More and more often these days, we see women riding out at our local motocross tracks, and as far as we’re concerned that is a great sight indeed. The growth of women’s motocross is evidenced in the increasing popularity of WMA races, and the emergence of companies like Girlyz Clothing Co. Girlyz is solely focused on producing motocross-related gear and clothing for women riders.
To learn more about where women’s motocross is headed, and Girlyz in particular, we talked to their marketing director, Breanne Schmidt.
Tell us about Girlyz.
Girlyz was started by a woman rider named Jeannie King; she had lots of problems with guys gear never fitting right, so she decided she would take matters into her own hands and she created her own clothing line. She rode out in the dunes a lot and actually had a lot of women compliment the riding gear, so she decided it was something she should pursue and started making clothing for other women.
What is your role with the company?
I was hired to help Jeannie get the company off the ground and do some marketing to let the public know about what we offer, and that there’s something out there for women.
So she actually made the clothing herself?
Yeah, originally she designed the pants, jerseys, and casual wear. She designed everything in house and had sewers that she hired to construct everything.
That’s pretty cool. Seems like it would be a big endeavor to jump into the competitive motocross gear market. I suppose at the time, and still today though, Girlyz is in a niche market making gear exclusively for women?
We’re definitely a very niche company. Women riders don’t make up a large percentage of the market out there, but we’re finding that this market is growing tremendously. Every year we see a lot more women on the racetrack and out doing recreational riding. The market is definitely growing.
Just looking around the track it seems like more and more you see women out there riding.
Originally we were known for our over-the-boot recreational gear, but right now we are actually launching our 2007 race gear, which is brand new to the company. We spent a lot of time in research and development to manufacture the highest quality women’s gear that will be competitive with the best men’s gear you’ll find.
We spent a lot of time doing market research and finding out what women riders want, what they want to see in terms of quality and how they want it to fit; the style, the look and the colors. We feel confident we have developed race gear that will please any woman. It’s constructed to fit a woman’s curves, and the race pants fit a little lower on the waist. Just like you’d see in any high-quality men’s gear, we have stretch knees to accommodate knee braces, and leather to protect from the heat of the pipe. From our research, we’re actually the first company to take women’s gear to the next step and offer the same thing the men have.
What is the name of the new race gear line?
It’s called Vision. It’s our vision for the future.
When will customers be able to find it?
Do you guys distribute through the usual channels? Can women go to their local shop to find Girlyz gear, or do they need to go online?
You can order directly from Girlyz, or we have a dealer locator on our website, www.girlyz.com, so you can see what local shops carry our stuff.
You guys sponsor some big name female riders, like Sarah Whitmore. How long have you been doing that?
We just started sponsoring women riders in 2006, and it’s really helped us tremendously. We really feel it’s important to support the girls that are out there, especially with the WMA. In ’07 we have a lot of really big plans cooming up. I can’t give a lot of details yet, but I can tell you that we will have at least one top-tier rider riding for us.
How involved are you guys with the WMA?
Actually, we’re really involved. We believe Miki [BRACKET “Keller, president of the WMA”] has done a lot for women’s motocross and supporting her and what she’s doing is best for our company as well. We recently joined forces with Sick racing, and Shasta has brought a lot to the table with all her experience. We have a lot of really good plans for 2007 with the WMA. We’re going to be a strong supporter, and you’ll see us at every event.
Can you tell us more about the merger with Sick racing?
We really believe that both companies shared similar goals and values. We felt that joining forces would only help us. Shasta will still be here, and her role will still be the same in the motocross community. Doing this we realized that we wouldn’t have to be competing against each other, we could focus on not only growing our own business, but also growing the sport for women.
Everything going forward will be under the Girlyz name?
It sounds like the future of women’s motocross is looking very promising. Thanks a lot, Breanne, for taking some time with us.