Guest Blogger: Rsport
It’s pretty darn cool to be featured on the Sweaty Bands Blog (we are big fans!) and we have to start this out by telling our story of how this came to be! Sweaty Bands was among the handful of vendors at the March 31 – April 2, 2017 Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago, IL which is where we, Rsport, decided to have our first event and company launch! We mixed and mingled with various Expo vendors and met Doug, Sweaty Bands' CEO. We shared our story and how this was our first official weekend launching Rsport and he loved it. As we started to walk away and move on to other vendors, he scurried over and said, “We’d love to help share your story, how about we set up a guest blog?” We were thrilled and here we are. So thanks, Doug for not only hearing our story but sharing it!
[caption id="attachment_1467" align="alignleft" width="300"] Rsport Booth at Shamrock Shuffle[/caption]
Rsport: The Start of a New Conversation It all started with a girl and her goal: to someday work in the apparel industry and make waves like nobody has before. CJ Riggins, Rsport’s CEO and Founder, knew from a very young age what she wanted to do and set out early to achieve that goal. After graduating from The Ohio State University in Design and Merchandising, Riggins worked for many well-known companies like Abercrombie & Fitch, adidas-Salomon, and Pearl Izumi in Design, Technical Design, Sourcing, Product Development and Materials and was also an adjunct professor at Colorado State University. Throughout her 25 years of experience in the apparel industry, 16 of those spent specifically in outdoor performance apparel, Riggins noticed a recurring theme: the apparel industry was designing and producing beautiful product for a very narrow segment of the population. If we know that the national average female is a size 16/18, why have we not shifted to include her in our apparel offerings? Well, as some of us might suspect, the answer was: It’s not our market. Not only were those size offerings “not their market” but there was an overall idea that expanding the size offering would somehow taint the company’s brand image. Crazy, right?! Riggins wasn’t on board with that reality and made a bold move. She realized she had to create the change she sought, the inclusion of all athletes. She set off to build the best, most technically performing clothing possible for the underserved Athena athlete by specializing in sizes 10 through 6X for a market that has simply been ignored.
Thus, Rsport was born and we had no idea how truly empowering this work would be until we really got started. From the early feedback from wear testers of Rsport products, to just last week interacting with real Athena athletes at the Indy 500 Festival Mini Marathon in Indianapolis, we know we are creating more than just technical athletic apparel for Athenas. Just like Sweaty Bands, Rsport wanted to create quality products that empower and inspire women to achieve their mission, whatever that may be, and we are on our way to doing just that. We’ve been greeted by hugs and women on the verge of tears saying, “finally I can get something in my size, and it isn’t menswear!” Something we love hearing because lets be real, nobody likes to feel like they are being held back by their clothes. So why Rsport? Well, it’s all centered on our slogan: The Start of a New Conversation. The backwards “R” is derived from the paragraph symbol, which by definition is “the start of a new conversation”. In our case, the conversation is any athlete at any size should be able to sport technical and functional athletic wear so they can focus on achieving their running, cycling, triathlon and other athletic goals. You shouldn’t have to be preoccupied with your clothes, when it’s your mission that counts. Rsport wants to support that endeavor.
Bottom line, we created Rsport for you, and we vow to always listen to your needs on what you would like to get out there and achieve your goals. Our drive and passion to create the best athletic apparel for Athenas is driven by you, your stories of achievement and perseverance. We love hearing each and every one of our customer’s stories and can’t wait to hear about what you’ll do next and what your challenges are. Rsport currently offers six pieces designed to work together: the Multi-Sport Capri (this is no ordinary capri… you've got to check it out!), Long Sleeve Fleece, Long Sleeve Shirt, Short Sleeve Shirt, Multi-Sport Tank and a technical Multi-sport Headband. New product offerings including Tri Kits and a Softshell Jacket that converts into a vest are in the works and out later this year. Visit our website to learn more about Rsport and see which events we will be at next and order online! Start a new conversation with us and let us help you enjoy your activities more!
About the Author
Nikki Morrison is Rsport’s Chief Marketing Officer and real life Athena whose journey of body acceptance can be read on Rsport’s blog. Nikki was thrilled to become part of the three woman team that launched Rsport given her history of frustrations in the athletic wear industry. Favorite activities include weight lifting, swimming, spinning and rocking a sweet pair of Rsport capris.