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My Girl Biz Crush, Title Nine

August 4, 2021

Girls Get Shit Done is a new article series I am launching where I highlight women owned and run businesses, organizations, and platforms that inspire me and, hopefully, you too. These ladies are hustling, kicking ass, #SupportingSisterhood, and utilizing Hella-good design to do so. For all of my small business owners, coaches, leaders, activists, and content creators out there working hard and getting shit done, these articles are written for you!

So, without further ado, let me introduce the first woman owned and operated company in my Girls Get Shit Done Series and my personal girl biz crush: Title Nine.

an introduction

If you don’t already know who they are, Title Nine is a business that sells clothing and gear for active women, while finding ways to constantly support and raise up the ladies in their community. Being an outdoorsy and active lady myself, it was easy to fall in love with a brand that sells awesome products for women who run around, climb, stay active, and know how to get dirty, but still want to look good doing it. I became a fan of Title Nine after flipping through one of their catalogs. Obviously, I was all about the clothes and gear, but what really got my attention were the “models” and the short blurbs included about them. The badass woman pictured mountain biking through the snow is Whitney, a beauty school dropout who works as an EMT/Mountain Rescuer. The one on the other page, skateboarding in a dress, is Kat and she’s an outdoor gear guru who did the 250-mile Coconino Loop in Arizona. The “models” are real women: “They’re ordinary women doing extraordinary things. They are the carpool organizer, the woman leading the meeting, and the one making her case. They’re athletes and moms, with careers and causes.” How do you not love a company that uses normal women in their brand and headers like “Show a little leg, kick a little ass” for their shorts collection?

“We are a woman-run and owned, Northern California sports and outdoor apparel company committed to the idea of women owning, risking and leading.”

#SupportSisterhood in Business

My favorite thing about this company though is that they are the epitome of #SupportSisterhood when it comes to business. For starters, they get involved in their community of active ladies by offering grants and programs to help girls in underserved communities. For example, their program Bra Brigade supplies these girls who may not have access to the sports bras they need with quality ones so they can go all out in their sports and athletic endeavors.

Another really cool aspect of Title Nine is their Movers and Makers collections and Pitchfests Events. Instead of just basking in their success and working exclusively with big well-known brands to make more money, they use these collections and events to raise up other women-owned businesses in their field so that they too can succeed. At Pitchfest female entrepreneurs come together for mentorship, community, and to complete for a place in Title Nine’s Movers and Makers, where they gain support from and brand visibility with the company. Cool, yeah?

Now, what caught my attention recently and inspired me to write this article was their new #KickIn campaign that supports the US Women’s National Team Players Association (USWNTPA) as they fight for equal pay. On top of that, Title Nine contributed $1,000,000 directly to the USWNTPA to help close the pay gap for these female athletes over the course of the summer. Talk about putting your money where your mouth is!

Awesome design to support an awesome brand

Title Nine has a high quality visual brand that not only allows them to successfully sell products, but also speaks clearly to their audience and elevates their brand story. It’s professional and clean without being overly corporate. Their website is super easy to navigate, read, and digest so you’re not ditching it out of confusion or frustration. There’s nothing fancy or over the top about Title Nine’s brand design: no ultra-technical web graphics and layouts, no crazy fonts or complex color schemes, no fuss. Instead, it’s precise, consistent, light, and human centered—it is designed to connect with down to earth, active women who are more interest in quality than fluff and decorations. It’s grounded in high quality images their audience can relate to and clean type that makes their content easy to consume.

What can the rest of us girls getting shit done learn from Title Nine?

Businesses sell products, yes. But the best businesses, the ones we want to engage with and feel good about giving our money to, go beyond selling a product (or service) and get involved in the communities they and their audiences belong to. They aren’t just pasting their mission statement and values on their website to depict a brand image, but are acting on them and actually building a brand.

Successful brand design is centered around it’s audience. Designs that appeal to an audiences’ aesthetic, needs, and style will do far better than those that focus on trends, personal tastes, and the latest technologies. Instead of designing something super modern and chic, Title Nine knew the women in their community would respond better to designs that were clean, easy to read, and highlighted images they could relate to.

Our audiences are made up of real people, not ideas or profiles of people. The brand experience that we build for them needs to be conceptualized and designed based on their real experiences. Take Title Nine’s Bra Brigade as an example: instead of just sending money to schools to “support girl’s sports and athletes” they took a serious look at their experiences with female sports and recognized that there are barriers keeping underprivileged girls from fully participating, a barrier they could break down.

Last but not least, there are lots of creative and impactful ways to #SupportSisterhood, even in business, and everyone benefits when we lift each other up and root for the successes of other women.