As with Tiffany and Hanna, I met Amanda in Shannon’s Factory45 course. See, I am not a runner. Not. At. All. But I have always admired the joy runners get from running. The runner’s high. The dedication and desire they have to keep going and not stop. So I always have this great awe of someone when I hear they run marathons. It is like when you see an amazing artist create something that you know you would never be able to do. Absolute awe.
Now combine that love of running with a huge heart for giving back and an entrepreneurial drive. Amanda has done just that with her business Cause I Run. After a successful Kickstarter, the online shop officially opens today. And even though I may not run, my Cause I Run leggings are great for walking and yoga. And watching other people run.
Best of all, 10% of every purchase is given to one of their charity partners: Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Free to Run NGO, or Hope Through Health. (Read more about their charity partners here.) Check out the Cause I Run Instagram Giveaway #CIRgiveway that is running until March 31.
SHOP, FOLLOW, CHAT:
Tell us about your journey to launch Cause I Run and the story behind the name.
The idea for Cause I Run came from a time when I was running often and when I had a work-from-home job. I spent most of my time in running clothes since I didn’t have to dress up for an office. And because of that wear and tear, I started to look for new running clothes. I am really into social enterprise (think Warby Parker, TOMS shoes, etc.) and figured there had to be something like that for exercise gear. I didn’t find it, and it surprised me. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. One day, after months of this, I woke up and thought of the name, and registered the company the same day.
What have been the biggest hurdles and joys?
The biggest joy has been discovering and developing the brand through reflection, research, and laying the groundwork of solidifying a customer base. I’m so lucky to have found Factory45 and with it, an amazing network of supportive entrepreneurs. I was able to raise money to fund a first production round of my gear, and while that has been challenging at times – I’ve run into a number of hurdles with fabric, my production facility, etc. – I am learning a lot through the process.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Any connection to what you’re doing now?
I had *many* ideas about what I wanted to be when I grew up, from novelist, to songwriter, to animal rescuer. And while some seem silly in hindsight, looking back now, many of these dreams were rooted in some sense of altruism and wanting to make an impact on people and the world. I’ve always felt called to create some sort of tangible change and to use my voice to make a difference. Launching Cause I Run helps me feel as though I’ve found a way to combine my professional strengths, unique perspective, and altruistic drive!
I love your dedication to giving back. Tell us about your charity partners and how the donation process works through purchases.
Thank you! Right now, our charity partners are organizations helping to create sustainable change for the communities they serve. I’ve chosen three organizations that help women and girls be active and full participants in their communities: Hope Through Health, which trains community health workers in Togo; Free to Run, which provides women and girls who live in areas of conflict with the support they need to participate in sports; and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which provides women’s health services here at home. In the future, I’m anticipating our charity partners will grow in scope and number. At checkout, you can choose which of the three organizations you want your automatic 10% donation to fund. We’re working on compiling stories from each of our partners about how our donations are making a difference. I can’t wait to share more about what these amazing organizations are doing.
Can you give us a glimpse at what is coming next for Cause I Run?
I’m in the midst of opening my online store right now featuring three versatile items of activewear: a racerback tank, low-impact sports bra, and calf-length running tights. We also have mockups for our next two pieces and are experimenting with some different fabrics. Finally, we’ll be launching a series of campaign-based items (beanies, t-shirts, loungewear, etc.) that fund a cause for a specific period of time. We’re so excited about what’s to come!
Any advice for women looking to boldly start that thing they’ve been dreaming about?
I think the best advice I can give is just to start. Even if you don’t know exactly what it will look like and there are elements of uncertainty. Just do one thing every day that moves it forward, even if it’s super small. And because I struggled with this, I always take every opportunity presented to me to tell other women that it’s OK to do something outside of what’s expected of you – whether that’s your own expectations for your life, or others’. It’s worth it.