We visited a lot of specialty running stores before opening. We mean a LOT. We tried to find what they did well, and where we could improve. We talked to the owners about their products and approaches, and asked them for advice on how to integrate our love of running with our desire for social responsibility and community support. It was while we were on one such visit we stumbled upon Oiselle (pronounced way-zell), and are we ever glad we did.
Our first impression of Oiselle was tactile: we saw a good-looking, long sleeve shirt on display in one of the stores, and walked over to feel it. Bliss. The Oiselle Lux Layer is, quite simply, the softest, most appealing fabric we have ever felt. The fact it looks great and has the technical ability to wick moisture away from our bodies while running is completely secondary. Wearing a Lux Layer shirt is like wrapping oneself in a thin layer of clouds, and we figured if there was a company that could make a shirt that felt that good, they deserved our attention across the board. Then we heard the rest of their story, and we were sold.
Oiselle is a woman-owned company based just outside of Seattle, Washington. Women pick the fabrics. Women design the clothes. Women test the clothes, and - in the end - they only make clothes for women (trust us, the boys have tried them on, and its not flattering). They know how clothes should feel, how they should be cut, and how to combine colors and textures in such a way it flatters the wearer. Additionally, they are an extremely socially conscious company, and support their athletes like no other. Think about this: when Nike found out Lauren Fleshman was pregnant, they completed the process of dropping her from their team. When Oiselle heard the same news, they signed her to a multi-year sponsorship, supported her behind the scenes and in the press throughout her pregnancy, and continue to feature her exploits to this day. That's a big difference, and one we can all get behind.
So what does this all mean for the Ultra Running Company and our community? It means we are the only full-line Oiselle retailer in town (OK, you two - settle down. Just because you carry a t-shirt from time to time does not mean you provide your customers access to the Oiselle line...), and we love having their products in the store. Come on down - try on their shirts, shorts, bras and outerwear, and tell us whet you think. We know you'll love them as much as we do.