Interview with Sally Bergesen from Oiselle running apparel

Interview by Laura Romeo, fan of the Lori running short

As you know, I am a big fan of Oiselle running apparel. Before joining Poppy Sports as a blogger, I never knew they existed. It’s a shame, really, because I missed out on great products for a long time. I had the privilege to ask Oiselle founder, Sally Bergesen, a few questions about her products, her inspiration, and why she does what she does. Here’s what she had to say.

Sally Bergesen, founder of Oiselle running apparel

Q: What inspired you start Oiselle?
A: There was a clear lack of innovation and style in women’s athletic apparel. It was the ultimate combination of my two great passions: design and running. Since I did them both separately for years, I decided this was the opportunity to bring them together.

Q: How did you decide on which fabrics to use?
A: Finding the right fabric and the right manufacturer that could create something beautiful and affordable was the toughest nut to crack. I choose them based on how well they will perform and the “seduction factor.” When you touch it, does it draw you in and make you want to wear it?

Q: What inspires you on colors?
A: I believe that bright, strong, athletic colors are very important to women. And hey, here in gray Seattle, they’re needed for survival! This means stepping out of the navy blue, red, pink rut that a lot of athletic apparel brands are in. I like pink and feminine colors, but I always want it to be feminine-strong, not feminine-passive. Athletes that embody strong-feminine include Hope Solo, Shalane Flanagan, Lauren Fleshman, and all the women on our Ambassador Team

Q: I noticed in my own testing that the Lori running shorts didn’t ride up. How did you manage to solve this incessant problem?
A: The slightly lower rise is one. They sit comfortably at the hips. A lightweight fabric is also key so it doesn’t bunch and creep.

Q: Where do you hope Oiselle will be in the next few years?
A: I hope it will continue to win over the hearts and minds of fit, fast, strong women around the world! I know that if we deliver product that these women love, the sky’s the limit.

Q: And from one runner to another, why do you run?
A: In the beginning, I ran to get healthy in both body and mind. I was a bit of a lost soul in college and once I found running, it became the foundation for a better, brighter, happier life. After that, it became a competitive outlet. I discovered I actually had some speed, so I spent about 12 years enjoying fast times on the roads, cross country, and track, and being on a team, both with Club Northwest and then our own Oiselle Running Club.

For the past five or six years, it’s been a mix. I ran my fastest marathon (2:59) and half marathon (1:22:30) in the latter half of my 30’s, so I’ve experienced the longevity of competition! Lately, with launching Oiselle, running has simply become my outlet for stress and my keeper of sanity. And of course, my time to be with girlfriends where we can share stories and laughs and celebrate life’s many ups and downs. My big hope for running now is that I can help inspire others to find this great sport, and to make it a meaningful part of their lives. I want to help women move away from a culture of dieting and weight loss and toward one of ongoing health and fitness, where it’s the journey AND the destination.
And so, Poppy Sports readers, there you have it. Purchased your first pair of Oiselle shorts yet?