In The Beginning
Tell us a bit about yourself. Why did you start TomboyX?
Naomi and I were in Boston for a wedding. We were staying with friends, one of whom is very much a tomboy. She went shopping one day to find a shirt to wear to the wedding and came home in tears. The sales clerk had called her sir, the shirts in the men's department were appealing but boxy. I remember thinking how wrong that was and a seed was planted.
I've always had to search for clothing that I feel comfortable in, clothes that express who I am. I've never been comfortable in traditionally feminine clothes and I don't want to dress like a man - I'm more in the middle range - it's all about comfort but with some fun style. And I don't want to wear all knits! As I've gotten older the choices have really narrowed. I no longer fit nicely into clothes made for 20 year olds and I am really annoyed with the lack of choices. I looked around and saw lots of women in the same boat.
My girlfriend Naomi was with me one day as I ranted through store after store, mocking the choices and lamenting the way things fit. She's a sports massage therapist and has a large base of professional women, most of whom have expressed the same frustration. So, being the go getter that she is, Naomi looked at me one day and asked "How hard can it be to start a clothing line?"
And off we went.
How would you describe your personal style?
Ha! I like stripes. And red.
Let's face it, I'm no fashion maven but clothes are an expression of who you are. When you go out into the world what you are wearing says so much about who you are. Put me in foundation and a low cut shirt showing off cleavage and I'm going to become a wallflower, uncomfortable and miserable. Put me in a button down collared shirt that is unique, with fun bits, over a nice fitting pair of jeans and really fabulous boots - I'm confident and engaging because I'm comfortable in my own skin.
That's me - but the idea grew as I started looking around at women who are in my age range. As we get older I think there are very few women who can actually pull off the same look that they rocked as younger women. They still want to look good but comfort and fit are key now.
There isn't a clothing line that is focused solely on that demographic in the same way that we are. So here we are.
Do you have to be a Tomboy to be interested in TomboyX?
I think the notion of what a tomboy is is rather fascinating. Some of us actually grew up in an era when the connotation of being a tomboy had a negative aspect to it. But to me being a tomboy is more about an attitude - playful, daring and independent.
In regard to clothing, some women are tomboys all day every day and others are tomboys on a less frequent basis. But I think there is a little tomboy in all women and celebrating the non-feminine side of ourselves isn't a bad thing at all.
We want to be a clothing company that is all about democratizing fashion and paying attention to a demographic that has been traditionally ignored by the fashion industry. We want to stake a claim in women's fashion by making interesting, cool clothing that fits women well in all the right places. And we want to have a little fun along the way.
Can you tell us about some of the things we will be seeing Tomboy Exchange come out with this year?
Our goal is for our clothing to be unique not only in design, but in the way it fits a woman’s body and in the quality of our goods. Why just make a classic white shirt when you can add some awesome nuggets to the collar or the cuffs? To me, that’s sexy.
Our line will provide clothes for work and for play - in unique styles that set us apart from the rest of the crowd. Our next branded item is the half-zip sweatshirt and we’ll probably do a full zip as well. Nice french ribbed cotton with fun stripes around the sleeves, kind of a vintage look for the fall.
We plan to expand our TomboyX Collection by adding more color options in polos, the Maggie blazer and Sweet Caroline shirts.
And we intend to load up our store with amazing shoes and boots from our favorite designers, we’ve got jewelry, hats and other accessories that you can mix and match with our clothes to create your own style.
What is your vision for the business?
We think we have a great idea and we think there are women out there to support this kind of business. But we need to prove that there is and grow our business according to the need. My intent is to do so thoughtfully and to make smart decisions that are about listening to our customer and responding to market trends as they arise.
What can women do who are interested in being in the loop on all things TomboyX?
Remember that we are a start up and aren't funded by big name brands. This is a small company with a dedicated team who is working hard to get things right. We may stumble along the way but in true tomboy spirit, we're going to get up, dust ourselves off and try again.
Above all, we want to hear from you! And we want you all to become brand ambassadors and tell your friends to get on board as well!