Warmer weather (it’s coming, we promise) calls for long runs along the lake, and Chicago startup Chi Chi Sport has the perfect running shorts for you. We talked with the trio of ladies behind Chi Chi Sport to learn what inspired their brand and where to buy their shorts.
What inspired you to start Chi Chi Sport?
Jealousy. Seriously. Lauren and Arleigh, along with just about everyone in Texas, has a pair of shorts celebrating the Lone Star State. Two summers ago, the trio asked the question, “Where are Chicago’s shorts? Where’s the love for the Windy City? Why does Texas get all the glory?” After an exhaustive search for the shorts, the girls decided they were no where to be found. At first the idea was just talk, but somewhere between beach volleyball games, rollerblading on the Lakeshore path, and running the Chicago Marathon, they decided the idea needed to come to fruition and began the task of designing and producing the shorts.
How did the founders of Chi Chi Sport meet?
We all met in the city we love – Chicago! Eileen & Lauren are co-workers and Arleigh & Lauren met through mutual friends when Arleigh moved up to Chicago from Texas. Soon after meeting, the three found out they had much more in common than their zip codes and the rest is history…
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?
Do your research. There is a lot more to a business than you might think. As with any investment, you should reach out to family, friends, and those who have more experience. Get their feedback on your ideas. Talk through you business plan with them from start to finish and it will either confirm that you’re on the right path or highlight some areas you need to sort through before launching your business.
Which female entrepreneurs do you look up to?
Oprah has always been an inspiring female entrepreneur. She embodies passion and determination at their best and she shares our love for the windy city! We also have a very driven, entrepreneurial-minded group of friends which is exciting and encouraging. It’s amazing to have friends who serve as role models as well as a support system.
Where can we purchase your running shorts?
To purchase shorts, you can visit www.chichisport.com or visit us at Dose Market on May 4th. We’re working with retailers & hope to have them in local running stores by summer! If you’re looking to get a hold of them sooner, visit us at our launch party on April 5, 2014, at Stout Barrel House (642 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654) from 2-5pm.
Do you have plans to expand your line in the future?
We have already begun to consider other cities and have gotten requests for cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and the state of Colorado. We are also looking into more apparel options for Chicagoans. Let us know what you’d like to see!