An LGBT-owned business that specializes in producing clothing for ‘tomboys’ and women who want a wider choice in non-gender stereotypical apparel has scooped a national award and $10,000 in funding.
Seattle-based wives and business partners Fran Dunaway and Naomi Gonzalez launched TomboyX in 2013 following a successful Kickstarter campaign. The company produces underwear, clothing and accessories, including plenty of TomboyX-branded hoodies, caps and boxer shorts.
‘Naomi and I formed this company because, as tomboys, we were frustrated having to choose between feminine women’s clothing and ill-fitting, unfashionable men’s clothing, Dunaway recently explained to KomoNews.
‘We realized that we couldn’t find any well-made, stylish, menswear inspired clothing – let alone undergarments – that were made for and fit women.’
‘We want to celebrate the tomboy spirit in all women and we want to do that by empowering them and honoring what it means to be comfortable in your own skin – from the inside out.’
At this month’s National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s (NGLCC) International Business and Leadership Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, founders Fran and Naomi took part in the NGLCC’s Biz Pitch Competition; a shark tank-like contest in which they had to persuade a panel of judges that they were the most deserving of a funding boost.
The Biz Pitch judges were: NGLCC co-founder and CEO Chance Mitchell; CNN’s Richard Quest; and globally renowned venture capital and business advisor Shereen Shermak.
‘We thank NGLCC for giving us this boost that will really accelerate our growth plans, as well as supporting our up-coming road tour,’ said Fran Dunaway, CEO and founder, in a statement afterwards.
‘Even before we won, we felt like winners because of the new business contacts we met at the NGLCC conference. The majority of our investors are women, and we are a woman and lesbian owned and operated business. NGLCC is exactly what our underwear is for our customers – a perfect fit.’
Today, speaking to Gay Star Business, Dunaway admitted that she and Gonzalez had been jittery before delivering their pitch.
‘It’s always a little nerve wracking to get in front of a large group of people. I was glad to be in front of ‘my people’ so that I could take some liberties with underwear humor.
‘I was grateful to be wearing TomboyX boxer briefs, they always instill confidence!’