It’s 2021, and athleisure wear dominates the clothing industry. Yoga pants have become the new track suit, and "active apparel" suits almost every occasion. Need to work out for hours without the unsightly sweat stains? Try any number of name brand moisture-wicking sport tops. Need to run a dozen errands in both comfort and style? Rock the day in leggings of every design imaginable. Whatever the activity, there’s a pair of joggers or an athletic top to match … unless you feel the need to carry concealed. For years there was absolutely no market presence for women who wanted to look stylish while packing protection, despite the explosion of growth in the female firearm owner community. Regardless of the growing demand, it seemed as if no company was willing to break the glass ceiling.
In 2017, Alexo Athletica CEO and co-founder Amy Robbins would start a journey that she now describes as one of the greatest adventures of her life, one that would forever change the concept of women’s concealed carry.
After an incident that served as a stark wake up call during her morning run, Robbins vowed to never again feel powerless, and quickly began educating herself on reliable means of self-defense, eventually obtaining her License to Carry.
But Robbins soon encountered a problem thousands of women across the nation struggled with: Carry where? Sure, she had obtained legal permission to carry a firearm, but where was she going to put it? Backpacks and purses were far too cumbersome for a run, and a bulky men’s concealed-carry belt sure wasn’t going to do the trick either.
Unsatisfied with the meager choice in solutions on the market at the time, Robbins decided to take matters into her own hands, and began to thoroughly research the issue. As she recalls, “I quickly identified a white space in the market.” For many years, the firearms industry had seemingly ignored its increasing need for female influence in its design process, and the demand had quickly compounded. As Robbins had discovered, up until that point, no legitimate female clothing lines had been designed specifically for firearm carry and concealment. This meant that as a woman, carrying concealed required either a bulky bag or awkward, unflattering clothing. Since neither option suited Robbin’s style, she decided to begin creating her own. (Right: The author with Amy Robbins)
Several months of trial and error later, Robbins finally created her first product: the trademark Alexo Athletica Carry Runners (shown far right). Her hard work rapidly paid off, as Alexo Athletica became an overnight sensation. According to Robbins, her first shipment sold out almost instantaneously. However, she didn’t stop there; her online store is now filled with carrywear athleisure apparel in every size, shape and color. The rave reviews speak for themselves: Alexo Athletica’s unique, patented designs allow women to carry in both comfort and style, while still being able to participate in every activity imaginable. In fact, business has been so successful that they’re considering expansion. While she can’t promise any new lines just yet, Robbins encourages her customers to “stay tuned” for products that empower women and men … hmm, is that matching couples carrywear sets I hear? (Maybe that seems a little too far fetched for the present, but a girl can dream, right? After all, less than five years ago, stylish yoga pants with patented, built-in left and right holster pockets didn’t exist either.)
“Anytime you choose to take a hard stance on an issue, especially the Second Amendment, you have to be willing to face any criticism that comes your way,”
However, it’s the community behind Alexo that really deserves praise. Despite the company taking more than a few hits for its products, Robbins stands firm in her promise to remain a freedom-loving, reliable source of carrywear apparel for her customers. “[Entities] like this don’t understand the strength of the 2A community, or really comprehend the core of Americans that love their freedom,” She explained of her media and anti-gun lobby critics. “Anytime you choose to take a hard stance on an issue, especially the Second Amendment, you have to be willing to face any criticism that comes your way,” she continued boldly. “We’ve had our fair share of criticism and backlash … but I always tell our team that the first one over the wall takes the most hits, and my hope is that … more people [are] able to be successful in this space, and create products that men and women can use to live self-reliant lifestyles.”
Women-centric design companies following Alexo in the firearms industry will clearly benefit from Robbin’s stark determination and grit, but it’s the tight-knit community she’s created that has truly changed the lives of female firearm owners. For them, Alexo signifies more than just female entrepreneurship in a male-dominated industry; it is the foundation of a community of strong women dedicated to helping their fellow sisters find the best personal protection solution for their unique situation. Unlike most mainstream companies, Alexo Athletica isn’t just about “girl power,” it’s about girl firepower, and when it comes to self-defense, that makes all the difference.