Kristen Horler is living an intentional life. She makes sh*t happen, not in a spastic, compulsive way, but with careful thought about the message she wants to put out in the world. Over 18 years ago, Kristen had a baby. It turns out that baby birthed a business. She found herself craving connection while attempting to regain her fitness and she couldn't find a program that catered to moms with babies. You either had to wait until the baby was older and bring them to a gym that had childcare or you had to get a babysitter so you could leave your baby at home to work on yourself.
Heidi and Gretchen Breuner are identical twins who live next door to each other and work side by side. They've always been best friends (except for that one time that Heidi etched "I'm mad at Mom and Gretchen" in the windowsill in second grade) and they've always supported each other. What makes their current story so amazing is that it happened by accident.
Today I share stories from the past 15 years. Actually it started well before 2004, back to when I was a kid and no one could tell if I was a boy or a girl! Today gender is fluid; it's not so much of an issue. But it was back then and it created insecurities about my femininity that ultimately led to the start of Skirt Sports.
Elizabeth Kraus has spent the last 15 years trying to figure out how to integrate her passion, specifically fitness, into her life without sacrificing her ability to be a badass businesswoman. Elizabeth’s day job is as the founder of Mergelane, a VC fund that invests in and supports women-led businesses. Elizabeth has curated the life she wants to lead without sacrificing her quality of work, workouts or relationships.
Lara Merriken is the founder of Larabar. If you aren’t familiar with Larabar, I’d be shocked, because it’s now an absolute empire. She had the idea to create healthy, nutritious energy bars when she was frustrated with her options on a hike many years ago. The goal was to use clean, simple ingredients. I had a feeling she would change the world, I just didn’t realize how much she would change it and how quickly.
Dimity McDowell has been a friend of mine for over a decade. The first time I remember interacting with her was when she was writing for Runner’s World. She was prepping for a women's marathon, and she let her readership choose her outfit. Our 2007 Marathon Dress was in the running and won! So Dimity wore a very short Skirt Sports dress and crushed her marathon (it was even shorter on her 6'5" body)! We’ve been mutually respecting each other for years since.
Sarah Clarkson is the founder of Transience, a trendy bag company based in New York. At one point in the interview Sarah is talking about how she started her company. One day years ago, she sat shivering in an office, doing design work for another company and she simply realized “I no longer want to be at the mercy of someone else’s air conditioning.”
Fran Dunaway is the co-founder of TomboyX – a gender neutral apparel brand that made its name in undies. She describes herself as coming out of the womb a boss, but I would say that Fran is the farthest thing from bossy. She’s gracious, humble, compassionate, thoughtful. She’s also incredibly smart, one of the best strategic thinkers I’ve ever met, incredibly brave and she’s seriously disrupting an industry.