It was love.
I was in love with my sport. And also design. I had spent 15 years as a runner, and 10 years as a brand strategist, but I wanted to do more then sell my creativity to others. The firefly was still stuck in her jar.
When you have a calling, is there a name that’s called? To me it sounded like a bird. “Oiseau” said the bird. But that name was taken – by another company, and by its masculine roots. “Oiselle” appeared out of an old college dictionary. Antiquated bird, feminine, ready to fly.
The drive behind the origins of the company was a desire for better shorts. The offerings didn’t honor our love of the sport. Couldn’t we, shouldn’t we, do better? The Marseille was born. And then the Roga. “Go fast, take chances” we said. The only risk was not doing anything at all.
The second year, and a realization that the race was going to be long. An excitement among the handful of stores and runners we met. And then an economic crisis. If the banks were too big to fail, it might have been we were too small. Not enough substance for a down tick to matter.
“I know. Let’s coach a youth cross country team.” Managing a brand strategy consulting business by day, Oiselle on the side, raising two young girls, and coaching a youth XC team are the kinds of decisions people make when they don’t know any better. But blind and foolish love was better than no love at all.
First employees. A first office space. And a first time running out of money. A desperate hunt. So many rejections eradicated by a single acceptance. Our currency was belief. “Anything’s possible,” we said together, and jumped into the abyss. Soon we were feeling the pull. Running was in our blood, and we were out to hunt some elephants. They’re easy to hit when you’re armed with agility and love.
The upstart. The new kid. The embracer of the unembraced. A home for our own creativity, passion, and run love – and a team for others. Humor, growth, and the birth of weird: Rundies, the running wedding dress, election tees, and more. When there’s no rulebook or roadmap, every day can be a weird and joyous haiku.
Graduation to the big track. Where wannabe mafia men watch horses from tufted white tents. The girl brand is not invited, but we don’t ask for permission. It’s our coming out party and M.C. Hammer is the DJ.
It’s the luckiest of numbers and the strongest of F-Bombs, bringing Fleshman’s orbit within the trajectory of our own for an entirely new ascent. It is the summer of possibility, and first-borns, and NYC runway shows, and a renewed focus on all things design.
From fireworks to firestorm, plunging head first with Kara who pulls us to incredible new heights. We can see everything below. The view is stunning. And the team is growing, as we gather in Bend for Bird Camp, to run and fly and sweat. The sisterhood grows strong.
On the map and in the race. Growing with a renewed passion for quality, inspired by an expanding family, at The Nest, and among our team, all over the country (and world). We still love to go fast, take chances. And sometimes that leads to skinned knees, but still we fly. And our beautiful new store gives us a home in the hometown.
Back to the big track. The five rings and Rio. A glorious dream. One of endurance, strength, speed, and cunning. And a relentless machine. One that seeks to silence athletes while lining hidden pockets. But deep within, the dream lives in places that can't be bought.
What’s next is unknown. And the endgame is still out of sight.
But the elephants are still fun to hunt – and the going is good.
*No real elephants were hunted in the use of this metaphor.