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July 09, 2015

Story Behind the Manifesto



From Lauren Fleshman...

As we lined up along the fence that separated the fans from the hammer throwers at the USA Championships, Sally weaved her way through our team’s cheer section to deliver something to me. A booklet. Seventeen beautifully designed pages, presenting seven important concepts: “Principles of Flight” that gave words to experiential truths that have presented themselves over the years; some learned from wins, other from losses, and a few I had barely begun to dig my toes into. Holding the final product in my hands made the ground feel as if it rose up to meet my feet in a way that made me smile from the inside out. It made me want to attack the world.

When I joined Oiselle in January of 2013, it was a very small, tight knit group, supported by an extended run family of early believers. The clothes, the people, the mission were all so incredibly strong that everywhere you looked were opportunities to grow and amazing people to bring in to the fold. And at the epicenter of every meeting I was a part of about the business’s wide-open future, there was a gravitational pull towards a few principles that added clarity to tough decisions and made hard work feel purposeful. It was the same type of gravitational pull that kept me in love with the sport of running.


As Oiselle began to really take off, our team began to grow, and we were presented with a challenge. How can we communicate what the heart of this team is to people we may never physically run side by side with? How can we be clear what we stand for? How can we extend that gravitational pull of passion and energy to our community who can’t step inside the office? How can you take all those abstract things and put them into something someone can hold in their hands?


So Sally got to work. It was a long project, with many iterations, combining language, art, design, and powerful moments of our team in action. The finished product affirms why I’m here, and I hope it makes you feel, as strongly as I do, that we are worthy of the dreams we chase, and that the gravitational pull to woman-up for ourselves, and one another, is something worth navigating towards.



From Sally Bergesen...

Today, as we open Oiselle's first store, I feel a connection with you all stronger than ever. Thank you Fleshman for helping me articulate the ideas behind the piece better than I can, in this day, this moment. And thank you to The Nest and all of you for inspiring every word -- and every footstep.


As I tweeted out recently, we're mailing a copy to ALL team members. It's quite a few people, so please bear with us as Christine Babcock and I get them out via good old fashioned snail mail. 


As celebration of all that's led us here, and all that's ahead...just a heads up that we plan to open new team spots/memberships on July 31st (more info on the blog soon). For those of you who've wanted to join, thank you for your patience...we want to fly with you! 

Lastly, if you're in the Seattle area stop by the Oiselle Store today, 7/9 (University Village across from Ravenna Gardens). Kara Goucher and Lauren Fleshman will be signing Manifestos from 4:30-5:30pm!

Much love and respect,



Megan Killian | July 9, 2015 at 3:11pm


There's so much amazing spirit and positivity behind this manifesto, behind the team and all its players. The base of this mantra, the Principles of Flight, has been what has helped me through some of the toughest points in the last two years. This is a great reminder to strengthen oneself, build relationships, and contribute to a community. I love it! Woman up!

Rick | July 10, 2015 at 8:51am

evolution of flight

Congratulations and much success! Soar high and far.

Kate | July 10, 2015 at 9:07am

So in love with this!

This is really powerful stuff, you guys. I think "A woman-up world starts with being good to each other" is going to be my new motto. It's always been a goal, but that distills it so well. Thank you.

Rachelle | July 10, 2015 at 9:15am

The Manifesto

Brings tears of pride and fondness and admiration for you all. You are making our world better and stronger by equipping us all in every way to strive for our very best. It's an honor and a real joy to follow you.