It's take two for the Title Nine Movers & Makers Pitchfest and Title Nine hit it out of the ballpark -- no surprises there! Once again, nine awesome women-owned and run businesses were selected as Finalists charged with pitching their products to the warm and welcoming community created by Missy Parks, Title Nine Founder.
The nine finalists boasted an impressive and wide range of mostly sustainable products including women’s apparel for cycling, snow sports, surfwear, yoga and mountain biking as well as customizable bras for women with larger cup sizes, skincare and a light-weight gear clip - giving women an extra hand just about anywhere!
Typical of Title Nine culture, the day was peppered with fun group games at their open gym in the middle of their groovy office spread and a bootcamp workout with Jess before lunch. Even the food provided came from local women-owned businesses with breakfast from Nana Joe’s and lunch by Mamacitas and Lexie’s Frozen Custard.
The entire day honored powerful women - with all of us sporting ‘Badass Mover & Maker’ tattoos! Missy graciously sat down and candidly discussed her story as a true trailblazer - the first to outfit women in athletic and outdoor gear designed especially for them. Topics from failing forward to HR advice to the challenge of new tariffs on imports from China to owning your numbers - everything was on the table and open for discussion.
Questions were also fielded from veteran mentor lady bosses like Oiselle’s Sally Bergesen, Coalition Snow’s Jen Gurecki, Bronwen Lodato of Bronwen Jewelry and Handful’s Jennifer Ferguson. And, all were grateful to meet and discuss the challenges of finding sales reps and how to decipher inroads with experts Dana Caraway, Amy Garrahan and Amy Johnson.
I was happy to be back at Title Nine to discuss what’s changed for Lily Trotters since becoming an Inaugural Winner last year! We are thrilled with the HUGE success we’ve had selling out of our socks month over month through T9’s 13 million catalogs (Missy started in 1986 with just 1300 catalogs - what growth!) and on their website. We are also SO PSYCHED that Lily Trotters will be for sale this Fall in all 20 of Title Nine’s brick-and-mortar retail stores! Being adopted by Title Nine has not just brought us an increase in sales, but also more street cred amongst other retailers typically wary to take on newer brands. (Thanks for everything Title Nine!)
It takes a certain kind of stubborn and driven woman to plod on year after year, building a brand in seeming isolation with so many obstacles. It was, therefore, very comforting to hang with fellow women bosses also trying to make it, to swap war stories and discuss our similar struggles. The community and connections made at Title Nine really help to diminish that sense of isolation.
Lily Trotters plans to work with and support our fellow Movers & Makers and embrace the notion that we all win when we help and raise each other up. There are plenty of legs and bodies to outfit and there’s no doubt we can make a stronger impact when we join together! (BTW, this natural female attitude is precisely why we women should run the world!)
If it’s important to YOU to support women-led brands, you can find a host of them, including Lily Trotters, at https://www.womenledwednesday.com/. Forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday, shop #womenledwednesday on November 27, 2019!
Lily Trotters began as a brand designed to support badass and beautiful women and we are so grateful to be part of this inspiring and growing business community.
Founder & Designer