2012 was like a seven layer cake of awesomeness mixed with the occasional sag. But that’s the deal right? Life’s a balancing act…and while one minute you’re starring in your own rock video, the next, life serves up an infomercial. So I dub this year-end wrap up the List of Highs and Humbles, in which points of wing soaring loftiness were anchored by the occasional dollop of reality.
Signing Kate Grace (@fastk8) to #oiselleteam. Previously unknown in the pro running circuit, Kate has so much talent, she went from non-training mode to the Olympic Trials in six months. Look for this woman to rock some big socks in 2013 and beyond!
Kate cruises in for the win of the Indie 5K, an impressive 16:30 on a hilly course (and her first road race to boot)
Turns out there’s more to designing a USATF compliant singlet than you might think. Like dwarves assaulting a castle guarded by a large dragon, we made a go of it. We tell the story here…in a video that has received some notice (+10,000 views on Flotrack, Competitor, Runnersource, and YouTube).
HIGH: Going to the Olympic Trials and Eugene to commune with our run family and cheer on our heroes. It was like the ultimate #runnerd vacation with a dance party on top.
Tried not to lose our sh*t when Fleshman Flyer came for a visit (Eeeeeeeeee!)
Bringing our Oiselle cheer to Eugene despite the city being on brand presence lockdown.
“We don’t need no stinkin’ $2.00 poncho…” @drlesko and JLesko get it done
Weddings! Almost half our office got married this year! On the same day. 3,000 miles apart.
Mac, aka Sarah MacKay became Sarah Robinson, and we thank @onrobinson for becoming part of the “bro-zell” family.
Kerr married Leaven and they even made up their own last name: De Rainier. All hail the new family of the great mountain!
Lest anyone think leading a small company is all photo shoots and dance parties, I roughly estimate the following stats:
- With no janitorial service, I emptied the garbage and recycling – into the dumpster out back – 27 times
- Made 10 trips to Office Depot
- Stood in line at Kinko’s for a sum total of 18 total hours
- Personally drove 10-15 packages to FedEx, sometimes over the speed limit, to make 5 pm cut offs
- Called the landlord 5 times about the office heat being broken, and 7 times about no TP in the women’s restroom
The packing and shipping business…not glamorous.
Having the opportunity to work with the smart, fit, creative women of Title Nine. In 2012, we worked closely with their team to create a collection of tees that celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the Title IX legislation…something every woman runner/athlete can cheer about.
Seeing Oiselle-designed apparel at T9 stores and in their catalog was a pinch myself moment…I’ve been a fan of theirs since the beginning!
I won’t forget when our t-shirt factory called to say that a recent print run they completed of Peanuts tees (for Title Nine) included Sally kicking the football…except her face was screen printed a horrible green/blue. Doh. Sadly, the whole lot had to be remade and rescreened. In the apparel biz, these moments are inevitable…but we constantly look for ways to prevent them from happening, and own them when they do.
My heart went out to the other Sally…my face was sickly green too.
Meeting the amazing women bloggers of the Nuun Hood to Coast Teams! It was great to put faces with the profiles and Twitter handles I’ve seen for so long.
So. Many. Women. They barely fit in our office.
Running Hood to Coast and passing out on the floor before I could even do some dancing in the sand.
“Hi Sally, this is your quads calling…you ain’t going nowhere sister…” (Oiselle athlete Erin Ward works the banana phone…apparently the only device that got reception in the back roads of Western Oregon during H2C)
Becoming the official athletic apparel sponsor of Every Mother Counts, the maternal advocacy group founded by Christy Turlington Burns.
The Nest in EMC singlets: Kate, JJ, Mac, Sally and KMet
Hurricanes make everyone feel small and humble. Our visit to NYC, initially to run the NYC Marathon, was difficult…but we were heartened by witnessing people, runners, everyone, doing heroic things to aid recovery.
Growth. Oiselle grew 75% in 2012, and is on track to continue to grow in 2013.
HQ and our fabulous sales rep team got busy in Austin, TX this year at The Running Event. Kerr, Cindi, Mac, Lesko, Shanna, Kate, Regina, Christy and myself, back row. Plus Sarah, Sara, JJ, and KMet, front row. Boots n Birds party!
By your commitment to us. And your enthusiasm for a brand striving to do something new and different. Not a day goes by that we don’t think about new ways to delight, inspire (and humor?) you.
I also want to personally thank some really important people…the women of Oiselle HQ who always inspire me – and occasionally make me pee/cry/laugh; our incredible sales team led by the indefatigable Christy Slye; our store partners who see the opportunity for a well-designed, spicy women’s brand; our friends, investors, and number one super fans Bob and Sarah Lesko who fill our sails with confidence; the fast, funny, and inspiring women of #oiselleteam, whose feats of athleticism light the way; our latest addition, friend and PR maven Shanna Burnette who is both a pro at what she does and a sister friend; and to my family who continues to spread the good word about Oiselle as well as put up with the roller coaster ride that is running and growing a business. You make everything worth it a thousand times over.
Next blog coming soon: What’s ahead.
Lucky 13! Let’s bomb this y’all!