Mom-Owned, Seattle-Based Running Attire Company Takes Flight

I ran my first 5K on December 1st. Ever since then, I've been running 2.5 to 3.5 miles four times a week around my neighborhood. I have to admit I'm getting bored. Before my feet even hit the pavement, I'm exhausted. I think I'm ready for a new challenge - perhaps intervals to increase my speed or a longer distance?
Mom-Owned, Seattle-Based Running Attire Company Takes Flight 1
It's times like this when it really helps to be encouraged and inspired by other moms who are good fitness role models - moms like Sally Bergesen, founder and owner of Oiselle Running. Sally is a mom, a business owner, and a really fast runner (she ran a 5K in 17:06!).

Oiselle (pronounced wa-zell) is the french word for bird. It "alludes to that feeling of weightlessness that most runners know and love. That sense of flight - when your legs go fast and your heart goes free." Based in Seattle, the company offers stylish and "simple" running apparel for women.

My favorite item in her collection?

These Lesley Knickers...
Mom-Owned, Seattle-Based Running Attire Company Takes Flight 2

Here's what Sally had to say about her company and her passion for running...

ME: How old are your kids?
SALLY: I have two daughters, 5 and 8 years old.

ME: How long has Oiselle been in existence?
SALLY: The kernel of the idea (better women’s running clothes) started in 2004, about six months after my 2nd daughter was born. I got rolling on first prototypes in 2005, incorporated the company in 2006, and our first season was Spring of this year, 2007. I had “precipitous labor” with both my girls (under 2 hours on both of them.) Let’s just say the labor on Oiselle has been quite a bit longer, but not without some of the same sharp pains. ;)

ME: What "kind" of athlete are you and what events do you participate in most often?

SALLY: Running chose me, not the other way around. I wasn’t really good at any other sport. I tried biking for a while (my husband is a Cat. 1 road racer), but no go. Fortunately, I love running. Yes, I love to race and go fast. But it’s always been more about the good feelings and confidence I get from it. It’s 100% solo time. Time to think. Time to get away. Time to ravel and unravel problems in my head. I never wear an iPod. I don’t have anything against it. But I don’t think your mind works quite the same. Nor do you get that same sense of pure freedom. Just you and the elements.

My running is also my social circle. Every Sunday, a group of us get up — wind, snow, or sleet (last Sunday, for example) and meet for 12-ish miles, and coffee afterwards. Other than just hanging with my husband and my girls, it’s the highlight of my weekend, and I never miss it if possible.

I’d like to try a triathlon next year. Everyone tells me if you wear a wetsuit, you sink less (which is what I feel like when I swim.) We’ll see. If there’s one thing running has going for it, it’s efficiency. You get it done, and you get back to your life. And I know THAT is something every mom can relate to. ;)

Sally also gave me this great tip for getting rid of side cramps when you're on the run...
"Sometimes there is no cure for side cramps other than not running until they go away. But one trick that an elite runner once taught me was – when it happens – to breathe very deeply, not just in your lungs, but so that your breath pushes out your abdomen as well. This “deep breathing” helps loosen tight muscles. I’ve done it many times, and believe it works."

Mom-Owned, Seattle-Based Running Attire Company Takes Flight 3
WIN IT! One winner will receive the Gail Short in the color/size of her choice. To enter, simply leave a comment specifying your desired size/color and your e-mail address prior to Wednesday, December 26th, at midnight. The winner will be contacted and announced on Thursday, December 27th. * Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.

* UPDATED * The winner is #25 rebecca. Congratulations!

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42 comments on “Mom-Owned, Seattle-Based Running Attire Company Takes Flight”

  1. All of the Oiselle shorts and shirts I have migrate to the top of my running wear because I prefer them over everything else. The Roga is my favorite short with the Gail a close second. The fabrics seem light as air with no excess fabric providing that oh so unflattering billowing bloomers look as you're running down the road.
    Medium and Black; goes with everything.

    [email protected]

  2. I would love to win a pair of these gail shorts, they look like a great product to help me run off my baby belly...and thighs...and butt! ; ) I would love a pair in black xl...but I didn't see xl as an large would be a great motivator to get me moving!! Thanks! lisa
    [email protected]

  3. moss, large

    I love the Roga style shorts even more than the Gail, though. Maybe Oiselle could get me up and running again!

  4. I run in my awesome oiselle roga shorts more days than all my other running shorts put together. The low-riding waist band is very comfortable and their length is perfect. I am currently side-lined with an injury but I still crutch-around-the-house with my oiselles on!
    I'd love a second pair if I'm lucky enough! size small, green, email: [email protected]

  5. Just FYI: The "shop" page should work for you know. If you still can't see the products, try quitting out of your browser and reloading the page.

    Again, thanks to all for your interest. December is both the hardest and most essential time to run!

    Sally, Founder, Oiselle

  6. I'd love a pair of new running shorts! I can't see the cart to make a choice, though. These look great!

  7. Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks so much for sharing your 5K story -- and for your Oiselle review. (As luck would have it, there’s something funky going on with my shop page, where the products are not visible. I’ve put a call into my web guy...and am sure it will be fixed soon.)

    Starting a new company is very much an uphill journey, but the best part is meeting new people along the way, including those who see the opportunity for something new in women's running apparel. I hope we can stay in touch, and I look forward to sending these Gail shorts off to the winner!

    All my best,


  8. Happy Holidays! What a wonderful concept. I would really like to win these for my older sister. She walks/
    runs everyday in any kind of weather!
    She is diabetic and does this for her health! If I am fortunate enough to win, she would need a black in a size M. Thanks,Cindi

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