Amy and I designed a women's t-shirt for a fundraiser to benefit the women's cycling team we belonged to. The shirt was such a success that we joked that we should go into business together. There were no women's specific shirts at the time for the sports that we loved so we could really see a need for them. Our busy lives got in the way so we did start Whooha Gear until several years later. Life threw me a curveball with the sudden death of my husband. I needed something positive to focus on and Amy was looking for something she could do part time while raising her children. We decided the timing was right and so we started Whooha Gear.
What made you choose the athletics associated with Whooha Gear?
Like I stated above, it started out of our love for cycling. As we evolved personally into other sports, running, triathlons etc... the company naturally followed us there. We also have gotten a lot of feedback from our customers over the years. We have listened to this and have been able to use it to steer the company towards what our customers are looking for.
Hard to pick, we have done so many fun events and travelled to some great places. Maybe Wildflower Triathlon Festival, Amy and I have done this event for years and have each participated in the races several times. It has this wonderful family/grass roots feel but they do a first rate job of putting it on. Beautiful location, challenging events and wonderful people.
Although I have truly enjoyed traveling and meeting so many inspirational people throughout the country, I would have to agree...Wildflower! Not only did we get to meet some great people, camp out and do the events but we got to eat S'MORES! In fact, after the long weekend, we would have so many great stories to talk about on the way home that many of our new designs were conceptualized during the car ride.
What inspires you to inspire other women?
I would say that we are inspired more so by other women, all the amazing women that we meet. We hear their stories and watch them achieve things that they never thought possible. I think that our designs have shifted more towards inspirational designs rather than sport specific because of this. We hear an inspirational story - meet amazing women, we try to find a way to share this spirit through our shirts.
In addition, we try to help women to inspire themselves as well. If they could only see what others see in them and in what they do!
What are your hopes for your business?
To continue to spread a positive message to women. To continue to grow the company that we have developed through hard work and love.
I also would like to utilize the business in order to educate my children so that they may understand 1.) that inspiration can be contagious and 2.) that hard work and love can build great opportunities.
What is the biggest thing or most important thing you've learned?
That running a business is a lot of hard work!!! You have no idea when you begin what starting a business entails. Because of this, you have to really have your heart for what you are doing.
And that.....INSPIRATION IS CONTAGIOUS!
What do you like best about being a female-based business?
The sense of community that we get from our customers and the other female-based business owners is incredible. It’s hard to beat the positive energy you soak up from being around so many beautiful and inspiring people!
What is one thing that you would like everyone to know about Whooha Gear?
Amy and I started WHOOHA Gear as best friends. In spite - or maybe because - of all these years and challenges of being in business together, we still remain best friends!!!