Hatch Tribe Hero | Lynn Le - Society Nine
Lynn Le exploded into the ecommerce scene. Her product basically didn’t exist before she created it—and like many entrepreneurs, Le saw a need and she fulfilled it.
Since quitting her job at Nike and receiving a $15,000 grant from the city of Portland to launch her female boxing gear line, Le has been featured in Forbes (multiple times), Insider Magazine, American Giant, the Oxygen channel show Quit Your Day Job, and by Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls (How Society Nine Founder Lynn Le Encourages the Fighter in Every Woman). This year, Forbes named her in its 30 under 30 Class of 2018 for Retail/Ecommerce.
But Society Nine is so much more than just a product or a store.
From Society Nine: “By early morning or late evening, she’s a boxer, a grappler; a Crossfitter, a runner; a rock climber, a cyclist. By day, she’s your fierce mom, your sister; a student working two jobs and going to school; your local barista or waitress saving up for a dream. We are creating a movement and community that unites strong, empowered, diverse, fierce women who are fighting for more than physique. We are the brand for this community of badass women. Female fighters are looking for a brand that represents them - not just in brand name, but in respect.”
I first encountered Le while working for a newspaper in Portland—she blew me away with her mix of hardcore badassery and incredibly approachable warmth. That one-two punch has kept her on my radar ever since.
As our first Hatch Tribe Hero of 2018, Le has one big word of advice: Persistence. Also, treat yourself to a massage after you work out ;)
What is your favorite part of being an entrepreneur?
My favorite part of being an entrepreneur is being able to take my passion for my community and use the platform I’ve created to grow the community to be even bigger.
What personality trait are you most proud of?
I’m never scared to ask for help and to acknowledge my weaknesses.
In one word characterize your life as an entrepreneur. #TallOrder
What sacrifices have you made to be a successful entrepreneur?
Success is a very subjective term - I don’t know that I’d describe myself as a success quite yet! But, the sacrifices include everything from traditional and conventional forms of personal and financial security, to having the time for vacations (I haven’t had a vacation since I was 22, I’m turning 29 on Nov 26!). My level of responsibilities are also much bigger than myself - I have customers and investors to make happy, as well as a team to serve.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Always be good to yourself in order to be your best self to others.
Where do you find inspiration?
Gym communities. I love going to a random city, and visiting gyms and training side by side with the women of those communities
What would you do with one extra hour in the day?
Actually dedicate more time to training. As the business continues to grow, it’s becoming harder and harder sometimes for me to make sure adequate time is carved for me to go!
Name a women entrepreneur past or present you admire, and tell us why.
While she’s not a traditional business entrepreneur, she is a leader nonetheless - I admire Michelle Obama the most. Talk about someone who is so intelligent, poised, graceful yet insanely tough and badass - she’s maintained all of this despite the unbelievable, despicable things that fellow Americans have said about her (largely due to her gender and race.) She is pure boss in my eyes. Another is Serena Williams.
What would you say are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful business owner?
In no particular order, I think:
1. Ability to know your weaknesses and ask for help;
2. Adaptability - things change on the fly 24/7, and you have to be able to roll with the punches (pun ALL intended, hah!)
3. Endurance - there have been many times where I feel like the air and wind were taken out of me for various stressful reasons. You have to catch your breath and find your pace when those things happen.
When you’re not working, what is your favorite way to spend your free time?
I love to swim - that’s been my favorite athletic past time outside of combat sports; and massages. I find that massages have been miraculous in resetting my brain, over absolutely everything else. They are worth the investment to me.
About Lynn Le:
Before she was a combat fighter, Lynn Le was a dancer. When the Portland-based athlete began training in boxing, Muay Thai, and Krav Maga (an Israeli form of MMA), she realized good athletic gear for women boxers didn’t exist. It was either shrunken men’s gear or kid’s sizes. And usually pink. Le paired with designer Rafael Montes (an equipment designer for the U.S. military turned boxing trainer), created a true women’s glove, and launched her line via Kickstarter and grants. Now Le, 29, is recognized as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Ecommerce entrepreneurs for 2018.
Wondering where the name comes from? How Title IX changed womens athletics forever.
Connect with Le and Society Nine:
PS. Today is the VERY LAST DAY to join the Jumpstart Your Year Challenge, a free 10-day experience designed just for kickass women entrepreneurs. Click here to sign up and let’s make 2018 our best year yet!
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