Melissa Smedley, Company Owner
Retro hiking style has always spoken to me. It somehow captures the warm and nostalgic memories from my childhood growing up in the early 90s, riding horses and camping in jean jackets and color block apparel. Inspired by these vivid memories, I have a passion for getting outdoors and exploring our National and State Parks, and as a fine artist I have always enjoyed expressing my work through the influence of nature, from photography to design and painting. Combining these passions allows me to create gear that not only helps me during my outdoor activities, but also lets me express my passion to the world.
All of our gear has been tested on trail by myself and others, and is designed with activity in mind.
Creating a business that supports my family but also has a positive impact on the world around us has always been at the forefront of my mind as I work to grow my audience and my business. With this in mind, I have prioritized paying to offset all carbon emissions from shipping and creating our products. We do our best to partner with vendors who utilize either recycled materials or processes that lessen the negative impact on our Earth. Social, civil, and economic issues are also close at mind when enjoying time in the outdoors on land that isn't ours.
Because of this, I decided early on that as a company, we want to give back to our community through partnerships with non-profit organizations, and create a better outdoor community than we ever thought possible. We give back 10% from each sale on our website to selected non-profits: The National Parks Foundation among others. We also partner with select non profits and design exclusive gear that donates 20% of each sale of those items to these partnerships. To shop these designs check out our GIVE BACK program.
I don't want this story to be about us; we are leaving out valuable stories and perspectives if we are not inclusive. To see some of the amazing, inspiring folx we have had the benefit of working with, check out our Instagram
about our Pledge to commit to diversity in our brand.
Company Name: Appalachian Bittersweet
Location: Fredericksburg, VA (new residents!)
Products: Outdoor Apparel and Accessories
Social: @appbittersweet on Instagram or Facebook
Claim to Fame: We aim to be the first outdoor apparel company that focuses our mission on helping the world around us.
The best thing about working at Appalachian Bittersweet is: Product testing. We consider hiking for fun as part of our job description!
When we’re not working, we’re: Also hiking, or horseback riding, or kayaking, or really doing anything outdoors.
What we’re reading: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
What we’re listening to: Lots of Rock with a Blues twist!
If they made a movie about our workplace, it would be called: How Not to Do That Dangerous or Sketchy Activity
Inclusion in the outdoors matters because: We are leaving out valuable stories and perspectives by not being inclusive. A one-sided world is flat and boring!
Five years down the line, it’s our hope that: Our brand can be represented not by us, but by the diverse women and folx that choose to wear our clothing. We want that representation to be able to tell their stories, showcase their victories. We want to be a platform where our customers can express their views and their truth.
Feel free to get in touch via email and we will respond as soon as possible!
For general inquiries: