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Meet Your Merchant: Living the dream, one page at a time

Jenny Goldsmith / Special to the Sun At just 30 years old, Tawnya Schultz is ready for the second edition of Tahoe Snowboard Magazine to be published next month.
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KINGS BEACH, Calif. andamp;#8212; Some people spend their lives running around this world as robots of the system, slaves to andamp;#8220;the man,andamp;#8221; working 9-to-5 jobs, void of any passion or perseverance to do what they really love.Not Tawnya Schultz.Sheandamp;#8217;s a master of her craft, an innovator, a person driven by dreams and desires, not dollar signs or dictators. She prefers the path less traveled, trailblazing her way through life, marching to the beat of her own drum. Her vision is cutting-edge, her goals are anything but modest, her ambition is unrivaled.As Founder and Chief of Tahoe Snowboard Magazine, Schultz has established herself as an editorial pioneer in the world of magazine publishing.Oh, and sheandamp;#8217;s only 30 years old.andamp;#8220;Tawnya is so motivated and such an inspiring person, this just radiates off of her. It seems that anyone who meets her and spends time talking to her is surprised and impressed with what she has already accomplished in her short career,andamp;#8221; said Kara Mukina, longtime friend and head of the sales and marketing department for Tahoe Snowboard Magazine.Growing up in Southern California, Schultz immersed herself in the ski and snowboard industry through work at local snowboard shops, treks to Mount High for night riding with her classmates and through her journalism degree from Cal State Northridge.andamp;#8220;In college, whenever we were given a project where we had the creative ability to do what we wanted, my focus was always on snowboarding,andamp;#8221; Schultz recalled while taking a time out at Watermanandamp;#8217;s Landing in Carnelian Bay andamp;#8212; a local caf where she spends her time writing and editing.Fueled by her ability to articulate the art of snowboarding in written form, Schultz began blogging about snowboard competitions and events she attended in her spare time away from school.It wasnandamp;#8217;t long before the industry took notice.Shortly after graduating from college, Snowboard Magazine contacted Schultz about an internship position at the Colorado-based publication. Schultz jumped on the opportunity to learn from the editorial experts of the quarterly snowboard journal. andamp;#8220;It was a good experience to work in the office full-time and learn the ropes as far as building a magazine goes,andamp;#8221; Schultz said. The internship ultimately turned into a full-time position as associate editor of Snowboard Magazine; however, between her time as an intern and full-time staff member, Schultz spent a short but sweet few months in Tahoe where she began formulating ideas for her own publication.andamp;#8220;There wasnandamp;#8217;t a magazine focused on snowboarding in Tahoe, which I found hard to believe,andamp;#8221; Schultz said. andamp;#8220;Before I moved to Colorado to work full-time, I spent some time in Tahoe coming up with the idea of a local snowboard magazine andamp;#8230; I wanted to do something for the greater good of Tahoe and for the industry.andamp;#8221;Schultz put her idea on the back burner and returned to work for several years at Snowboard Magazine where she built contacts with major titans of the snowboard industry from Burton reps to professional riders like Hannah Teter to fellow magazine editors like Jesse Brown, founder of Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine.andamp;#8220;Jesse was a huge influence on me and really helped guide me in building a magazine from the ground up,andamp;#8221; said Schultz. In 2009, the buzz about a possible snowboard magazine in Tahoe started to spread. Schultz spent her days working hard as an associate editor, but at night, she would collaborate with her business partner andamp;#8212; local photographer IJ Valenzuela. Together, they began to conceptualize Tahoe Snowboard Magazine. andamp;#8220;As the support grew back in Tahoe, it gave me momentum to move forward,andamp;#8221; Schultz said. In 2010, Schultz left Colorado to pursue her dream. The first issue of Tahoe Snowboard Magazine was released in December that same year, with six-thousand copies circulating through resort towns nationwide. The first issue highlighted Europeandamp;#8217;s elite riders like Frederik Kalbermatten and David Benedek, as well as big-mountain, local heroes like Jeremy Jones, Jamie Anderson and Teter.Navigating through the licensing and printing process wasnandamp;#8217;t a walk in the park, but Schultzandamp;#8217;s prior experience provided her with the knowledge and confidence to take on the business side of things. Through contacts she had made at Snowboard Magazine, Schultz was able to secure big-name advertisers like Oakley, Lib Tech and Burton who helped validate the up-and-coming annual journal. With the second issue slated to hit stands this December, Schultz plans to up-the-ante by releasing 10,000 copies, improving the print quality of the magazine and expanding the online community.andamp;#8220;I see Tahoe Snowboard Mag growing and evolving, especially online. Weandamp;#8217;re just getting started and there is so much potential there,andamp;#8221; Schultz said. andamp;#8220;Even if the focus does turn to online, the magazine will always be important to me andamp;#8230; I love print products, itandamp;#8217;s my background.andamp;#8221;In between her time at the magazine and shredding the mountain, Schultz piles her plate high with other projects including a childrenandamp;#8217;s book on snowboarding and mountain safety which she will self-publish in January, as well as a snowboarding how-to guide she is co-authoring with Teter.andamp;#8220;One of main things my parents always taught me when I was growing up was to do something I love no matter what,andamp;#8221; Schultz said. andamp;#8220;If I can find a way where I can make a living off what I love to be doing then Iandamp;#8217;ve achieved the ultimate goal andamp;#8212; to live a happy life.andamp;#8221;


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