Elisabeth Nuesser, founder and CEO of Fightchix apparel, said on Jan. 3 in an exclusive interview with Long Island MMA Examiner Eric Holden that she has big things in the works for the year ahead.
Fightchix, a leader in WMMA apparel since 2006, will have an expanded selection of women's performance gear in 2014, according to Nuesser.
She also says the company recently came out with a "Ronda Knows" t-shirt, inspired by Ronda Rousey's recent success inside the cage. Fightchix has been working with Rousey's mother, Dr. AnnMaria De Mars, to donate funds from the shirts to charity.
Nuesser is extremely busy with her clothing line, but she kindly took a few moments to answer some questions about her brand. Here's what she had to say:
Q. Fightchix seems to have come a long way in a short amount of time. To me, I think a lot of MMA fans found out about the brand from Miesha Tate rocking the gear. Is there a certain moment you can pinpoint where you would say you knew you really hit it big?
Nuesser: Well actually what not a lot of fans don't know is that we started Fight Chix in 2006. Almost eight years later, I don't feel like it's been a short time...it has been a long journey, very much worth it though! We have been with Miesha [Tate] since her first amateur fight.
We've sponsored her and supported her throughout her entire career. A moment where I feel like we really made it was when we were live at the Ronda Rousey vs Liz Carmouche fight in California, and Dan 'Punkass' from Tapout came up to Jake and I, walking through the venue to our seats and congratulated us on our success and how far we have come and how he sees our gear everywhere now.
Jake and I felt really respected in that moment getting a compliment from of of the owners of a brand we looked up to for years. They were an inspiration for us and it was that night seeing women fight in the octagon for the 1st time was so bittersweet! We were given recognition from the male pioneers in the sport, Tapout, and then watched females fight in the UFC, which is what we always pushed for.
Q. Being that you had that existing relationship with Miesha Tate, what went into the decision to come out with your 'Ronda Knows' shirt based on Ronda Rousey?
Nuesser: We donate the 'Keep Calm and Break Arms' tee and the 'Ronda Knows' tees to charity. To Ronda's Mom, she saw the tees loved them, asked to help her, so we have been.
Q. How do you select which fighters to sponsor? Is it more about marketability or fighting ability?
Nuesser: I feel there is a number of factors when we sponsor, really it's about building the relationship with the fighter. It has to be reciprocated when we work with people now, pushing social media on both ends. Yes marketability does help, we are recommended a lot of the girls we work with, and also the management is key in working with our fighters. That has been the biggest struggle.
Q. Are you guys focused more on gear for female fight fans and fighters, or do you just as much men's shirts and such?
Nuesser: There are so many male brands out there..so yes mainly we gear towards the female fan base..that's why we started Fight Chix because there was really nothing for women out there. We have been expanding our men's gear recently though. We will have more performance gear in 2014.
Q. Where can fight fans check out your stuff online?
Nuesser: Check out our website by following this link. We are also on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If anyone signs up for our e-mails they will receive a coupon code for 20 percent off as well!