Why we want to keep Moms in Sports: The Inspiration for the Strong Athletic Mom Shirts
Strong Athletic founder Nadia Kean created the first Strong Athletic Mom shirt in 2016 as a way to pay homage to her mom, sister and friends who are moms. Nadia and her sister were raised by their Mom and have a lot of pride when it comes to Strong Mamas! Eventually Nadia's sister Lisa became a Mom and then one by one many of the best friends she grew up with also became parents.
As many of Nadia's friends became moms, they slowly started putting their hobbies and sports to the side so that they could prioritize their children. In most countries in the world, women are not expected to play sports past high school and college. If women do play sports beyond their early 20s, it is not likely that they will make their income from playing sports. The same can not be said for men. Men are more likely to make a living playing sports, or if not making a living, playing on some type of sports team recreationally even into fatherhood. This means that a high number of children grow up watching dad play sports, but they don't see mom plays sports.
Playing sports, being on a team and being physically active and strong are important factors to a person's personal self image and self worth. It's important that women not only play sports and remain physically active into their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond, but it's also important that children see women playing sports. Women and moms in athletics needs to be normalized. It should not be something that girls and women sometimes do, it needs to be something that is expected. There are still come countries in the world where a woman playing sports or doing something physically active is still considered a sign of defiance. For men, it is not the same. It is because of this that Strong Athletic wants to put women forward in sports. This is the exact reason that we want to support Moms in sports and athletics.
Being a parent is highly romanticized, but it's not always a walk in the part. As we write this, it is April 2020, and the world is dealing with the most impactful pandemic in 100 years. How does this have to do with Motherhood? Many Moms are finding that not only can they no longer play their sport and see their teammates, but they are also isolated to staying at home. Many moms are working from home and also they are taking the role of teacher because schools are closed or the classroom has moved to being online. This means that many moms (and parents in general) are taking on responsibilities that they've never had to do before, such as being the key teacher for their child, while also juggling full time jobs. It takes a dedicated parent, with a lot of love to do all of the jobs they are now responsible for, and it's no wonder that things parents used to do for theirselves, such as playing sports and participating in athletics has had to go to the wayside.
Are you a parent, but not a mom? Perhaps you're a dad or you're a nonbinary parent and don't identify with the word Mom? Keep your eyes out for announcements about the release of our Strong Athletic Dad and our Strong Athletic Parent shirts!
Information about the Shirt Styles that we Print the Strong Athletic Mom Tees and Tanks On
The Strong Athletic Mom Flowy Muscle Tank Mauve Fabric with Black Ink
The Bella Canvas Flowy Muscle Tank, style number 8803, is the most popular style of tank top that we have carried. This tank is not designed to be clingy, but rather flowy. The tank billows a bit as you go down the fabric toward the lower hem. The arm holes of this shirt are larger than a traditional tank top- which is why this tank is called a "muscle tank." Sometimes the are holes for tanks like this one are called "dropped arm" or "drop arm" because the arm openings drop toward the upper torso. The length of the tank is average, with the hem coming down to upper thigh. The neckline of this tank is scooped, which means that it's similar to a crew neck, but scoops lower toward the collarbone. These t-shirts are preshrunk. This shirt was assembled at a WRAP facility.
The Strong Athletic Mom Crop Top Racerback Tank Blue Fabric with Yellow Ink
The Bella Canvas Crop Top Racerback, style number 6682, is by far one of the most popular "cuts" or styles of shirts we've ever carried. Although not everyone is a fan of crop tops, what we know is... "Once you Crop, You Can't Stop!" This crop top is a bit "flowy" in design and it actually gets longer as the sizes change. For sizes Small, Medium and Large the length is more like a traditional crop. For sizes X-Large and 2X-Large the length is longer- more like a regular tank top. The armholes of this tank are made to look as if you cut them yourself with a pair of scissors and the hem of the armholes are not stitched, adding to the look. The armholes are slightly on the "dropped" side. If you don't know what that means for a tank to have "dropped armholes" or "drop arm holes" it simply means that the armholes are larger than the average tank, making it so if you're wearing a garment underneath- say a sports bra, a regular bra or a binder, there's a good likelihood that some of the fabric will be visible. For many people this is why they like the tank so much. The racerback cut means that the fabric on the back of the tank top cuts in toward the shoulder blades making more of an "x" on the back back, reviling a bit more of your back than a traditional tank top would.
The Strong Athletic Mom Fitted Muscle Tank Black Fabric with White Ink
The District Fitted Muscle Tank, style number 6301, is a great drop arm muscle tank design. This tank is designed to be fitted, rather than flowy. The arm holes of this shirt are larger than a traditional tank top- which is why this tank is called a "muscle tank." Sometimes the are holes for tanks like this one are called "dropped arm" or "drop arm" because the arm openings drop toward the upper torso. If you're wearing a garment such as a bra under this tank, it will probably be visible. The length of the tank is average, with the hem coming down to upper thigh. The neckline of this tank is scooped, which means that it's similar to a crew neck, but scoops lower toward the collarbone. These t-shirts are preshrunk.
The Strong Athletic Mom Crew Neck T-shirts Heather Teal with White Ink and Light Blue with Yellow Ink
The Bella Canvas Crew Neck T-shirt, style number 3001CVC, is 100% your classic tee. This shirt is designed to hang "straight down" meaning it doesn't billow and it is not "flowy". The length of the sleeves is very average when compared to other t-shirts- they are not capped sleeved and they do end above the elbow, about mid-upper arm. The length of this t-shirt is also average, with the hem coming down to the mid-upper thigh. The neck line is a traditional "crew neck" which means that it has a circular neck line and no collar. Crew necks are very common on most t-shirts. These t-shirts are preshrunk. This shirt was assembled at a WRAP facility.
About the Production of these Strong Athletic Shirts
We know that there are a few companies that make awesome shirts for strong moms with great slogans and sayings across the front such as "strong as a mother" or "strong like mommy." One thing we notice is that our shirts are usually about $5-$10 more expensive than other shirts on e-commerce sites. Ever wonder why there is such a price difference? There's a good chance that some of those companies are simply producing more shirts, faster and so their overhead costs are lower. We can't speak for them and how they set their prices, but we can speak for ourselves. At Strong Athletic, we only use small-scale screen printers and the garments that we print on are always made in either W.A.R.P. Certified facilities or other facilities that meet CPSIA standards. We also pay all of our contract employees a pay rate that is in line with living wage standards. The majority of our shirts are associated with a non-profit and we donate a portion of profits (sometimes 100% of profits) to causes that hold dear. We believe that when products are cheap, someone is losing out on income. We don't want those people to be anyone involved in our supply chain or who work for Strong Athletic on a daily basis.
Every single Strong Athletic product is produced by a small scale screen printer or embroidery shop. Our snapback hats are embroidered by a small-scale, local embroidery shop called Vistago Print in Lago Vista Texas. The majority of our shirts are printed by Amanda in Austin, Texas who prints out of the Austin Screen Printer's Coop, a screen printing shop that is member owned and run in East Austin. When our shirts are not printed by Amanda they are printed by other small-scale screen printers such as Second Avenues Ink in Portland, Oregon or Leigh Valley Apparel Creations in Pennsylvania. The art for this design is based on the original Strong Athletic Woman artwork created by Cristen Perks in 2013 for Strong Athletic founder Nadia Kean. The Strong Athletic logo was created by Angel Ortega in 2015, until that point our shirts had the Get Smarty Coaching logo on them.
Every Strong Athletic Shirt comes wrapped in our signature "You are so Strong" wraps which are held together with a kraft Strong Athletic sticker. Each shirt is then packaged in a biodegradable kraft mailer that we get from a US based company called EcoEnclose. We include a postcard that shares the origin story of Strong Athletic and that is addressed by hand to the person receiving the shirt. Also included in every package is a Strong Athletic logo sticker and one of our "We Believe" stickers. Every time you open a package from Strong Athletic we want it to feel special, especially if you're sending the Strong Athletic shirt as a gift for Mother's Day, Valentine's Day Christmas, someone's Birthday or any other special occasion.