Company: Bower Media
Charlene Bower, founder of Bower Motorsports Media, has been serving the off road industry for over 20 years. She took her very first job changing tires in a motorcycle shop. From there she went on to be a part of the management team of some nationally recognized multi-line powersports dealerships. After over 10 years in motorcycle retail management, it was time for a change. Putting 6 months aside to experience life as never before, she hooked up her truck to her trailer and wandered from ride spot to ride spot making up for lost weekends on her dirt bike and quad. While on the road, she found the love of photography and writing. When a private multi-line magazine company approached her to be a part of their sales team, it turned into the perfect match. The next few years were based around sales and relationship building, while learning the in’s and out’s of the media world, specifically in the Sand and UTV Markets. When the economy dropped severely and effected the magazine business, Charlene looked for the niche that needed filling. It didn’t take long to evaluate that quality PR to the media for needed content was in order. She works daily to consistently refine the process as the world of media has revolved quite drastically in the five years since opening Bower Motorsports Media. The company has grown to include different properties, all with media and marketing as the core to their creation, including: Racer Marketing School, Race Team Store, I’m Not Just a Girl, Bower Media Promo Gifts, Shirt & Swag Club, Shirt & Bling Club,#InspirationalDirt, Month of Cause and Offroad Newswire among others that are in testing phases. The Bower Media team is in the backdrop to some of the most successful racers, events and companies in the 4×4 market. It is normal to find Charlene at offroad events every weekend working to get the shots and the stories to bring the love of motorsports back to those that can’t be there.
Powerball Questions: Click for Winners
Q1: What did you do for a living before BMM? (Tonya Mercer)
A: Like I stated earlier, before I founded BMM I had worked for 3 years at an off-roading magazine. When I saw the signs of the magazine industry starting to become less and less important, and failing, I quit. Instead I packed up the truck and trailer and for 3 years I drove across the country, starting up Bower Media on my own.
Q2: I know there is no ‘magic bullet”, so what is one thing that you would recommend to parents of girls to help them with their self-confidence and build the mentality that she can do anything she wants? (Milli Rice)
A: My best advice to aspiring young women, as well as every girl, is to put your shoulders back, keep your head high, and smile. Also, make sure you always say hello and always say thank you. I also want to let you know that it is perfectly OK to cry, but only give yourself 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, get back up and get to work on overcoming what ever the issue was.
Q3: How do you balance a life on the road vs. a life at home, and travelling with four-legged friends, without getting totally burned out on the ‘go-go-go’ lifestyle? (Lance Shiedler)
A: After awhile, it becomes something of a routine. The night before I leave to do an event, Matt and I make sure to spend time together. We go out on a date. Matt also takes care of Piston and Oil (the cats) while I am gone (unless we drive somewhere). Piston actually has some separation issues; for 24 hours after I finally get back home, he will not leave my side at all. Sometimes I even have to take him to run errands with me. I do get burned out, but I don’t travel as much anymore.
Q4: What was your all time favorite event to cover? (Aaron Peters)
A: Pikes Peak and Moab.
Q5: What is the hardest part of traveling all the time for the events that you cover? (Douglas Bigelow)
A: I think the hardest part is actually getting work done. I have to get used to the time change (if there is one), I’m tired from traveling, and busy! My flow gets interrupted and it’s difficult to stay on track. Luckily I have an office set up in my trailer so I can get work done there!
Q6: How did you get into off-road photography and what tips would you give to someone who s interested in doing the same? (Randal Holmes)
A: I didn’t really “get” into off-road photography; it was a necessary part of my job. Buying photography or paying for a photographer really adds up when you’re running a business. Honestly, my advice is for you to keep your day job while you are learning the ins and outs of the business. The best thing you can do is understand how the market works and how to take photographs for businesses and marketing because that’s where the holes are in the photography industry. Good luck!
Q7: What is your favorite part of your job and why? (Eric Reese)
A: I think my favorite part of the job is helping people be successful. When my clients are successful I know that I have done my job right, and that is extremely satisfying. Sometimes the work to get them there is hard but, at the end, we get to let out a ‘yahoo!’ and high-five, and that makes it all worth it.
Q8: Where is the one place that you haven’t been, that you really want to visit or go wheeling at? (Josh Huntley)
A: Farmington, New Mexico and South Dakota. They seem like amazing places to go off-roading!
Q9: Having met you and your parents, it’s easy to see where your love of the outdoors and motorsports came from! But I’m curious, as another female off-road enthusiast…how have you dealt with being a strong woman in a male dominated industry yet clearly remained a woman who doesn’t act like a man? Lol, I know…tough one…but you are amazing and I’m curious at how you’ve balanced that? (Jenni Dollar Eisenberg)
A: Awkward answer, but it is all about respect. I am who I am, take it or leave it. I don’t flaunt my body, I have never used sex as a tool, I respect myself and the right guys will respect that. I have a mouth and a big personality. Very little ruffles my feathers. I stay true to myself and I am one of the guys, which they all know. I have also owned up to all my failures and mistakes and I think that the guys in the industry really respect that. Being in the off-roading industry as a girl doesn’t mean that you have to conform to the “tough –girl” act, or that you have to act like a man. I think you get more respect from the industry by staying true to who you are as a woman and respecting yourself.
Q10: Why don’t you ever come home to visit? (Erin Tuomy Mershon)
A: Hahaha, I guess the best answer to that is I do, occasionally. My parents travel to and attend a lot of the events so I get to see my family pretty often, which is nice when we are in different states.
Q11: What are your fees for event promotions? (Dan Basinski)
A: It really just depends; you would have to contact us to find out more specifics.
Q12: What is your favorite non-wheeling activity while at the EJS? (David Cline)
A: As a kid, I specifically remember that everyday we would walk from where we were staying and go get ice cream from the general store; it was a big deal. That was definitely my favorite part back then. Now I would have to say that my favorite activity is staying at Danny’s and just getting to see so many of my friends.
Q13: What is the lowest point in Bower Media history? (Charlene)
A: The lowest point was when I almost had to shut down BMM for good. My truck was broken into one evening when I was having a dinner meeting with a racer, and my laptop and hard-drives were stolen. That was pretty much my entire business that was stolen from me. And I cried, I admit it. I still feel guilty for losing my clients’ info even though I know it wasn’t my fault. But after I had my cry, I got back up on my feet and started making phone calls and headed towards the next event. Luckily for me, I had brought the bag with my cameras and such with me. After getting my window fixed and my computer replaced I was nervous. I still had no solution for my missing hard drives, and even though I had backed up all my files a few weeks prior, I wasn’t sure if the necessary info would be saved. Luckily for me it was all there and I was able to rebuild, and that’s why I am here today.
Q14: What is on your bucket list? (Steven Thomas)
A: Haha, I would have to say that taking a vacation is definitely at the top of my bucket list.
Q15: What was the first motorcycle/ATV/Jeep that you wheeled off-road? How old were you? Any photos? (Rusty Travis)
A: My first motorcycle was a Husky. My first Jeep was a Time Machine Fatty. My first ATC (yes before the ‘v’) was a 7 Banshee. I was little, very little, when I got to ride the Husky and it just progressed after that.