Women Involved: Julie and Amy from Whooha Gear
To recap on Julie and Amy, I met them when Travis and I went to Interbike in 2013. I was specifically looking for non-branded bike clothing that I could purchase, and Whooha Gear was the first booth I had seen! It was about a month or so after the trip, they came out with their Ambassador Program. I wasn't entirely sure I would qualify, plus I figured I was so far away as well. However, I figured why not give it a shot? I had gone through many changes and was starting to do more positive things for myself (and others.) I'll be honest, when I was selected as one of 5 Whooha Ambassadors I was tickled! I did ponder over "what can I do?" subsequently I started figuring out a few ways I could inspire women more than I already (apparently) do-use my blog to highlight some amazing women. So here are Julie and Amy and their story about Whooha Gear and what inspires them!
What inspired you to create Whooha Gear?
Julie: 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?
Julie: 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.
What is your favorite event that you've attended?
Julie: 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
Amy: 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?
Julie: 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 an amazing woman,
we try to find a way to share this spirit through our shirts.
Amy: 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!
Why did you create the ambassador program?
Julie: We had many requests from women to develop an ambassador program. We
decided that since there were so many women who wanted to help us spread
our message and inspiration that it would be beneficial to develop a
program to enable them to do this.
Amy: Our ambassador program also allows us to get to know some of our customers and share their inspirational stories. By sharing their stories, we hope to help them not only inspire themselves but to also inspire others!
What are your hopes for your business?
Julie: To continue to spread a positive message to women. To continue to grow
the company that we have developed through hard work and love.
Amy: 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?
Julie: 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.
Amy: And that.....INSPIRATION IS CONTAGIOUS!
What do you like best about being a female-based business?
Julie: The sense of community that we get from our customers and the other
female based business owners is incredible. You can't beat the positive
energy of all that "girl power"!
What is one thing that you would like everyone to know about Whooha Gear?
Julie: 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!!!
Amy: Amen. :)