TomboyX was gender neutral before it was cool.
Like many entrepreneurs, cofounders Naomi Gonzalez and Fran Dunaway started the company when they couldn’t find the types of products they wanted. The women wanted clothing with the look and feel of quality menswear.
Their unsuccessful search led them to create TomboyX in 2013 with a Kickstarter campaign that raised $76,000 and a handful of products like a menswear-styled shirt. Along the way, their customers began asking for underwear and the two realized there was a market for female boxer briefs that wasn’t being met.
“We wanted to grow our base and underwear was the key,” said Dunaway. TomboyX’s customers range from the LBTQ community to women in uniform including military, police officers and plus-size women.
The underwear is styled like men’s boxer briefs, but the lengths go beyond the tiny boyshorts other lingerie brands sell. The lengths range from 2.5 inches to a mid-thigh 9 inches and the sizes go up to 4x. The company also guarantees that customers will like them — and if you don’t, the first pair is free.
The gender-neutral styling is on trend as society tackles gender questions. “We feel like we’re riding the crest of a wave,” said Dunaway. “The timing was right and the trajectory has been straight up.” She said the company has experienced four times’ growth year-over-year.
Looking ahead, the company plans to branch out with a soft bra that should be available by the end of July.
The company is direct-to-consumer, and while the owners been have approached by stores, they say they aren’t ready for wholesale business.
TomboyX also has a social agenda, but in the spirit of inclusiveness, it’s a human agenda. “It’s not a feminist agenda or a gay agenda; it’s a human agenda,” said Dunaway. “It’s about respect for all.”