Being a mother and an Olympian is a herculean task that most people cannot handle. Thankfully, Allyson Felix is not most people.
She is one of the fastest and most consistent athletes in the world, a doting mother, and an entrepreneur to boot.
She has brought home the gold on six occasions, making her the United States’ most decorated track and field athlete ever.
Not everyone has supported her, though. Nike was once her sponsor, but when she got pregnant, it allegedly cut her pay.
Felix revealed that she had to train at 4:30 am when she was over 5 months pregnant just so she could hide her pregnancy from the sponsor.
After realizing they had created a backward, discriminatory mess, Nike eventually changed their maternity policy for women athletes.
But Felix was done with them. Instead of relying on a misogynistic sponsor, she chose to create her own brand.
Just before competing in the Olympics, she formed Saysh, a lifestyle sneaker for and by women.
In addition, she also created a community-centered lifestyle brand that makes items for and by women.
When it comes to the sneakers, though, Felix’s goal was to produce an elegant, athletic-inspired and comfortable product that came in feminine shapes.
She did this because, in footwear, most brands typically build their shoes for men, then size them down and recolor them to a feminine color for women.
Her solution was to create sneakers that are built for women from the ground up, to perfectly fit their proportions and needs.
The brand kicks off with the Saysh One sneaker, retailing for $150.
Visually, it got its inspiration from the lines of a wrap dress, with a flowing design and cute feminine shapes. It has flattering curved lines and a sleek, low-top silhouette.
The brand’s first campaign, “I Know My Place”, features Felix and models in a serene beach setting, donning the sneakers.
Her message to potential customers is to fight for what they believe in and to live in greatness.
Despite the discrimination she faced from Nike, she did not give up. She still went on to launch her own brand.
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To Felix, Saysh represents acceptance, hope, and the power to create change.