Lynn Le had just received a brown belt in Krav Maga
— the Israeli form of self defence — and was teaching a kickboxing fitness class, when she started noticed something troubling with her female students: m
ost of them were using boxing gear that didn’t fit them properly.
Le’s students were wearing boxing gloves designed for men’s hands, since there were very few options for women. “The worst part is, I was seeing these women adjusting how they were striking and how they were training based on the gear they were wearing. They were risking injury,” Le told INSIDER. “I saw that there was a real need to start addressing.”
And so, the mixed martial arts expert spent the final months of 2013 conceptualizing Society Nine, a line of high-performance boxing gloves designed specifically for women.
“There are 17.5 million women around the world who do some form of combat fitness,” Le said. “Forty per cent of that demographic joined the world of combat or contact fitness within the last year or two. It just shows how fast this particular realm of sport is growing.”
Le and the Society Nine team spent the better part of 2014 hosting focus groups of women, ranging from fitness mums to professional fighters, to measure their hand sizes — width, length and the dimensions of their closed fists — and also to ask what they loved and hated in the market.
“That’s how we ultimately developed our gloves to be different from everybody else’s — we really started with putting women first,” the fighter said.
Society Nine’s glove prototype launched on Kickstarter in January 2015, and quickly raised $58,000, well over their $50,000 goal.
Since then, the company has transitioned into a full-fledged brand, with their products currently available online. Le and her team have been doing gym tours to connect with women and raise brand awareness, and the company has plans to expand to stores soon.
“We’re proud to be exclusively inclusive of all types of women in this sport,” Le said. “At the end of the day, we are mission-driven, and that mission is to unleash the fight in every woman.”
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