After two kids and six years of “just running,” Sally Bergesen – a former high school runner by default (she took up cross country after getting cut from the volleyball team) and competitive college/post-college runner – was ready to train and race again. But what she thought would be a quick trip to the running store to buy new shorts ended in disappointment. Too poofy, too baggy, too high-waisted, and all wrong in the color department.
Over time – and many a long run – her disappointment became an idea: create a new women’s running apparel brand that made damn good options and cross-pollinate it with the ideas and skills of a select group of partners or teammates, if you will.
After repeatedly asking herself the question that all (smart) entrepreneurs should ask themselves, “Why do this?”, Sally inevitably came up with the same answer each time, “Why not?”. So she put her idea in motion and called it Oiselle.
Pronounced wa-zell, a French word for bird, Oiselle alludes to the powerful sense of freedom that most runners know and love. Helping women get there – and enjoy its emotional and physical benefits – is what the woman owned and all women operated brand is all about.
Their premium apparel options are meticulously designed for women runners by women who are deeply passionate about the sport. Their collection is a head to ankle ensemble of “run in what you love” garments: ones that are refreshingly unique, fashion forward, and more comfortable than running naked (not sure we want to be the ones to test out that claim).
But Oiselle’s commitment to women goes beyond properly outfitting us for runs. Currently, they have 150 women athletes from across the country who make up Oiselle Team. Each of these women represents the brand as they train and race toward their running goals. In building the team, which is reviewed and updated each July, Oiselle seeks teammates who – like them – see running not just as a sport, but as a life philosophy.
Just last week, the brand announced a group of women athletes who they call their Elite Team or Haute Volée, French for “high flyer”. These women are a combo of elites from those who have already been running for Oiselle, to experienced veterans of the sport and a crop of just-graduated collegians who are eager to tell a new chapter as pro runners.
With a love of running shared by many of us at Women You Should Know, we can’t help but be fans of the Oiselle collection. But what we truly admire is the sisterhood of strength that Sally and her team continue to cultivate. By encouraging women to “go fast – take chances”, this brand is inspiring and oh so WYSKy!