Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: August 7, 2023

Women to Watch: Alissa Wetherbee ‘axing’ stereotypes by creating opportunities for women in timber sports

Photo / Michael Wetherbee Alissa Wetherbee, founder of AxeWomen Loggers of Maine
AxeWomen Loggers of Maine  20 Hallbrook Way, Ellsworth A certified women-owned small business of competitive logging sports professionals. Founded: 2010 What it does: It was formed in response to a need for designated competitions and events for “lumberjills.” Disciplines include competitive chopping, sawing and logrolling, with competitors appearing in events nationwide, as well as performances to showcase the various disciplines. Employees: 35 See all the Women to Watch profiles
More Information

Alissa Wetherbee grew up around loggers and saw a need for an event that would showcase women competing in a male-dominated field. She wanted to show that women in the forestry, landscape and timber sports world were professionals, educated and most importantly serious athletes. Wetherbee formulated a business plan, too

Mainebiz: When and how did you get into the sport?

Alissa Wetherbee: I grew up here in Maine, helping my family with firewood. Then, as a teen, helping my dad work in the woods. I’ve always loved working in the woods, using chainsaws and splitting wood by hand! When I was 20 years old, I attended my first woodsman’s competition. While there I met several other women in the sport and learned from them. It’s a super fun and safe sport. It’s actually just one of several events that make up timber sports or logging sports.

Events include chainsaw competitions racing to start your saw and making three cuts through a log as fast as you can. Chopping events use a razor-sharp axe to cut a log in half between your feet while standing on top of it. With logrolling, you’re balancing on a spinning log in the water while trying to run forward and backward, attempting to knock your opponent into the water. But axe throwing happens to be one of my favorites and one that I’ve won a world championship title in at the World’s Open Lumberjill Contest.

MB: Who is your leadership role model and why?

AW: I am proud to say that I consider my parents as my role models. They encourage and support my ideas and plans. Growing up, I was always watching and learning from their hard work, both inside our homes and out in the world.

Photos / Michael Wetherbee
Alissa Wetherbee started AxeWomen Loggers of Maine in 2010.

MB: What was it like starting a business from scratch?

AW: By the time I had made the decision to start my own business in this unique niche, I had already been competing professionally in timber sports for over 10 years. I knew that I wanted to show exactly what the women in this sport really are — fierce, professional and amazing athletes. It was a big decision. But I knew that I had the right team to move forward.

MB: Tell us about the Axewomen Pathfinder Program.

AW: We are incredibly proud of our AxeWomen Pathfinder Program. This is a way for women who perhaps didn’t grow up working in the woods or who didn’t attend a college with a woodsman’s team to step into our sport and train and learn from world champions. We meet so many women who have natural talent in log rolling or axe throwing, for example, but they never had the chance to compete. All of our Pathfinders, as well as all of the women on our team, are carefully considered. They are all strong role models and amazing women!

MB: What is one thing you hope women and young girls take from Axewomen?

AW: Do what makes you happy. Work hard, train hard and enjoy what you do regardless of whether or not you’re the only girl in the room.

MB: How do you mentor young team members?

AW: Growing our sport is incredibly important to me. I love any chance I get to teach a new skill. Having an entire team of world champions, world record holders and collegiate champions makes that job super easy. Every single one of our team members is always ready and willing to offer advice, help with techniques or just keep a helpful eye on things. We are always learning and perfecting our skills with the help of all the women on the team.

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF