Oiselle Orders Now with 100% More Nuun

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Oiselle HQ runs on Nuun. Seriously, our office is fully stocked. It's so easy to have on hand in its adorable little tube. And with our water situation - tap water - it's a great electrolyte solution. Just plop a tab in plain old water and ta-da, super water! Water with the perfect balance of electrolytes, sodium, potassium and light refreshing flavor. (We love Strawberry Lemonade)

Nuun is a neighbor business here in Seattle. But even more so, like a cool older sibling. A start-up that, like Oiselle, has benefitted from our city’s very active angel investor community; people who, being athletes themselves, get the big, beautiful picture that is the sporty, competitive lifestyle. Living proof is Mason Reay (@runhydrated), President of Nuun. He doesn’t just lead an active company, he lives it. For evidence, look no further than this year’s Hood to Coast madness...you may have seen him in a Sparkle Skirt, as he was a van driver for one of two rad, all women’s teams that Nuun sponsored (including some of our favorite bloggers!)

Photo credit: Team Sparkle member Emily who blogs as Sweat Once A Day.

Also from Sweat Once A Day.

Mason stopped by Oiselle HQ last Friday to run with us, and brought us hundreds of single serve Nuuns. Obviously we could drink all of those in days flat. But since we've been wanting to introduce everyone to Nuun, we decided to include Nuun in web orders until supplies run out. Okay, that was our plan the whole time. :)

Rejoice thirsty runners of the world! Oiselle orders now with 100% more Nuun!

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October 17, 2011 — sarah

Running Group Lovefest Contest Winner!

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Thanks to everyone that entered the Running Group Lovefest contest. That was so much fun! I love the names: Sweaty Sisters, GBA (Galactically Bad A$$), Colorado Columbines, Hot Mamas, Cupcake Crew, Re-Peets, Women on the Run, Phairhop Phatties, Sweet Feet, Cougs Clan, Running the Girls, Two Old Bags and a Bag in training, Pacers AM Fun Runners, Fleet Feet Fox Valley Weather Warrior Divas, Lucky 13s, Pearia Sole Sisters, Mile Munching Moon Mice, Chatty Runners United (CRU), Flying Warrior Pigs... amazing. Serious woman power!! Every story was inspiring!

We had 29 entries total. We picked the winner by listing the entries in a spreadsheet then using the handy-dandy random number generator to choose our winner: #7!

The #7 entry in our official spreadsheet was..... Pacers AM Fun Runners!! Congrats!

Pacers AM Fun Runners entered the contest via email, and we're excited to introduce them to you.

Who are you? We are the Pacers AM Fun Runners.  We meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 5 a.m.  We are most consistently a group on 8-9 humans and 1 dog but we sometimes go up to 12-13 and as low as 3.  We are lots o' fun :)
Where are you from? We run the streets of the nation's capital!  Most of us live in Washington, DC, but we do have runners who live in Northern VA and parts of MD.
Tell us all about it! We are a diverse group with a huge ability variation.  We have crazy impressive runners who run sub 7 minutes miles on a regular basis and then some of us bring up the back of the pack with pride and 10 minute miles.  Everyone else in in between.  Some people have been running for YEARS and others (like me!) just a few weeks.  Most of us are training for marathons or half marathons, but really, the focus of the weekday runs is fun and socialization.  We have a super leader who tweets our routes the night before.  We also have a facebook page for more updates and socializing. We rarely repeat a course, although we do have some tried and true routes.  Monday is typically the longer faster run, Wednesday are killer hills, and Fridays are about 5 miles and slower.  Some of us run long runs together on Saturday.
What does your group do for post-run fun?  COFFEE.  We run at 5 a.m.  We need coffee afterwards.  There is a Starbucks next door to the store that we run out of and we are 3 day a week regulars :)  Coffee, food, and socializing.

In the running group world everyone is a winner! So if you didn't "win", but would still love that tee - we'd like to offer you 10% off the Start Line Tee between now and Friday, October 21. Enter the code: RUNGROUPLOVE at checkout to receive the discount.

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October 17, 2011 — sarah

Running Group Lovefest

Training

Running group love is some of the truest there is. They wake you up at 6am to get your run on, they get you to the track on time, push you to be better, support your running and your dreams.

You have your own traditions, anniversaries, favorite running loops, inside jokes. They've seen you at your best and at your worst. They've probably even seen you go to the bathroom, in the trees, grass, behind a dumpster...what's more intimate than that really?

We want to honor this unique and beautiful relationship by giving your running group the chance to win Start Line tees. We'd love to meet your running group - so all you need to do to enter the contest is introduce them!

Enter the Running Group Lovefest Contest:

  1. Who are you? Your group? (if you don't have a name yet this might be the perfect time to dream one up)
  2. Where are you from?
  3. Tell us all about it! Are you track divas, training for the same race, getting the long run done, weekly girlfriend time, virtual running group...?
  4. What does your group do for post-run fun?  

Send your answers to info@oiselle.com or post to our Facebook. We'll randomly draw a running group winner on Monday October 17th. As always we love pictures! Can't wait to meet your peeps!

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October 11, 2011 — sarah

It's Expo Time! Rock 'n' Roll Denver Here We Come!

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It's expo time in Oiselle world! This time I'm off to Rock 'n' Roll Denver. I'm excited to return to Colorado after going to school there 6 years ago (go rams!)

What I love most about expos is meeting women runners. It's great to get out of the office and meet the people we're creating clothing for. I love hearing about their training, goals for the race, their thoughts on the Oiselle line and everything in between!

I also love hitting up all the booths for food samples. Hello, Nuun refills all day! All this sampling can result in what Sally calls "expo tummy" which I try to avoid.

What I don't love about expos is how hard it makes running. Standing for hours. Upon hours. Thank goodness for CEP compression socks, or it would be even worse. I have been training for a half marathon for the past 9.5 weeks I'm in the last 2.5 weeks of it, and so I'll need to fit runs in pre or post expo day. That can be tough with expo and the traveling.

Luckily I just read a great blog post by Andrija*, a Oiselle team member, that outlines race travel on a budget. Lots of great tips in there for race travel but also just traveling as a runner. I'm going to follow her advice on stretching, hydration, nutrition etc during this expo weekend. She's one speedy speedster so I trust her sound runner/traveler advice.

And if you're in Denver - come say hi! I'd love to meet you!

*Andrija's Blog: www.postcollegiatewoman.com | Andrija's Oiselle Profile

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October 05, 2011 — sarah

Rundies - Days of the Week Undies for Runners

Sarah Mac
Style

A few months ago the Rundies were an idea that cracked us up. Sally saw her daughter's days of the week underpants and thought of what a runner's version would look like. Instead of Monday it would be Rest, Tuesday would be Track... etc. As runners we all have our weeks outlined in workouts. Especially when there is a race on the horizon. (Of course we made Race a day of the week, so post race you can celebrate all day in your rundies. Next up we'll need to make our 'podium pajamas'... but that's a story for another day.)

rundies-1.jpg

Last week we finally had the finished product in our hands. We simply need to roll the rundies into their packages. All 3,000 pairs. So we threw an underwear party yesterday. Oiselle's closest girlfriends came by the office to roll rundies, eat snacks (don't no crumbs are on the rundies!) and catch up.

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We were laughing that not only were the undies designed by a women runner, they were hand rolled by women runners. Three of whom had even raced that morning! Authenticity! Through and through!

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And today they are up on the web! Ta-da. They come as a set of 7 colorful pairs of cotton Rundies, each printed with a different workout on the bootie. Runners are different and we're glad that we have such a fabulous group of runner nerds laughing with us! (That would be you!) You keep our wheels turning.

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October 03, 2011 — sarah

ReTREAT with Kingston Adventures

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This weekend Oiselle was honored to be the apparel sponsor for the inaugural women's ReTREAT put on by Beth Brewster owner of Kingston Adventures in Kingston, WA. I went to represent Oiselle and Beth me up for the weekend (in the cozy laundry room) even though the retreat was sold out. That means I got to participate in the ReTREAT as well as get really great feedback on what women love and hate about running shorts in a focus group on Saturday afternoon.

I have never been to a retreat like this and was anxious to see what it was all about. The purpose of the weekend was to share our goals, dreams and also problem solve the obstacles we face in accomplishing them. Amidst the goal sharing and thoughtful discussions was a lot of fun, including standup paddle boarding, trail running, yoga, and belly dancing. Yes. Belly dancing.

My favorite moments from the weekend were really hard to narrow down, but here we go in no particular order.

- Swag. My friends know I'm a swag nut. From lotion samples at a marathon expo to ... real swag like this. Of course each gal got a Oiselle 50/50 running tee and a pair of running shorts. Sweet. Plus trailshoes from GoLite, compression calf sleeves from RecoFIT (I wore them on two runs - great!), Bonk Breaker bars, Run Like A Mother book, Amphipod water bottles and more!

- Food! Molly Ward Farms catered lunch and dinner. The Cup & Muffin did coffee and breakfast. I was so spoiled this weekend it was a harsh reality to not have steal cut oats and coffee waiting for me this morning...

- Meeting one half of Run Like A Mother: Sarah Bowen Shae.

- Getting feedback on running shorts in general and Oiselle's in specific. Got to keep the fast ladies happy.

- Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP). So fun! We even did pushups and plank on the boards.

- Belly dancing lessons. My face was sore from laughing and smiling that whole hour!!

- Running, of course. The trails were beautiful on Saturday with all the ladies. And on Sunday morning at 6:30am Beth (our host) drove me out 13 miles and dropped me off. Holy hills, headwind and rain - but it was great to get my 15 (I added on) done on a new and very challenging route.

- Goal Setting. The first night's ceremony was beautiful. These women are so inspiring. The obstacles they have overcome and the ones I know they will... wow! Strong, beautiful women are my heroes. There was a lot I could learn from everyone there.

- Yoga - ahhh best way to end a 15 mile run.

- Getting to know all these gals. What a ridiculously fun group!

There are more photos in our Flickr album. Also stay tuned, Beth will be putting on more retreats this year and we'll let you know about them.

behind-the-scenes
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September 19, 2011 — sarah

Runway to Race Day Style

Style

Watching the trends for Spring 12 strut down the runways of New York City has been interesting. And inspiring. I'm no clothes horse, I don't own any $1,200 heels, and there's no couture hanging in my closet. But watching what designers are presenting, predicting really, for next year influences and excites my own personal style. Because I like clothes. I like the attitude transformation I undergo when I wear something I love, something that's me. For me personal style is not about following rules, or owning labels. It's something you create yourself. Runways will inspire, and rules are better learned before broken. But style is a creative way to express yourself to the world. A way to play with persona and character.

As runners the importance of style is as true, or more true. I say style not fashion, personal style to me is bigger than fashion trends. Think of your race day outfit. That thing is washed ahead of time - spotless. Laid out the night before (most likely with your race number already pinned on). Each piece, from your hair elastic to your socks, is selected not only for the way it feels, but for the way it makes you feel. Strong, beautiful, free, powerful, unstoppable, badass...

RACE DAY STYLE CONTEST

I want to see your race day outfit. THE capital R: Race Day Outfit. The one you feel like 'you, the racer' in. We'll pick one random name to win a rare (never for sale) Oiselle spike bag. If you don't have photos of the outfit feel free to describe it. Paint the picture :)

Enter your response on Facebook, Twitter or right below in the comments.

*Top photo is of Tadshi Shoji's collection which I loved watching - taken from NYDailynews

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September 13, 2011 — sarah

Onyx Running Tights: Here to Run Your Life

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Running tights are essential for fall and winter training. And we're so excited to have our Onyx Running Tights in the Fall 2011 collection. They are super soft, sleek, ankle length wonder pants. The sporty detailing, like mesh vents behind the knees and the box seam around the front of knees, give them a modern edge.

We all know a good pair of running tights can come in handy for more than just those cold winter runs. Like layering under snow pants when you hit the slopes. Let me take you one step further: daywear. These days leggings are part of everyday fashion and it's easy to transition your Onyx tights into your wardrobe when you aren't logging miles in them. So in honor of Fashion Week, here's the first installment of Oiselle's Style Tips.

STYLE TIP #1
How to Wear Running Tights as Everyday Wear

Pair tights with a longer top: This creates a fasionable yet comfy look. The longer length of a tank, sweater, or tee covers part of your bum so you won't feel like it's ALL hanging out.

Add Layers: Starting with a long base layer is good, take the style up one little notch and add layers on top. I personally can't wait to pair my tights with a longer tank and my new leather (fine, it's "pleather") gray bomber jacket. Even adding a tee or second tank (maybe one is bright and colorful with a nuetral on top, or vice versa)

Footwear: Ballet flats, sporty sneakers, heels, you can pull it off. It just depends on what's on top. Tank with tee over? Flats, fashion athletic shoes, running shoes. Tank with bomber jacket? Ballet flats, heels, boots.

You can take the tights as far as you want. Shown above is a very casual look, longer burnout tank from Threads for Thought with American Apparel tee layered on top. (I love this top because you can wear it either way, scoop neck in back or front.)

Running shot is the Fargo Jacket paired with Onyx Tights. I love the Fargo Jacket, I would go so far as to say it's my favorite running jacket in. the. world. Thumbholes... so great.

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September 09, 2011 — sarah

The Roga Evolution - A Shorts Story

Style

Updated: June 1st, 2014

The idea for the Roga Shorts happened in 2004 but didn’t come to life, in the form of what’s known in the industry as a “first proto” until 2006. The first proto was a God awful thing that looked like something like this – but worse because it actually looks uglier in person.  

But before the awful paisley proto that not even my musical muse Prince would wear, there was Yoda. And the search for Yoda. Because before I could wear bad looking protos, I had to find the Jedi Master of sewing…someone who could translate my idea into a real garment. Granted, this was the land before time…when I was a brand strategist and copywriter and a wannabe designer in my fantasy life, so I really didn’t know what I was doing.

So back to Yoda. There I was with just an idea. Nothing more than a thought bubble. A whif of smoke. A blade of grass. Everyone, everywhere has ideas about things they’d like to make. It was of course the execution that had me stumped.

But like the good little endurance athlete that I was, I set out on my journey. My first idea was to go to the fabric store. Brilliant! Fabric people know sewing people. When I got the fabric store (Nancy’s Sewing Basket on Queen Anne to be specific), I told the matronly sewer ladies of my quest for the non-poofy running shorts and tried to ignore the look that said “why is that skinny runner woman so weird about the shorts?”

They didn’t have an answer, but they had a binder. A 3-inch, 3-ring fattie, containing names of contract sewers, 90% of them who made custom wedding dresses and 0% of them who made athletic apparel. A bit defeated, I slid the bridal binder back across the counter. That’s when a woman behind me piped up. She had overheard me and knew another woman, who was married to a man, who worked at Eddie Bauer, and boy, was that woman really good with the sewing. I guess the Eddie Bauer connection equaled athletic apparel, and for whatever reason we were both very excited to start talking about my idea.

So I contacted the super sewer and we got together for coffee. The first meeting went great. I had sketches and a budget, she had skills and confidence. Away we went. In the second meeting, however, the skies got stormy. She informed me that she had been advised by her friends that she should consult with an attorney before handing over any patterns; that the patterns, in fact, would be her copyrighted work.

Now it’s true, I knew even less then than I do now, about all things garment industry, but something didn’t sit right. I figured, if it’s my idea…and you’re helping me execute it…isn’t it still my idea? Well, whatever! It was too much trouble to get into a pissing match – or worse, involve attorneys.

The next stop was a lunch with Helen Rockey, the former CEO of Brooks Running who was the head of a gaming company (as in board games). This was an informational, networking kind of lunch, of which I was fortunate enough to finagle. This meeting produced two gems: 1) the notion that covering the CASH FLOW, between production and accounts receivable, would be the business’s make or break (as it is with almost all businesses; but for us creative types, we need our pearls of business wisdom to hit us smack in the forehead) and 2) a name. The name of her friend who was also trying to get into the garment business with ice skating apparel.

I met the friend, and looked at her clothes, which I thought were awful in an ice skating kind of way, but she also gave me another name…the name of a woman who lived in South Seattle who was experienced in pre-production pattern making. Wow, finally, a real lead for my super sewer.

After talking with the super sewer on the phone, I headed to her studio. Now South Seattle is not Compton or East Oakland, but it’s rough around the edges. And the directions were involved. Freeway, city roads, smaller roads, left turn down the alley, park behind the chain link fence surrounded by blackberries…well, by the time I got close I was asking myself what fresh hell is this, and where’s the exit? Anyway, that’s how I imagined Luke felt right before he met Yoda.

But when she opened the door (next to the blackberries and chain link fence), my perspective was transformed. Before me was a very small woman with large, sparkly blue eyes, and behind HER was an elaborate, complex, completely tricked out sewing studio – with all the bells, whistles, and doodads you might ever imagine.

To make a long story longer, this was my first introduction to the Jedi Master of Sewing and, ultimately, the shepherd of the Roga Shorts, from the awful paisley prototype to (all biases acknowledged) the kick ass garment it is today.

And the idea of the Roga remains the same: to combine a yoga style waistband (flat and flattering) with a running short (liner, storage pockets, lightweight, etc.) to create a more comfortable, more stylish kinda short. Running + yoga = Roga. Hell, why not? (I’m pretty sure that’s what Luke said before he jumped into his X-Wing Fighter).

Fall 2007, the first Roga hits the market:

roga .jpg

It was also this short that helped me run my fastest marathon and half marathon. Of course it was the shorts.

In Spring 2008, a lighter weight fabric, not evidenced by this bad photo:

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In Fall 2010, we added a rear pocket and shaping to the side seams:

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In Spring 2011, a new super stretch woven fabric, poly/spandex waistband and drawstring:

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AND in Spring 2011 we introduced the Long Roga:

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Fast forward to Spring 2014, the Mac Roga was born, proving less is more: 

mac-roga_1.jpg

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September 08, 2011 — sarah

Roga Revolution!

Style

We are starting a Roga Revolution! Because it's time to get your booty out of those poofy shorts and into the Roga. The Roga running short is a hybrid Yoga-Running short. We've been perfecting the Roga since 2007. Once you try it on, you'll never go back to shorts of your past.

To prove this we've having a contest to giveaway some Roga shorts! Here are the two ways to win.

1. Show me or tell which shorts in your drawer you would donate (or trash) if you won a pair of Rogas or Long Rogas. You know the pair I'm talking about...lurking in your running wardrobe, with its saggy bum and weird waist band. Best story...aka worst shorts, wins your choice of Rogas!

2. If you already own the Roga or Long Roga tell me your Roga Revolution story! Send a picture for extra points! Best Roga Revolution story wins another pair of Rogas!

Here are a couple examples of Roga Revolution stories from our Facebook page.

Connie Meehan's reaction to her first pair of Rogas:
"My Roga running shorts have changed my life. Logging 25 miles this week! (that's a lot for me.) Two words - get them."

And Amy Katz:
"Tried out my new Roga shorts this morning and LOVE them! So cofy and I think the zippered pocket is great!"

***Post your response to the contest on Facebook, in the blog comments or on Twitter (#rogarevolution). If you have a photo, post it! Or if you'd rather send it via email, info@oiselle.com. Two contest winners will be chosen on Tuesday September 6th.***

Check out the Roga Revolution photos on Facebook and Flickr. We'd love to add yours!

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September 02, 2011 — sarah

Fall 2011 Photoshoot - Behind the Scenes

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Have you ever wanted to go 'behind the scenes' at a glamorous Oiselle photoshoot? Well then, today is your lucky day! I'm going to take you behind the scenes to the thrilling, freezing, goosebump-covered, giggling madness of .... OISELLE FALL 2011 PHOTOSHOOT in DISCOVERY PARK.

First, meet Ariel:

She's the one in the hood wielding the giant camera. You may have guessed already, but Ariel is the Oiselle photographer. She is a 'designer with a camera'. She has a smile on her face even in 20 degree weather, is happy to work with both pro and faux models, and basically rocks our world with fabulous photos. Since I realize that hood might make you think Ariel is a little bear, here's what she looks like without the fur.

Now the Oiselle Fall 2011 Shoot:

For every season we take all the studio shots one day. Those are the shots you see on the product pages of the website. So, white background, hand on hip, posed action. Morgan has modeled for Oiselle for a few years. You literally can't take a bad picture of her. So beautiful!

Morgan and Sally

We wanted some lifestyle shots for Fall 2011 so the next morning we all met at Discovery Park in Seattle.The day was cold. No, we need a better word than cold... frigid. Intolerable, shiver until your muscles ache kind of cold. But that did not stop the show. Modeling for us we had Rose, Ashley and Andrija. Andrija and Ashley run for Oiselle and flew in from Idaho. Rose is a local (celebrity) runner who has modeled for Oiselle before.

(The models: Rose, Ashley, Andrija getting their stretch on)(The models: Rose, Ashley, Andrija getting their stretch on)

We had a tent with heating lamps, changing rooms and the entire shoot was catered by Macrina Bakery. Er, sorry daydreaming... we actually had to photoshop all the goosebumps out of the pictures. And wardrobe changes were behind jackets and trees. But we did have some fun!

Sally directs and can see any stray piece of grass on a model's clothing from 500 feet away. Photo perfection. She also tweets and facebooks live from the fields. (seen above) Also seen above is her sweet fur hat she bought before the shoot at a drugstore if I'm not mistaken. I was there for moral support, to hold coats when the models dashed out from under them, and to be a general looky-lou. 

Sally coming to fluff the model and remove a small piece of grass, presumably.

Here we are all cheering Andrija on after she left the warmth of her three coats. "Don't look cold!!", was the cheer of the day.

Andrija's three coat nest. Ashley looks on while warming her ears with a 'Lil Hottie' mitten warmer. glam-or-ous.

Even dogs needed sweaters that day.

I hope you enjoyed your look behind the scenes at Oiselle's Fall 2011 Photoshoot. If you'd like to see more pictures check out the Oiselle Flickr Page. To check out more of Ariel's photography go to her website, www.arielnaynebeker.com.

And to shop the Oiselle Fall 2011 Collection click here!

Now for some outtakes:

Even Ariel can't save me from my lazy eye...

Posing and testing the mobility of the hoodie fabric. (It is now approved for yoga)

I'm so warm...really. SEE!!

The 'I got a new hoodie' dance.

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August 30, 2011 — sarah

The Power of 9

Style

After a lot of planning and dreaming and talking, I am SUPER excited to write this post and let you know about a new project we’ve got going on. So this is one part announcement, one part product preview, and one part CALL FOR ENTRIES. Please read on for the deets…

First, the background: Title IX, the mother of all enactments in the realm of women’s sports, is turning forty next year (1972-2012). Yep, she’ s entering the masters category and she’s still kicking serious butt. Consider the stats*:

   - The number of high school girls competing in sports prior to Title IX: 1 in 27
   - The number of high school girls competing in sports today: 1 in 2.5
   - There are 3,714 more women's teams on college campuses than in 1972
   - The number of female college athletes in 1972: 32,000
   - The number of female college athletes today: 164,998

*Title Nine

So…In celebration of the big four-oh, we’re partnering with our friends at Title Nine to produce a collection of six graphic tees that will honor forty years of progress. Missy Park, Founder of Title Nine, who I’ve had the good fortune of getting to know recently, put it best: “This enactment brought a whole generation of girls and women off the sidelines and onto the playing fields. With a confidence born on sport teams across America, women began a movement into boardrooms, war rooms and courtrooms that continues to this day. And THAT is something worth celebrating.”

Who will design the tees? This is where you come in! We’re looking to work with six top-level women graphic designers. We have some names in mind, but we also wanted to open it up to our respective communities, as we know that there is an amazing talent pool among you. In the spirit of full disclosure, the compensation to the chosen designers will be the benefits of high profile exposure and being a part of a shared movement (i.e., we ask that the designs be provided pro bono, but “winning” comes with a boat load of benefits – as we intend to put a spotlight on the individual designers, online and in stores, to highlight their work, as well as have each tee “signed by the artist”).

Got the skills and interest? We’d love to hear from you. If you or someone you know is interested in submitting a design, please email me at powerof9@oiselle.com and I will send you the creative brief. Thank you!

Deadline for inquiries: Friday, September 2, 2011

*Note: Title Nine will also be opening this competition up to their community. So check their website, Facebook page, etc., for information within the coming weeks.

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August 25, 2011 — sarah