Shelma grew up rather venturesome in California skinning knees on skateboards and raging on her snowboard through terrain parks. Though she was captain of her high school’s first women’s water polo team, it is ultimately through climbing that she found her girl crew. When she started climbing after a shoulder surgery sidelined her from other sports, she didn't expect to find the strong, passionate group of females that would inspire her to start Flash Foxy, a climbing community that brings together hundreds of self-identified women every year at women’s climbing festivals. Based in Brooklyn, Shelma’s advocacy work through events, writing and films intertwine her desires to create opportunities for women to support one another, work in partnership with other grassroots initiatives to amplify the voices of underrepresented folks and honour Indigenous connections to the places we recreate in through land acknowledgment. Shelma’s unmistakable style from her trademark outrageous earrings to her signature cut-off denim shorts bring a coolness to the crag but also remind others that there is more than one type of climber to be celebrated.
- Conde Nast Traveler “30 Most Powerful Women in Travel” list, 2019
- One of Outside Magazine’s 40 women who’ve made the most impact on our world as listed in “The Future is Female and These 40 Women are Proof”, 2017
- Current Access Fund board member
- Founder of Flash Foxy and the Women’s Climbing Festival
- Co-founder of all female media production company, Never Not Collective
- M.A. in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles, USA