Mikhaela Mullins is one of the two co-founders of Odessa Collective, an inclusive community of outdoorswomxn headquartered in Colorado. Read to learn more about her journey to founding an outdoor group, the challenges she’s faced and how she overcame them, her favorite ongoing learning resources and her favorite place she’s ever been – and why it stands out!
- Name: Mikhaela Mullins
- Pronouns: She/her
- Location: Denver, CO
- Role: Co-founder
- Reason for Waking Up Every Day: Knowing she’s doing her best & inspiring others
- Next Thing She’s Going to Learn: To ride a skateboard!
- Go-To Learning Resource: Podcasts
- Find Out More: www.odessacollective.com
Tell us about your background and how you got to where you are now.
I grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska and went to the university there, which is where Carlie Bangs and I met. After college, I moved to Seattle and worked on small-scale organic farms in the area for four years or so. I then decided to go back to school to get a master’s degree, so I moved to Denver, where I’ve been for almost seven years.
The one thing I’ve always felt to be missing from my life is a strong sense of community, which is why when Carlie approached me about partnering on a project to build a community for women who like to be outside, drink whiskey or wine, and build one another up, I jumped at the opportunity.
What has been a challenge you’ve overcome on your way to where you are now?
The biggest challenge I’ve overcome is being confident in the decisions I’ve made. I’ve always been a bit of a people pleaser so making choices that are risky or looked down on by people I want approval from has always been hard and continues to be something I struggle with. But I think I’m getting better at knowing that I can do tough things and it’s ok to make mistakes along the way.
What gets you excited to wake up every day? Why?
Knowing that I’m doing my best and that hopefully I can inspire others to take risks too.
What’s the next thing you’re going to learn or teach yourself? Why?
I bought a skateboard at the beginning of quarantine with the intention to teach myself how to ride it . . . I’ve yet to actually attempt to skate outside (I just roll around in my apartment on it). I still want to learn how to skateboard!
Favorite resources for ongoing learning?
Out of all the places you’ve been, which has been your favorite and why?
The Big Island of Hawaii is by far one of my favorite places; I love being in or around water so snorkeling there and swimming with spinner dolphins will forever be one of my favorite memories. While I was snorkeling and admiring the fish and sea turtles, a pod of spinner dolphins swam under me. I literally started to cry when that happened, it was so magical!
What’s your least favorite/worst travel memory?
Same as Carlie’s! I don’t think I’d say it was my least favorite, but a backpacking trip we went on in which we didn’t have the proper gear was definitely was an experience I wasn’t expecting!
Where have you traveled you feel you learned the most, why?
I took my brother on his first backpacking trip a few years ago and we ended up getting caught in a snowstorm. We weren’t prepared for that type of weather and it taught me a lot about being flexible and how to stay calm in stressful situations. We still talk about that week every time we’re together!
Bonus: What’s one thing people may not know about you?
Similar to Carlie, I love personality tests, horoscopes, and the like.
Bonus x 2: If you could only ask one question for the rest of your life, what would it be?
This is a hard question because I feel like I’m a pretty inquisitive person! I guess it would be “tell me more?”
About Mikhaela Mullins and Odessa Collective
Odessa Collective is a community of womxn exploring what it means to be a modern outdoorswomxn, throughout all stages of life. Check out more about their mission, community and upcoming events below.
- Website: www.odessacollective.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/odessacollective