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Emeryville, Calif. (Sept. 9, 2021) – Title Nine, the adventure and outdoor apparel retailer that encourages women to risk, lead and own, is proud to announce the nine incredible woman-owned brands chosen as finalists in its fourth annual Pitchfest Outdoor Edition. As finalists, these women rose to the top as highly-driven entrepreneurs who bring unique points of view to the outdoor industry. They will participate in a pitchfest in the hopes of having their products sold on the Title Nine site and becoming a part of Title Nine’s entrepreneurial network of Movers & Makers™.
Title Nine started the Pitchfest Outdoor Edition in 2018 in order to provide a platform for majority women-owned brands to gain valuable industry insights into the competitive outdoor, athletic and lifestyle spaces. Title Nine boasts an impressive line up of alumni from the competition including Mina Yoo of Heroclip; Cassie Abel of Wild Rye; and Erika Togashi of SEPTEMBER. Pitchfest also hosts some of the most recognizable women leaders in the industry to serve as mentors and judges at the event like Sally Bergesen, Founder & CEO of Oiselle and Jen Gurecki, CEO of Coalition Snow.
The Pitchfest Outdoor Edition has taken small businesses to the next level. Previous winners have reported seeing triple and quadruple digit sales increases on their own branded platforms as well as through Title Nine. Since winning the 2020 Pitchfest Outdoor Edition, Title Nine has sold nearly $100,000 in Velorosa apparel, which is a figure that competes with Title Nine’s larger brand partners.
“We are so excited to host nine incredible women-owned companies as they compete and connect in our uniquely collaborative space,” said Title Nine Pitchfest organizer Lisa Gilliland. “After three years of Pitchfest Outdoor Edition, we have listened, learned, and adapted to the needs of women in the industry, which are dynamic and distinct. Our goal for all the participants goes beyond winning; pitchfest is designed for women to feel empowered and encouraged to keep risking, leading, and owning in every facet of their lives, including business.”
The nine brands selected as finalists for the 2021 Title Nine Pitchfest Outdoor Edition are as follows:
Jen Loofbourrow, Alpine Fit – An Alaskan adventurer and avid-backpacker, Jen Loofbourrow was consistently finding that she had to pack too many items for her treks when this could be easily remedied with less, more versatile gear. Hence, Alpine Fit was born — quick-to-dry, versatile styles that suit a busy outdoor-loving life — 100% designed, made and wear-tested in Alaska.
Sarah Clark, B+Me NYC – After giving birth to Booker, her third child, Sarah Clark found herself leveraging makeshift solutions to simply get outside in the streets of NYC consisting of her husband’s giant puffer coat wrapped around her and her newborn. While she never imagined starting her own business, she started B&Me with her flagship multi-functional coat and vest determined to get moms outdoors while feeling themselves and adapting to their changing bodies.
Kelly Sue Enfield, Citizen Burro – After over a decade of teaching and guiding others through the outdoors, Kelly Sue Enfield was inspired by other women-led initiatives and founded Citizen Burro, a company that creates colorful Merino wool products that spark joy and contributes 25% of its profits to carbon farming initiatives. All her products are made in the USA, more specifically, in sunny New Mexico by grown-ups who are paid living wages.
Onika Shabazz, Heat Athletic – A veteran runner for 25 years, Onika Shabazz was tired of being seen by brands for her size first, and her athleticism second. With no design experience but a ton of vision, she used her background as a social worker to develop mission-driven Heat Athletic — a company that creates a safe space, open dialogue and killer clothes for women sizes 12+ who love their body and embrace who they are, with no apologies.
Lynne Fletcher O’Brien, Line in the Sand – A cancer survivor, research advocate, ocean lover and water-sports enthusiast, Lynne Fletcher O’Brien couldn’t find swimwear that she thought looked flattering and emotionally allowed her to feel her best in the water. She channeled her passions into developing Line in the Sand, a collection of swimwear and accessories that allows women like her to feel their best being active in the water. Plus, she donates 100% of profits to protect the oceans and support the advancement of cancer research.
Stephanie Perez, Perspective Fitwear – Stephanie Perez, a college athlete and Ironman finisher, found that activewear with the highest quality and latest fabric technology was poorly designed and not well suited for most female silhouettes. Conversely, she found fashion-forward athletic wear designed specifically for women was often cut from lower quality fabrics. Thus, she refused to compromise when she founded Perspective Fitwear; designs with the woman’s body in mind and cut from the highest quality performance fabrics.
Zoe Turner, Possum Gear Strap – Encouraged by her love of camping, hiking and keeping her gear nice and dry, high school entrepreneur Zoe Turner developed Possum Gear Strap. Lightweight and easy to pack, the Possum Gear Strap keeps up to 200 pounds of gear up and away from the ground, but within reach, making this a must-have in damp conditions or riverside treks.
Virginia Peterson, Swoop – An emergency department nurse by day, and a lingerie designer by night, Virginia Peterson found inspiration for Swoop from her life in Alaska hiking mountain tops, skiing powder lines, and fishing vast rivers. At Swoop, she develops bras and underwear with unique, colorful, print designs (from salmon to peonies) that will surely make you smile. You can wear them as you sip on the bitters they also bottle up with a bit of “Alaska Love” in every sip.
Brittany Coleman, Tough Cutie – After years of working in the basic apparel industry for some of the most iconic brands, Brittany Coleman decided to take the plunge and build her own. She started Tough Cutie as a way to both literally and figuratively support working women in their walk through life. Her featured products include premium performance socks made in the USA thoughtfully designed for women on their outdoor hikes and adventures.
The nine finalists will have a chance to pitch their brands on September 24, 2021, to the team at Title Nine headquarters in Emeryville, CA. The winners will receive mentorship from Title Nine founder Missy Park and other female business leaders, as well as a purchase order from Title Nine; their products will be featured and sold on titlenine.com and through Title Nine’s social media outlets.
Please visit the Title Nine Pitchfest Outdoor Edition website for more information. www.titlenine.com/pitchfest.
Media Contact: Anna Avery, firstname.lastname@example.org
About Title Nine:
Title Nine was founded in 1989 as a women’s outdoor performance wear company whose goal is to outfit and inspire women to take risks, lead in their communities, and seek their own adventures. Today, the woman-owned company employs over 300 people and has 19 stores in 10 states, and online at titlenine.com. Selling a range of top brands curated for active women who are on-the-go, the brand has increasingly devoted much of its collections to its own brand creations ranging from swimwear to performance dresses. The company advocates forcefully for women’s issues, including creating Movers and Makers Pitchfest, the yearly event that partners with small, women-owned brands to find a voice — and a sales platform.