She Is Fierce! is delighted to share this piece from ‘Throw Like a Girl’ founder Vicki Martin. Throwlikeagirl.com is a website offering clothes that build girls’ confidence and make a statement…
Grandpas didn’t understand… Boys giggled & the girls stood up a little bit taller that day.
Why are people so uncomfortable when others dabble with change? A very long rooted stereotype is being challenged and some are just plain uncomfortable. It’s been interesting.
After a year of planning, domain secured and trademark registered we were ready to sell at our first tournament. Not online yet, we rushed through an order of tees. We set up tables, carried over bins, a canopy, cash box and a sign. After everything was in its place, we started to hang a big sign that said Throw Like a Girl – our company name. Carefully selected, we knew that ‘you throw like a girl’ was the ultimate insult to boys and men, although in reality it was insulting to girls. We considered Kick Like a Girl, Play Like a Girl, Hit Like a Girl and many other ‘LIKE A GIRLs’ for our company name, but it had to be THROW.
We wondered if girls in ‘non-throwing’ sports would wear our branded tees and accessories. We wanted to give the serious athlete a serious shirt to wear proudly to practice, school and at home. We agonized what they would say, the colors, the quality and the exact style of shirt to match the correct graphic and sport. We have since been asked to make football, run, swim, equestrian, baseball, dance, cheer, gymnastics, hunting, archery and karate tees. It was clear that people understood this was more than about the physical act of throwing.
We are at the tipping point of this attitude changing. It is not about girls vs. boys, it is about playing nice in the sandbox and showing a little respect while in there. We new this was an important decision and went for it. The sign was hung and then we watched.
Women cheered “I wish your clothing was available when I was young,” “Finally something cute for the girls and the sports they love” and “IT IS ABOUT TIME!” Dads were and are so proud of their athletic daughters and came to visit and buy from us! The sweet grandpas seemingly didn’t understand why we would use an insulting phrase for our company name and young boys just pointed and giggled. It is going to be an education, we thought to ourselves, but we were thoroughly elated from all the positive feedback! And it seemed to us that the girls stood up a little bit taller that day. We threw like girls that day and were we proud. Since then, there has been less pointing and giggling from the boys and the grandpas are in line to check out our tees. Progress!
I realized at the end of the day that the reaction to our sign was indeed a ‘sign’ that we did select the right company name. We know we have the right idea at the right time and our mission is clearer than ever!
Check it out for yourself at www.throwlikeagirl.com!
Vicki Martin is the Founder and President of www.throwlikeagirl.com. Vicki has a Master in Architecture and a MBA in Strategic Management & MIS. She has a background in architecture and design, MIS and Strategic Planning. She recently served as a PTA President for 4 years and a Girl Scout Leader for 6. She founded Throw Like a Girl in June 2013 and the site launched in September, 2014.
You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.