Weighing in on everything from avocados to Zimbabwe

Weighing in on everything from avocados to Zimbabwe

First Flight: Grand Opening of the Oiselle Flagship Store

posted by Leila Z. on ,

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There's nothing like a family reunion. Especially for a family as far flung as the Oiselle family, who in some cases have never met in the flesh. I had the distinct feeling of a family reunion today -- laughter and hugs at every turn -- when I attended the grand opening of the Oiselle flagship store in University Village.

I have followed the fortunes of this little -- OK, not so little anymore -- women's running apparel company for a few years now, and I have come to care deeply about its success. (My husband would claim that I am contributing directly to its success with the number of O packages that arrive in the mail, but that's another story...) I have interacted with them on Twitter, cheered the Oiselle ladies on in local and national races, and given the "Oiselle nod" to many a gal sporting their duds out on the Green Lake loop. So of course I decided I would be at the opening today. I even pinched part of the dessert I was making for a dinner party tomorrow to make a special #oisellestore themed treat for Sally Bergesen herself!

Oiselle logo, in blue(berry)
Here are some of my impressions, for those who wanted to be here today but couldn't:
  • When I arrived, there was quite the crowd, inside and outside the store. There was an enormous line for autographs from Lauren Fleshman and Kara Goucher (duh), plus an enormous line of folks wanting to buy merchandise inside. I said hello to Sally and headed inside to check out the store...
  • The store itself was smaller than I expected from photos I had seen on Instagram, but well laid out. There are two dressing rooms at the back of the store, and there seemed to be a good mix of Oiselle products, ranging from pants and capris to shirts and tanks, to bras, and even their swimwear (honestly, I never thought I would say I was excited to try on a swimsuit, but there you go...). There is a widescreen TV behind the register, which I hope means viewing parties in the future! And there was a rather complicated looking system of wires and pulleys that appeared to control the heights and locations of the clothes racks (which didn't touch the floor!). Outside, a bench, and opposite the entrance there is a garden store, Ravenna Bloom, which contributes to a sense of beauty that is unexpected in a shopping mall. 
Lauren's profile and Mac's booty on full display

Store exterior
  • The Flight Manual: an elegantly laid out pamphlet declaring the Oiselle manifesto that was handed out I entered the store. More than rules for running, more than a company's mission -- I dare say these are pretty good rules for living. Things like "Build the Sisterhood", "Own the Journey", and "Believe". I like to imagine Sally and Co. nailing these up on their Lululemon and Nike neighbors, a la Martin Luther. He needed 95 theses to get his point across; O just about covers it in only 7. 
Taken from the Oiselle blog
  • Stars! In addition to Lauren and Kara, there were Oiselle celebrities like Sally, Lesko, and Mac (all of whom graciously signed my Flight Manual). Little Wing was out in full force, as were other athletic stars such as Adam Goucher, Jesse Thomas, and a preponderance of the Brooks Beasts (including fasties Nick Symmonds, Casimir Loxsom, and Phoebe Wright), plus Picky Bars showerer and middle distance stud Andrew Wheating. I also saw a host of Oiselle Team runners -- famous from the internets, at least to me -- and a whole lot of superfans.
Hanging out with my BFFs Kara and Lauren, as you do... (plus photobomb from Phoebe Wright!)
In summary, I felt a palpable sense of joy and community in those gathered for the grand opening, and came away SO EXCITED for what's to come. Here's to your continued flight and the growth of the sisterhood, Oiselle -- I for one can't wait to come along for the run!

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