I was a single mother for six years, the only sister with 6 brothers and a woman in a male dominated profession of Mixed Martial Arts I have been through many struggles in my life and I will continue to embrace many more battles to do my part in empowering women around the world.
It all started in February 2006, I had come home from a long night of bartending and waitressing. I had drank too much Monster energy drink and couldn’t sleep…I woke my husband Jake up and had told him about the rough night I had and was very emotional. I went on about where my and our lives were really going at that time. We had just had our son Jase together, he was 4 months old and Justyne our daughter was 7 years old. I started working at a near by bar/restaurant to make extra money. I couldn’t sleep that night because I was too shaky from the energy drink so I asked Jake to stay up for a bit with me, we turned on the T.V. to the Spike TV channel and started watching old re-run UFC fights (the male dominated sport of mixed martial arts)
And it was that night at 3AM that I came to the realization that I really loved this sport. I watched the fighters walk out into the cage and I noticed women in the audience cheering them on. I knew women were training in the gyms, what I didn’t know until later was that there were women who were fighting too. As I watched that idea more closely, that “light bulb” went off in my head. It was that “Ah Ha” moment in my life. I loved this sport, I love watching it, but I don’t want to wear designs on shirts with skulls and blood splatters on it.
I wanted to wear pink clothes cute, sexy, and tough designs to represent the sport as a female. I asked my husband (who is a graphics designer) how come there isn’t anything for women to wear to support the sport? He said I don’t know, no one has ever done that. I said I would wear cute gear if someone made it for girls like me. He then challenged me and said why don’t you start your own clothing line? I said fine I will! That night we stayed up until 5AM coming up with different sayings for shirts, one of them is still being sold on our website www.FightChix.com “I Break Hearts and Faces” it’s been the number one seller from day one. That night or should I say morning I came up with the name FIGHTCHIX the name was everything we wanted the vision to be about.
Shorty after, Jake designed the logo, which we never made any changes too. Once he showed me he had nailed it! I knew after seeing our logo that this was something that was going to be BIG! A week later he designed a website we started a Fight Chix Myspace page and we started marketing it. Hours later we were being asked to sponsor a female fighter (Michelle Waterson) I had no idea even how to do that. We came up with this idea and now how do we make this a real business. With much persistence, extreme hard work and dedication, having that entrepreneurial spirit in me many trials and errors to learn we are still trucking along. As days, weeks, and months went on and the timeless efforts we put into this company becoming what we call our “third” child has turned into the last almost 8 years has been quite a journey.
From all the Ups: Signing a licensing deal with Spencer’s Gifts and being in over 400 retail locations, being nominated for Best Lifestyle Brand in 2010 for the Fighters Only Awards, sponsoring some of the best female athletes in the world including: Miesha Tate, Cat Zingano, Kelly Kobald who fought Gina Carano, Roxanne Modafferi, and many more.
Fight Chix was an idea and a start up business. We had no idea would be so rewarding and so challenging at the same time.
Let’s not forget the downs: Working at night bartending/waitressing to pay bills and cover costs on Fight Chix doing hair clients during the day to make ends meet being the best Mother I can be to our two children and wife to Jake all while doing Fight Chix full time. Jake also worked full time during the day as well, he was a bouncer on weekends for extra money and did Fight Chix designs at night, he was also laid off from his full-time job for quite some time as well during this journey.
We found through this entire process that the name Fight Chix wasn’t just about supporting the sport of mixed martial arts for athletes and women fans, but that we had been touching lives around the world and didn’t even know it. Each individual identifies themselves with our brand and logo in their own way. From Breast Cancer survivors to everyday women that wear our clothing items because it makes them feel empowered and confident, to the athletes or women that want to workout or train in our gear.
We reached out to people asking for testimonials and the response was overwhelming. We had found that women wore our clothing because it helped them overcome their own struggles in life. One woman told a story of how she was in a domestically abusive relationship and wearing our apparel reminded her that she is strong and not to have anyone put her down. Another was a woman in the military in the K-9 unit. She wore our apparel because it helped her feel confident that she could do her job overseas and being the only female in another male dominated atmosphere. The Fight Chix logo with a female silhouette with her fists up defending herself became their own symbol of empowerment. Let’s not forget the men too! We have a lot of male fans as well who support our vision and female athletes. I have learned so much through this whole process and I am very grateful for the people that I have connected with and the experience of it all. Fight Chix has become a lifestyle brand and a voice for girls and women everywhere.
I will leave you with some advice that I hope you will take with you after reading my chapter. It is very important to Believe in your passion, go after your dreams, do what you love and love what you do. Follow that idea and intuition.
Thank you for taking the time to read my chapter and I hope that I have inspired at least one of you to go after your dreams!
Love & Light,