Can sports bras and running shorts change the world? The creators of a new women’s sports apparel line say yes. In fact, their company, FreeGirl, Inc. (www.freegirlusa.com), is banking on it.
FreeGirl’s mission: to promote women’s causes around the world. As the plight of Afghan women was exposed in the weeks following the 9/11 attacks, FreeGirl founders Ron Ryan, Charlie Ramos and Mike Lee were moved to action. “The images we saw on the news were appalling,” said Ryan, Chief Executive Officer of FreeGirl and a respected Palm Beach police officer. “We started talking about what we personally could do to help women around the world become safer and more independent, and FreeGirl was born.”
FreeGirl’s initial product line, available via the Web or by catalog and slated for release in January 2003, includes high-performance women’s clothing and accessories for fitness, running, hiking, golf, tennis, yoga, dance and general leisure. Through its charitable foundation, the company will donate a portion of all sales to women’s athletic groups, scholarships for women, and organizations dedicated to domestic and international women’s issues.
“FreeGirl is initially about sports and fitness, but we won’t stop there,” said Lee, FreeGirl’s Vice President of General Operations. “Our goal is to become the leader in the women’s apparel industry, which will enable us to contribute to the advancement of women on a much larger scale and keep women’s issues at the forefront of public awareness.”
The company is already attracting interest from women who embody the values it stands for. Oksana Kolesnikova, an acclaimed classical pianist set to begin her first international concert tour, immigrated to the U.S. from Russia at the age of 15 and went on to graduate with honors from Florida State University last year. She has agreed to become FreeGirl’s spokesperson.
Professional golfers Colleen Cashman and Selena Wilkes, both currently on the LPGA Futures tour, are also endorsing FreeGirl – and neither athlete is a stranger to triumphing over adversity: after being struck by lightning on the golf course, Cashman bounced back to achieve her dream of playing in the U.S. Open. Wilkes overcame hearing impairment to compete on the Futures tour.
“We are extremely proud to be associated with Ms. Kolesnikova, Ms. Cashman and Ms. Wilkes,” said Ryan. “This company is based on the principles of independence, freedom, strength, and courage. It’s a celebration of the female spirit, and I can’t think of three women who better personify what FreeGirl stands for.”
FreeGirl is actively seeking investors and endorsements. For more information about FreeGirl, Inc. and the FreeGirl Foundation, contact Ron Ryan at 561-452-0843 or [email protected], or visit the company’s Web site at http://www.freegirlusa.com.
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