend 10 days of the Rebelle with my Mom. For 2018, she is coming back as a Rebelle staffer, working checkpoints and driving media folks around the course. Good times!

Three items you cannot live without on the Rebelle.

  1. Rebelle Rally Neckie/Buff: Handy in sun, cold, dust, wind. A neckie is a really versatile thing to have around.
  2. My Dirt bike: It’s a great way to get down the course in a hurry: placing checkpoints at dawn, chasing around competitors and crew, and cleaning up the course at the end of each day. Plus, its crazy fun.
  3. Satellite Phone/Radio – Communicating with the crew in the middle of nowhere is vital so we can take care of business – it’s the best way to stay in touch.

Lastly, any words of wisdom for new Rebelles?

Considering the Rebelle Rally in its entirety can feel overwhelming. There are so many questions and so many unknowns. It’s a 10-day puzzle of managing the environment, your truck, navigation, sleep, nutrition, relationship with team mate.

Don’t freak out: Solve problems individually as they come. Just focus on what’s in front of you. Most important: relax and have fun!

Meet Mike Shirley, Rebelle Rally Course Official!2018-08-30T16:33:29-07:00