Oiselle: We Started at the Bottoms
When I had the shopping experience that would give me the idea to found Oiselle and change the trajectory of my life, I was not on a high philosophical plane. I was not out to start a business or even think about work. In fact, I was harried and disheveled… an escapee from my house where my six month old brewed and waited, like a ship's captain who’d begrudgingly let her crew go ashore.
Down at the running store, I stepped hurriedly in and out of various shorts. And I took mental swipes at my body. In some ways, I didn’t recognize it. Boobs for nursing (where did those come from?) Baby weight everywhere (can those thighs even run?) and general disorientation, sleeplessness, hunger… “shit, I’ve been gone for half hour.” The captain was waiting.
One, two, up to six pairs of shorts I tried. Everything was fodder for critique… their bagginess, their poof, their poor quality, their lack of style – in my mind, it was all a problem. Little did I know that idea would settle, germinate, and a few years later become Oiselle.
Our very first prototype...the garment equivalent of what Annie Lamott calls "the shitty first draft," to our very first shorts, The Marseille.
It was then that I spent a full year developing our first shorts: the Marseille. Even though they were, in my own words, “a ridiculous little split leg number,” I also currently hear from women who still own them – and cherish their low rise, less baggy, higher quality fit.
The Marseille evolved and my second design was the Roga, which would go on to be a star, with its flat waistband, semi-fitted goodness. And then the Distance.
The Roga - the flat waisted, semi-fitted original - ran me to my first sub-3 marathon
Since then, we’ve continued to stay laser focused on great shorts. The best shorts… for women, for running, and for ease of use (all of our products are designed to be tough enough for regular rounds in the washer dryer. Even though my kids are teenagers now, I still don’t have time to baby my athletic apparel).
Back when our line fit on a small rack in my home office
Winning styles since the Marseille and the Roga include the Lori Short (which we brought back in 2015 after a few year hiatus), the Distance Short (for the mileage junkies and women who demand pockets), the Stride and Flyte (for the lovers of spandex), and all kinds of lengths… Long Rogas, Mac Rogas, Strider Shorts, and more.
No matter how far we fly, we’ll always have our love of shorts. And our passion for making the best in the industry! You and me and Oiselle… it's our shorts story.