Emeryville, Calif. (Sept. 1, 2020) - 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 third annual Movers and Makers Pitchfest. 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 Pitchfest in the hopes of becoming a Title Nine Mover and Maker and have their products sold on the Title Nine site.
Title Nine started Pitchfest 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. In light of the current social climate, and the exceptional struggles business owners are facing in a global pandemic, this year’s Pitchfest is particularly significant as the initiative serves to support women-led brands in taking the next steps in promoting and growing their businesses.
“We are thrilled to invite another selection of women-owned companies into our inclusive and creative environment where they’ll have a chance to grow as entrepreneurs,” said Title Nine Pitchfest organizer Molly Hanks. “In a year with unique retail struggles, we want to help women break into the marketplace by providing a tight-knit network, a supportive learning space, and an opportunity to springboard their brands by offering a real partnership with Title Nine. Our Pitchfest is thoughtfully designed to encourage women to keep risking, leading, and owning.”
The Nine brands selected as finalists for the 2020 Title Nine Movers and Makers Pitchfest are as follows:
Raquel Vélez, Alpine Parrot - As a plus-sized woman of color, a lack of visible representation in the outdoor industry was the spark that pushed Raquel Vélez to take action. Built with rugged performance fabrics and fits designed explicitly for sizes 14-24, Alpine Parrot is pushing the outdoor industry to reconsider the definition of who takes up space in nature.
Elise Holmes, Vela Apparel - Daily sketches made during travel journeys took on a new light when Elise Holmes’ friends and social media followers celebrated their resonance. The community’s need to “express a love for the natural world through art” drove her to make her designs portable. Vela Apparel puts original art on wearable and usable goods for dreamers, adventurers, and artists to wear their expression of joy as they explore the world for themselves.
Erika Togashi, SEPTEMBER - Passionate surfer Erika Togashi quickly noticed timeless, elegant, sustainable surf and swimwear was missing from the outdoor and apparel industries. SEPTEMBER delivers. Independent and self-funded, with a focus on modern simplicity, form, and function, the streamlined silhouettes always put performance first.
Jessica Boynton, Hakuna Wear - All of Hakuna Wear’s sustainable plant-based fabric swim and athletic offerings work hard for water women–like their Bikini Lock option on tops and bottoms for fuss-free adjustability. It’s not only pockets and stay-put UPF silhouettes they offer: they give back to the community through meet-ups and support non-profits as proof of their love for the planet and life on it.
Autumn Blum, Stream2Sea - Inspired after a dive trip, a chemist, environmentalist, and explorer came together to create a genuinely eco-conscious mineral sunscreen. Stream2Sea is the only one tested and proven safe for fishes and coral larvae, made with natural ingredients that do not harm or bleach coral. Stream2Sea also supports ocean conservation.
Kristina Powell, Koala Clip - Named for the marsupial who carries its young on its back, Koala Clip is the first and only phone pocket of its kind. The bounce-free magnet clip design of the sweat-and weather-resistant washable zip pocket makes toting our phones, EpiPens, keys, or whatever essentials we may need, a snap.
Alixandra Barron, ABD Culture - Touting weightless, waterproof, up-cycled jewelry for “eco-nistas,” ABD Culture delicate jewelry designs made from discarded bicycle inner tubes are lightweight, playful and fit for adventure. Hand-drawn and laser cut in Vermont, every eco-conscious piece lets us feel good about our style.
Kokeb Kassa, Teffley - Moving to the US from Ethiopia, many things changed for Kokeb Kassa and her family, but a love for the food did not. They missed the snacks they grew up eating, made with ancient super grains like teff, barley, sorghum–the same super grains that have fueled world-famous runners for decades. Armed with a BS from Cornell and an MBA from Georgetown, Teffley began, driven by the mission to innovate healthy eating using ancient Ethiopian super grains.
Kim Hopkins and Lisa Carponelli, Velorosa Cycling - Unable to find cycling wear that matched their own bright, bold, beautiful take on the sport, Kim Hopkins and Lisa Carponelli set out to create their own, and Velorosa Cycling was born. They build every design upon the belief that women should do anything BUT blend in. When riding and out in the world, made to pop and get the rider noticed, their mix-and-match options deliver comfort while making us feel confident.
The nine finalists will have a chance to pitch their brands on September 25 virtually, 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 Movers and Makers Pitchfest 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.