Dear Friends, Teammates, Oiselle Believers,
My name is Sally and I’m a sports feminist. I’m also a CEO, an apparel designer, and a leader and follower of women. I’m a child of the running gods and goddesses (forgive me mother, for I have not run yet today). And I’m a bit player in the global movement known as women’s sports.
Today is a big day. Yes, it's a relaunch of our brand, and a beautiful new collection to go with it. But more importantly, it's a recommitment party. We're doubling down on our mission.
Since that first, admittedly self-interested quest for non-poofy shorts in the early 00’s, my world has been forever changed, redirected, expanded, by this experiment called Oiselle. We find ourselves in and of the movement: from the athletes we've partnered with on the national and global stage, to the unapologetic change makers we're proud to call friends.
Just as we did when we founded the company 10+ years ago, we wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on both where we’ve been, and where we still want to go. Then and now, it starts with a simple question…
What we know, more than ever, is that…
We know it. We see it. We’ve lived it. When moving your body – whatever that looks like – becomes a consistent part of life, life gets better. Radically better. To the point where we know athletic activity does everything from reduce chronic illness, generate brain cells, to improve overall happiness.
We believe in…
That body movement is a universal right, not a privilege. And that of all the sports out there, running is the one we were born to do. Participate or watch any running event/race, and behold the beautiful spectrum of humanity.
We believe that women need…
It’s not enough for women to feel empowered by sport. We’re fully actualized when we also have authority, power, representation, longevity – in life and the sports industry – to foster lasting change.
We believe in...
There are deep-rooted problems in the sports world, from the Olympics to World Cups and World Championships, on down to colleges and high schools. In fact, after sponsoring four Olympians in Rio 2016, we were so frustrated with how Olympics Executives Cash in on a 'Movement' that Keeps Athletes Poor, that we met with lawyers to learn more. What we know now is that there IS a path forward - that would radically improve athletes' earning potential and allow smaller sponsors like Oiselle (and major players too) to have a place in the sport we love. It's called amending the Ted Steven's Act. Dear New Balance, Adidas, Hoka, Skechers, and all brands who sponsor pro runners: read this just-released white paper from former Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna. Change is possible and you're invited. Oiselle is in, as am I.
We believe that…
And that they should love and respect their bodies. With the right tools in her tool box, girls learn to expect more from themselves and the world. Through our Bras for Girls Program, Oiselle has donated thousands of bras to girls who need them most. What drives us is not just the ability to give away free product, however. It's also our unique position as a women-led and run company to have direct and no-BS conversations with girls about their changing bodies. We know from our work with Dr. Melody Moore that these perceptions start young, and so helping girls is where Oiselle can use its superpowers.
We believe in…
Team. It’s not something we have to give up when we’re done with school; or after we move to a city, or get a job, or have a kid. We still need the support and friendship and health that comes with showing up for ourselves and each other. The Oiselle Volée is thousands of women strong, across the country (and in five countries). As an all ages, all paces team, we run, race, live, learn, cry, and support each other – together.
- Gender inequality in HS sports continues, particularly for women of color
- Girls stop playing sports because of their changing bodies
- When the sport world isn’t busy policing women’s bodies…
- It’s very busy sexualizing them
- The pay gap persists, despite activism by the WNBA, the USWNT, and more
- Women are under-represented in places of power: including sport governance and coaching, though we see some light for athletic directors
- The apparel and shoe companies constantly strive to “win with women” while inside their walls, discrimination and being kept from pay and power continue
- And what's happened in the USOC since 2016? The Larry Nassar revelations and an organization that appears incapable of meaningful change
The Flag Crest is our company mark. It doesn't replace our bird logo, but it will be woven throughout the brand. The Flag Crest represents our commitment to a new era in women’s sports - in which we are in control of the narrative; the reasons we run, the way we feel, the strength we know, from the inside out. It represents our commitment to not only equality and empowerment through sports, but also creating new traditions, elevating new voices. In 2016, we started the High Flyer Awards, recognizing women leaders in sport. In 2017, we started the 4:30 mile project, followed by the 2:30 marathon project. We are also committed to continuing the fight for better athlete compensation and sponsor visibility at national and international sporting events.
The Sport Crest celebrates the entire spectrum of female sports and athleticism. The interconnectedness of speed, strength, and endurance. Each has its place, and the total is greater than the sum of the parts. We also love that these three tenets lend themselves to the stages in a woman’s life: in our 20’s, we enjoy our raw speed; in our 30’s, we come fully into the strength of ourselves; and in our 40’s and beyond we take all that we have become and persist.
The Team Crest embodies the radical progress that happens when women decide to show up for themselves and each other. We will continue to invest in the building of this incredible run club we call the Oiselle Volée. Looking for sister strength? Join us. In early 2019, we'll be offering a team collection of special styles, from the beloved race day crop to singlets, tees, warm ups and more...all in the Team Shop.
Punches above its weight. Premium Pertex® Microlight fabric and 650 Fill Power, using Primaloft® Silver Down-Synthetic blend equals warmth without weight.
In our new Bantam Flyout® fabric with HoverFit® technology. This fabric literally floats above your skin, and this very slightly heavier weight is ideal for fall and winter training. The clipped Sport Crest, front and back, infuses its power.
Made of our new Tee-Lux fabric: soft, sweat-able, stretchy.
Introducing the Big Ass Watch Window. Yep, now there’s a way to look at your timing device without wrestling with your sleeves.
Elevated basics. With the right fabrics, including our family of Nyelle®, every piece is made softer and more durable.
Lastly, we will continue to diversify our brand, team, and product line. To show women athletes in action. And to mirror the growing diversity of our team.
Thank you for believing in us -- and being an important part of our flight. There is no secret, keep going!