Monday, October 4, 2010

Fight Chix is empowering while on their mission


If I mentioned Tapout, Affliction, RVCA and Silver Star, you would probably recognize these as renowned MMA clothing brands. If I asked, what do they have in common? You would probably say, "they are all finalists in the 2010 'Fighter's Only' World MMA Awards." However, if I mention or ask about 'Fight Chix', would you think or say the same thing? Well you should because 'Fight Chix' is an MMA Lifestyle Clothing Brand that has been nominated among the four others previously mentioned and more importantly, they're empowering while on their mission.

I recently interviewed Elisabeth Nuesser, Founder and CEO of Fight Chix (pictured above right w/Fight Chix spokesmodel Miss Rara). As we talked I realized that what I had imagined was actually true, Fight Chix is not just a clothing line. As a matter of fact, Elisabeth herself told me that over the last five years she's come to realize "this is a lifestyle brand that is actually more than what we thought it was."

Elisabeth wasn't always an MMA fan; she was introduced to the sport after she first met her future husband Jake who was a hardcore fan of the sport and lifelong martial artist. While she wasn't sure what to think at first, she was intrigued by what she saw and realizing it was a huge part of Jake's life, she slowly, but surely started to become a fan herself. However, it wasn't until the first season of 'The Ultimate Fighter' reality series and her favorite fighter Diego Sanchez, that she became hooked.

A hairdresser by trade, who is passionate about hair and making women feel good about themselves, this 29 year old mother of two was living a normal life with her family while working two jobs to make ends meet as she also tended bar four or five nights a week. That was until she realized she wanted to do more with her life, but what?

Depressed and frustrated she turned to Jake and said, "I'm a strong woman and I don't want to do this anymore." He helped her drown her sorrows in the one thing they both loved, MMA. As they watched tapes of old UFC's she noticed something she never had noticed before. Women in the audience were representing the sport wearing clothing gear the fighters wore, but they were not representing themselves. That was because they had nothing to represent them as women and the sport. She said, "they say behind every great man, there's a great woman, but where is the clothing line."

Using inspiration from her husband and his skills as a Graphic Designer, they expounded on her idea, created a logo and Fight Chix was born. That was nearly five years ago and today, what started out as something fun they could do together has slowly grown to be recognized worldwide.

Based out of their home in Chicago, Fight Chix works with independent contractors to spread the gospel of their adopted slogan, "empowering women worldwide." Elisabeth and Jake came up with the slogan after they started receiving testimonials from women across the country who were telling them they were wearing Fight Chix because it gave them strength to deal with such battles as breast cancer and domestic violence. Fight Chix has since taken up the fight against some of these causes.

Sponsoring a few local amateur fighters, their first big break came in October 2008 when they sponsored professional female fighter Kelly Kobold in her nationally televised fight on CBS against Gina Carano in Elite XC. Three weeks later, on Elisabeth's birthday, they sponsored male heavyweight fighter Fabricio Werdum in his fight against Junior Dos Santos in the UFC. Yes, after three years of hard work, Fight Chix had finally arrived at the big show.

Fast forward to the present and they are getting ready to sign a partnership, which will create a Fight Chix Europe affiliate where Elisabeth says they "are currently exploding across Russia, Germany and the Ukraine." However, while the majority has been supportive, not everyone in the male dominated MMA industry has been receptive.

Out of curiosity, I asked Elisabeth if she's ever received any negative feedback from anyone in the MMA realm. She stated, while just about everyone has been very cordial and welcoming, there was one fighter who was not very kind. Former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia, who had just lost his title to Randy Couture, was hanging out a bar with others from his camp when he confronted Elisabeth and sarcastically asked about the apparel she was wearing. "What's this Fight Chix stuff?" When she explained, he reiterated his sarcasm with "really, are you serious? Why would you start this?"

While the experience hurt her, it also motivated her. However, while that experience wasn't very nice, her chance meeting with the late Charles 'Mask' Lewis of Tapout was just the opposite. 'Mask', the epitome of positive vibes, exuded such when Elisabeth told him about Fight Chix. On top of that, when Elisabeth's young daughter handed Mask a Fight Chix sticker, he placed it on his jacket and proceeded to give her his dog tags. That experience left a lasting impression.

I asked how she feels about being nominated at the World MMA Awards and Elisabeth said, "I'm shocked, and humbled by it. When I received the call last Friday telling me, I cried because I remembered all the countless hours and endless days and nights of hard work to get here." Mission accomplished!

As of this writing, Elisabeth has told me that Fight Chix has literally just signed a three year licensing deal with Gemsen America and will be available in specialty stores for the upcoming holidays.

Elisabeth Nuesser would like to thank Tamara 'Miss Rara' Suguitan and Kim Scott for their unwavering friendship and support. The late Charles 'Mask' Lewis for his inspiration and for being the person, not personality, he was and the fans for all their support and belief in Fight Chix and the sport of MMA.

I personally want to thank Elisabeth for this interview and her time. I asked for 15-20 minutes and she graciously gave me 45 with no problem. Thank you.

5 comments:

  1. Wonderful article! Elisabeth is an astounding example of a strong, beautiful woman and through Fight Chix, is definitely empowering women worldwide!!!

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  2. Thank you Christina for the comment and for reading. I agree, which is why I chose to do the story on Elisabeth and Fight Chix.

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  3. WOOWA GREAT ARTICLE... I AM NOW CARRYING FIGHT CHIX IN MY STORE.. WOMEN LOOVE THAT THEY ARE BEING NOTICED FOR THEIR LOVE OF THE SPORT AS WELL... THANK YOU FIGHT CHIX...

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  4. Truly an inspiration in and of herself and her partner in business and life. Congratulations for the nomination. And best of continued success. DD@rukusfightgear.com

    ReplyDelete

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