Female Founder Feature – Naomi Gonzalez, Co-Founder & COO TomboyX

Naomi Gonzalez is the COO & Co-Founder of TomboyX, a company that has inclusion and acceptance in its DNA – whose garments are for everybody, and for every *body*.

Tell us about your company. What inspired you to start it?

We started the company out of frustration with the options available to women, particularly around dress shirts. We picked the name TomboyX because we thought it was cute but the name started resonating in a very powerful way. We had an instant brand and turns out our hero product was boxer briefs for women. We pivoted and exploded.

Who are your cofounders and what makes you a great team?

My wife Fran is the CEO and we co-founded TomboyX together. We have very different complimentary skill sets which we’ve leveraged from the start. Fran is the visionary, long range thinker, who is also an exceptional leader and communicator. I’m very much the get in the weeds and get it done type of person. We make a great team because you need all those things to actually make a business work.

How is your company making a difference?

It’s in our DNA to fight for inclusion and acceptance. Our position is to be a relational brand, not transactional. Our values are the reason for our existence and that is seen and felt in everything we do – from sustainable practices to our community give back practices.

What are some of the challenges you have faced?

Fundraising has always been the biggest challenge we’ve faced. As most founders know, this process is grueling and we faced years and years of uncertainty as we knocked on every door possible to get investors to believe in the potential of the brand. There were several times over the years where we came within a week of not being able to make payroll before some rainbow unicorn event came along to change the course of the business for the better and keep us fighting another day.

What is your biggest win?

Our biggest win is the incredible community we’ve built that believes in the same values of inclusivity, self acceptance and equality as we do. Being able to use our platform to empower others is one of my greatest joys as a founder.

Who is your role model?

I’m inspired by people who boldly follow their passion to create positive change in the world.

What do you wish you had known before starting your company?

Honestly, we knew nothing about the fashion business going in and that was probably the best thing. We went in with zero assumptions, questioned everything and carved a path that aligned with our values.

What is your CEO superpower?

As Co-Founder & COO my superpower has been to easily roll with and adjust to change as it comes and then create improved processes around the new reality so that there’s minimal impact to the customer.

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