Why do we love Nell? Let us count the ways. To her, everyone is an athlete. Even when your only “sport” is running to catch the bus, that’s not what she sees. She sees potential and strength you never knew was buried inside you.
But when you’re seen as an athlete, you’re treated like one. As a coach, Nell is the voice in your ear (literally) urging you to reach deep and fight. We at Team Athletish have finished many a workout strong thanks to her contagious energy. If Nell believes you can do it, suddenly you can.
She herself is a PAC-10 All-Conference Rower, Silverskiff Medalist, Head of the Charles Medalist, Ironman competitor, CRASH-B Qualifier, CrossFit Regional Games Qualifier and most recently, a Boston Marathon finisher. But her accomplishments are not individual successes— for over 5 years Nell owned a boutique gym in Chicago where daily she encouraged athletes to use physical activity as a source of self-esteem.
Today, Nell is busy helping athletes gain that confidence through her activewear line, FOMO, designed for muscular bodies and individual athlete needs. We caught up with Nell to ask her about entrepreneurship, exercise, and her Boston Marathon run.
What inspired you to start FOMO? I love to help build people’s self confidence and I saw a need in the market for better-fitting, better-performing athletic wear for real athletes. I wanted to design a brand that would fit well, perform at people’s expectations and make athletes look good too, all leading to feeling good about themselves. The goal for FOMO eventually is to provide custom fit items, so members of the community will enter their measurements into a system and get a garment fitted exactly for them as an individual.
Tell us the meaning behind the name. FOMO stands for Fear of Missing Out. We don’t want anyone to miss out on performance because of poor-fitting active wear, or miss out on being part of this awesome community. Everyone has FOMO for something, but we want people to #LiveFearless. Our clothes embody confidence.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned about running your own fitness apparel line? How expensive it is to start, but also how interesting the process of manufacturing clothing is, in this country.
Best tip for women looking to start their own business? Learn everything you can about branding and marketing before you start. The production of the item is just the first step and is the “easy part.” Once you have a product, figuring out how to sell it is the hard part.
What has been your favorite athletic achievement? I just completed the Boston Marathon and it might have been my most favorite, because it was incredibly challenging (the course, the weather) and emotional (a long time goal and then after the bombings two years ago). Running has always been an outlet for me and though my first love is rowing, there was so much crowd support in Boston, that it felt like I was running with the whole town—it was amazing.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Don’t worry about the clients you don’t have, focus on the ones you do.
Where can we catch FOMO next? This weekend at GLOC 🙂
We’re looking forward to seeing what this #Fearless lady does next. We heart you, Nell!