September 25 2022
We spent two magical days at Title Nine's headquarters for their annual Pitchfest in September 2022. We met amazing women entrepreneurs, played games, learned from their teams of experts and pitched Lume Six sports bras for a chance to be selected to be featured at Title Nine in the future...and we won! Alongside two other companies, we have been selected as one of the winners of Title Nine Pitchfest 2022 and look forward to being available at Title Nine in the future.
"Our mission is to support women to lead, risk, and own." -Title Nine
Title Nine Pitchfest 2022 Day 1 Morning - Games & Exploring
We started the day by meeting at the Title Nine headquarters for coffee and breakfast - the most delicious cold brew and bagel sandwiches :) We briefly met the team at Title Nine for quick hello's before kicking the day off with a game! Missy Park, founder of Title Nine, told us the rules of the game...which she may have made up on the spot and didn't seem 100% clear :) We all played and found the way to the end in our own way...which Missy assured us was similar to our journey as entrepreneurs...sometimes you don't know the rules, sometimes you wish you could know a little bit more, but at some point you just need to GO! This was definitely something all of the Title Nine Pitchfest entrepreneurs, including myself, could relate to.
After the game, we toured the Title Nine headquarters. It's truly a magical place. The front of the building has been converted from parking to a play & meeting space. There is a court that can switch from basketball to pickle ball to made up games with buckets and everything in between. Inside the building are big meeting areas with garage door-style windows that roll up to let in the fresh air. Walking past some work areas and desks, another workout area is inside the building. Title Nine has a complimentary daily workout class for all its employees and guests. Past the workout area, we toured different departments like creative, retail planning, and the photo studio. There are separate loft areas with IT, Executive teams, etc. The most wonderful moment I saw was lunchtime when many of the employees took part in the workout, and others were gathered at a big desk enjoying the weather and all chatting and laughing together. It's the type of place you want to spend more time and get to know all the people...
Title Nine Pitchfest Day 1 Afternoon - Learning and Fun!
In the afternoon we had learning sessions with different teams at Title Nine. First, we sat down with three of their Marketing team members: the marketing director, the growth marketing manager, and the email marketing manager. They had interesting insights to help guide our marketing decisions and how to spend our time and money as small brands and entrepreneurs. After that, we sat down with President Johnny Lin and two of the inventory planners. We discussed how to manage inventory and key metrics to pay attention to.
After some delicious lunch, we headed to the Berkeley Hills for orienteering! We split into teams of three and were each given a map with the location marked of check-in points where we collect points by using the unique stamp to mark our paper and answer trivia questions. I was paired with Karen Fultz-Robinson from Observame, a fellow finalist and Alix Barron from ABD Culture, a finalist from 2020. It was such a fun way to get outside and get to know each other! Our team did great and got 2nd place! After orienteering, we went out to dinner in Berkeley and met even more amazing people. We also had a chance to check out the Berkeley Title Nine store! (Thanks Patty!)
Title Nine Pitchfest Day 2: The Big Day! Pitching!
Day 2, we headed to the headquarters to set up our displays and drop everything off. We also had delicious breakfast and coffee from local brands. Before long, pitches began! Everyone did so incredibly well. I went last and was worried about getting nervous but it was an absolute pleasure watching all the entrepreneurs talk about the brands they care about so much and hearing them answer questions from the judges. I was so excited to share my passion for Lume Six and the story behind our products with everyone at the event. The only thing that made me nervous was the time limit and wanting to be sure I shared everything I cared about!
We had a break afterward with lunch (of course a workout was also happening, but I was busy cleaning up the Lume Six display so I didn't have a chance to join). After lunch, a few previous winners (Sarah Clarke from B&Me, and Jamie Hirano from Alpine Fit) spoke about how things have evolved after winning Title Nine's Pitchfest in past years. Then, Missy Park (founder of Title Nine) sat down with Becky Worley (Good Morning America) to discuss entrepreneurship, leadership, and life. It was truly insightful and I appreciate her perspective...it seems very aligned with my own and it's nice to hear someone who has had success in following that path.
Finally! It was time for the results! I was so thrilled about the experience I truly felt that I had already won by being invited there. As I sat waiting for the results, I kept telling myself it would be fine if they didn't pick Lume Six, that we might still work together down the road. First, they named Susan Clayton from Whitepaws Run Mitts (click on the link to say goodbye to cold hands!), then Carina Hamel from Bivo (click on the link to say goodbye to gross plastic water bottles!). When they called my name "Margaux Elliott from Lume Six" a wave of emotion (a mixture of excitement, relief and pure joy) washed over me and I finally let myself feel how important and meaningful it was. This was a dream come true. To have experts at Title Nine recognize the hard work we have put in to create the next generation of sports bras is absolutely incredible.
We are so excited to be officially welcomed into the Title Nine family as a Mover & Maker. We will be working closely with their team as we work toward launching the product there next year!
Special thanks to all the incredible women that we had the joy of speaking to over the course of the two days...Erika Togashi from September (check out her beautiful swimwear), Corinne Prevot from Skida (check out her rad accessories with awesome prints), Cassie Abel from Wild Rye (really cool women's MTB apparel), Onika Shabazz from Heat Athletic (apparel to love your body in motion), Sally Bergesen from Oiselle (incredible run-ready apparel), Kim Hopkins & Lisa Carponelli from Velorosa (beautiful women's road cycling apparel).
And massive love, thanks and respect to my fellow Title Nine Pitchfest Finalists!
- Chandler and Lauren from Avyn (anti-frump nursing bras)
- Carina Hamel from Bivo (replace your plastic water bottles with these!)
- Taylor-Ann Smith from Ride Force (size inclusive mountain bike apparel)
- Susan Clayton from WhitePaws RunMitts (keep your paws warm with mitts that adapt)
- Jeein Shin from Comfortable Adventures (beautiful apparel for climbing)
- Karissa and Kailey from Iksplor (merino layers for littles and moms)
- Julia Leach from Toddy Cafe (the queen of cold brew on the go!)
- Karen Fultz-Robinson from ObservaMé (smart athletic apparel made in Tampe!)