Volée
March 20, 2014

Kara Goucher Joins Oiselle

Sally Bergesen

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So hopefully you’ve heard by now that Kara Goucher is joining Oiselle.
 
(SQUEEEEEEEE!!!!......pause.....regain composure....)
 
When I think about Kara's running career, one of my strongest memories is her marathon debut in NYC where she was pressing the leaders deep into the race and dropped a 2:25. Right then, I knew US marathoning had a new icon. And yet, as with most celebrities and sports heroes, I knew my place in relation to an icon. I could picture myself standing in line to get Kara’s autograph, but could I see myself going on a long run with her?
 
Oiselle has always been about building a community of women (and some bro birds) centered on an athletic lifestyle, to inspire and conspire with each other. Yes, we love to watch the best of the best on TV, but the strength of our sisterhood is often more grassroots. Would Kara Goucher the medalist, the Olympian, the US Champion be a fit for us, and us for her?
 
So in January when I heard Kara was able to look at other sponsors, I didn’t think to put our hat in the ring. Partly because Lauren Fleshman and I were happy with our current elite team. But also because I knew we couldn’t compete financially with the shoe companies.
 
And then I get an email from her.

Wait what?!
She loves Oiselle and what we stand for?!
Right then, I had a small desire to drop the microphone and walk offstage. Kara loves Oiselle?! I was star struck, honored....I still thought this might be a futile effort ("you realize we can’t outbid a $27 billion dollar company?")
 
When we talked on the phone, the conversation flowed. She was smart, funny, articulate. And little by little that distance between me and the icon began to shrink. I could feel her energy – and began to see the edges of a new picture. One she was creating with Adam and Colt in Boulder, and her former coach, Mark Wetmore.
 
Fleshman and I ruminated on whether this could work, and ultimately the answer was yes. We wanted to make room for powerful women on the start line of our company. After all, while we hate to admit, we’re familiar with the stereotypes…i.e., that things get messy when you have too many strong B’s at the top. And that women often tear each other down, right when we should be building each other up. One reason we find it hard to deal with the old boys' club is that we aren’t very good at putting together the new girls' club. I’d like to prove that theory wrong. I want to continue building the new girls’ club – where strong yet different personalities can complement rather than compete. So we decided to get to the heart of the matter. Soon Kara and her family were on a plane to Seattle...

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Fleshman and Goucher...my sister heroes!

We had a great weekend planned, with many of our athletes, employees, and investors coming together for a reunion and I knew Kara could feel the community we were building at Oiselle. As we talked, I could sense she wanted more purpose in her running. And I found myself wanting Oiselle to be the place where that happened. The day Kara left, we discussed how the logistics of the deal would be really difficult...potentially impossible...but we agreed that we had already fallen in love a little, and so we both wanted to take next steps.

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Kara visits Seattle -- and meets the flock

Of course, one of those was: did she like the gear? It wouldn’t be authentic unless Oiselle made her feel strong, confident, comfortable, empowered. So I was elated when Kara told me, “I’m obsessed with your clothes. I absolutely love them!” Deal or no deal, it got me fired up.
 
At that point, it felt like we were moving in unison. All the conversations had taken place between her and my team, and the rest was about honoring the process. When you read her blog, you’ll see “follow your heart” is her mantra. I now see that phrase in a new light. When it comes down to it, following your heart can be flippin' hard -- and scary. Turns out you have to not only follow your heart's desire, but run straight toward it.
 
Not surprisingly, Kara had a lot of offers handed to her. We weren’t able to match her highest one, but in the end, that wasn’t what Kara was looking for. And in the end, she is exactly what Oiselle was looking for. What I’m looking for. I’m so proud to call Kara a valued teammate, business partner, and friend.

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We are going on a very long run with Kara Goucher.

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Read Kara's blog on Why Oiselle?
Media inquiries please contact Shanna Burnette.

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Comments

Tess | March 20, 2014 at 3:12pm

Blessed!

Thank you Sally! For building a team with the likes of Lauren Fleshman and Kara Goucher and those of us around the country chasing our running dreams with this flock of amazing women. You, Kara and the whole team are truly an inspiration! So excited for this next journey with the flock!

Lorraine Deichert | March 20, 2014 at 4:02pm

Welcome Kara!

OMGEE! I screamed when I read this! Welcome to the amazing Oiselle family Kara Goucher!

Jungle Chicken | March 20, 2014 at 5:48pm

Kara Goucher

Sally, I'm so happy for you, proud of you, impressed with you... and I MISS you! Hope our paths cross sometime soon. You are one great role model for me as a businesswoman and friend. You all deserve the big names, because Oiselle is a big name! JC

Amanda@Runninghood | March 20, 2014 at 6:35pm

So excited for all/Inspiring

This makes me so happy and excited to read! When I first heard that Kara was without a sponsor, I immediately thought of Oiselle because of A. The image of your company and what you stand for and B. Knowing the kind of authentic and passionate spirit that Kara is from reading her blog and social media. I had a feeling this might happen. Only makes me want to be a part of the Oiselle team more than I have wanted to already! Congrats to both sides of this new partnership! Such a new face to running for women...empowering, inspiring...STRONG!! YES!

Shannon @ moveeatcreate.com | March 20, 2014 at 6:40pm

WOOT!

I have been a Oiselle person for a long time. I discovered your company shortly after I took up running and fell in love. I've also been a huge fan of Kara and I am so beyond thrilled with this news a supporter of you both! Finally, what you all are doing - building a team of strong, savvy, dedicated, and kind women is also something that I care deeply about. Thank you for forging the way with this!

Emily | March 20, 2014 at 8:32pm

this is so wonderful :)

The news today makes me so happy!! This is what running is ultimately about: human connection and potential!! This post made me tear up, actually :)

Jocelyn | March 21, 2014 at 4:14am

Wow!

Amazing addition to the flock! Wow! Congrats all around!

Joanne | March 21, 2014 at 8:14am

Congratulations!

So happy for Oiselle AND Kara! I believe this is the perfect example of a win-win! This exciteable Oiselle fan is finding it hard to stop with the tiny hand claps.

Suzanne Olson | March 21, 2014 at 8:57am

Roomies?

My daughter asked me yesterday, "If you ever ran on an Olympic team, who would you want as a roommate?" Easy: Kara Goucher. Welcome another great lady to Oiselle!

Marjorie | March 21, 2014 at 9:24am

So exciting!

This is wonderful news! Kara is amazing, and Oiselle is amazing, so it's a perfect match! I've loved Oiselle clothing since 2010 (when I almost bought the "1/2 the distance, twice the fun" shirt at the San Jose RnR expo - I bought it *after* I finished the race!) and have been a loyal fan ever since. Kara is inspiring and honest and I've loved following her progress. Now I get to have you both in one package. Congrats!

Jen | March 21, 2014 at 9:47am

Holy Awesome!

Kara has long been one of my heroes in the running community. She's strong, brave, fast as hell and a mother. What a great combo. Congrats to both Oiselle and Kara on your new partnership. Can't wait to see what the future holds.

Lauren C | March 21, 2014 at 10:16am

Hi, I had never heard of your

Hi, I had never heard of your company until Kara posted on Twitter about her visit to Seattle and then read Lauren Fleshman's blog post on Runner's World (Keeping It Real). Just read Kara's announcement on her site before coming here.... am so excited to take a look around your site now! I'm a big fan of Kara's and, based on this blog post, probably soon to be a big fan of Oiselle as well!

Lauren King | March 21, 2014 at 10:17am

:)

Sally, thank you for being a voice for women runners. I am constantly inspired by Oiselle the company, and by Oiselle the women.

Amy | March 21, 2014 at 4:18pm

Perfection

I don't think there could be a more perfect fit! Rock on Oiselle, Kara, Lauren, and all the birds!

frith | March 21, 2014 at 5:45pm

Sally, here's to you and Kara

Sally, here's to you and Kara! Nice running ladies! And nice running, Ladies!

Katie | March 22, 2014 at 5:18am

Kara and Oiselle are perfect for each other

I can totally see Kara rocking Oiselle apparel. This makes me love you both even more.

Mandi | March 23, 2014 at 6:23am

AWESOME!

Inspired.

Rick | March 24, 2014 at 11:01pm

So cool!

Love to follow Kara and now looking forward to following Oiselle! Could use some coaching on the proper pronunciation.

Melanie @ Poppy | March 25, 2014 at 7:03am

Flying high

Love that in true (Seattle?) style you are holding a cup of coffee Sally! All good partnerships start with coffee. I squealed with joy when I saw the news. So incredibly super. Since Kara lives up the road in Boulder, I hope we get to meet her sometime :-)

Sarah @RunFarGirl | March 25, 2014 at 5:27pm

I just love this, especially

I just love this, especially what you said about building a "new girls club" where we use our strength to build each other up. So excited for Oiselle and the women's running community!

Janice | March 27, 2014 at 1:56pm

Yippee

I read an article earlier this week regarding the change in sponsorship. I came upon Oiselle last fall at a race expo as I was searching for a better long sleeve for my race (it worked out well). I love the pieces I own, have enjoyed the blog from Laura F. and was thrilled to see that Kara G. is on board with the company. What a great community of women supporting various running goals. I love it. I would love to see more local retailers stock Oiselle products! :-)

Sam | March 27, 2014 at 2:55pm

Kara has been an inspiration

Kara has been an inspiration for me since I met her at Nike Team Nationals as a highschool athlete. Oiselle seems like a great company. What a wonderful match!

Samantha | March 31, 2014 at 10:25am

Congrats!

I was elated for you all when I heard Kara would be joining Oiselle! I think she is a phenomenal role model and I love her and your gear. It is an awesome match!

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