It’s the last Female Founder Friday of 2017, and I am excited to introduce you to Cary Williams. Cary is a champion boxer, turned woman entrepreneur who founded a series of boxing clubs in California and subsequently launched Too Pretty. Too Pretty is a unique brand created for girls and women who are tough enough to “play hard” while still embracing their femininity! Why Too Pretty? Cary was told on numerous occasions that she was too pretty to be a fighter. Which meant that they thought she was not capable. The word pretty is used so often and is a word that little girls hear constantly growing up. Pretty can have many meanings, but Cary’s idea of the word is “feminine.” So, after her time in the boxing ring she decided to create a brand that would resonate with girls and women who were hearing the same things. Cary has worked with hundreds of young girls teaching them boxing, but the biggest lessons they have learned from Cary are that they can be strong, smart and successful without sacrificing their femininity.
So, if you’re interested in how a woman boxer and Level IV Olympic Level Boxing Coach with USA Boxing ended up with an active wear line, or have been told too many time that you’re “too pretty” to succeed at your goals, don’t miss Cary’s candid answers to my questions below.
What inspired you to create your company?
My inspiration for Too Pretty came from my boxing experience. A lot of people doubted my boxing skills because of my appearance. “You’re too pretty to be a fighter, You’re too small to be a fighter,” and so on! On top of my own experience with this gender box BS, I saw this stigma affect one of the fighters I trained. We traveled around the United States for the Olympic Qualifiers, and at each tournament she would need to weigh in. She would dress “like a boy” and I asked her why she did that. She told me that people wouldn’t take her seriously as a fighter if she looked like a girl!
What was your biggest obstacle and failure in going from idea to business?
The biggest obstacle still is how to get more eyes on the brand without having a big budget for marketing or an investor that can finance the company, but also be a mentor and connector. I grew a chain of boxing clubs in California and that was far easier for me than growing an active wear brand. I’m still learning and will figure it out. There is no other option!
We will be on Billion Dollar Buyer January 3rd on CNBC and that should help bring some more eyes to the brand and the message of the brand. The goal is to create a Too Pretty foundation to assist girls and women in pursuing their passions. I will be on a show called “Fit to Fat to Fit” where I gain 40 pounds and then lose it. I agreed to do the show because they allowed me to wear and promote Too Pretty on the show. The show airs January 8th on Lifetime!
What is a life or business hack that you recommend to help other female founders?
When you first open your business you will be bombarded with solicitors. Do your best to not spend money on advertising with them or getting services you do not really need. Get scrappy! Do as much as you can yourself in the beginning. You will probably learn a lot along the way.
If you had a theme song what would it be?
“Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” by Pat Benatar. I have been doubted by many and have gone through many life altering situations try to stop my progress. But I keep going!
Please share your best piece of advice for aspiring female founders.
Go into your business with rose colored glasses. 🙂 Sometimes ignorance is bliss and the more you know, the more you doubt yourself. Just push forward and stay focused on exactly what your mission is!