Track & Field's most decorated Olympic runner has yet reached another career milestone and is now stepping into the world of entrepreneurship. Just after punching her ticket to the Tokyo Olympics this summer, 27-time World Athletics champion Allyson Felix has announced the launch of her new lifestyle brand, Saysh.
The by women, for women community-centered brand was co-founded by Felix alongside her brother and business partner Wes Felix. The two created Saysh with a mission to build a future where inequality doesn't exist and women's creativity and athleticism triumph.
“Like so many of us, I was told to know my place, that runners have to run,” Felix said in a statement. “All of my experiences of becoming a mom and of raising a daughter helped show me my true competitor: inequality. The launch of Saysh is another step towards greater equity for each of us, and when you see me run, know that I’m running towards family, towards motherhood."
In the midst of her own athletic struggles, Felix also experienced her fair share of hardships during her pregnancy and pushback from those who didn't support her journey into motherhood.
"Like many women, I was afraid that starting a family would be a "death sentence" for my career. I did it anyway," she wrote in an Instagram post announcing her brand. "During my pregnancy, I faced a gender injustice that I couldn't run away from. My employer did not support my maternity and my colleague’s maternity in a way that I could be proud of. I was told to know my place. Instead, I spoke up. I used my voice to fight for maternal protection for female athletes."
Instead of making the decision to choose between being a mother and a professional athlete, the track athlete birthed the idea behind her new brand to represent hope, acceptance and the power to create change even through adversity.
Felix built her brand's vision in partnership with her brother, and his support stressed the importance of allyship through the Olympian's life transitions. As her new business partner, Wes brings with him his unique business management expertise that has helped mold Saysh into a brand that spotlights community and lifestyle.
"In a world where brands now have a responsibility to make contributions towards societal change, we purposely designed Saysh to be a place to share truth,” he shared in a statement. “Saysh customers can trust that we have their best interests at heart, that we are supporting them in every aspect of their lives -- from the shoes they wear on their feet, to the inspiring and difficult conversations they're having with their best friends and family.”
Felix's brand marks an iconic, history-making moment in sports history where a Track & Field athlete will be racing in her own brand. For her first Olympic games as a mother – and also her last timing competing in the games – Felix will be reminding the whole world what can happen when us women set our minds to something.