I am excited to introduce you today to Sarah Wood, director of operations for I9, or Industry Nine, makers of high-end mountain and road bike wheel sets. Everything Industry Nine does is handmade in their facility in Asheville, NC. The machine shop next door (and sister company) makes all their parts except for the rims and is owned by the father of I9’s owner, Clint. Clint's father had started that shop 50 years ago and Clint practically grew up in that shop.
Sarah’s role as ops director has included everything from business strategy and development, management, restructuring, systems implementation, events, marketing...you name it! She has to know and have experienced each role to best manage and improve their operation so she chips in where needed from shipping and boxing to picking parts and running one of their assembly machines.
After this episode, you might consider upgrading your bike with a new set of wheels. This is one of those things you didn’t know could be better but once it’s explained to you? Wow. And sounds like once you try them, wow. Just wait until you hear her explanation of why. Sarah is smart, even more so when she gets technical.
This is a story about someone who led a varied career that might seem, to the uninitiated, sort of disjointed but turned into a very natural progression of one thing leading to the next. Sarah ended up with a unique combination of experiences and skills to land her where she is now, doing what she loves. (For those of us who feel like we are wandering aimlessly, maybe don't worry about that!) Having started in music, she moved to film festival executive director for 5point Films in Carbondale, CO, to her current position. We have a great conversation about being a beginner and being OK with that, and working through progressions not only professionally, but out there on our mountain bikes as well - All with the end goal of restoring our confidence and doing what we want to do, no excuses.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. and with that, let’s listen in and gear up for what’s next.
Where to Find Sarah: