179 - Passing the Baton to Sarah Ratzlaff
It was August 2019 and I couldn't sleep. I had just received word that our biggest account had decided with no notice to simply "not take" the inventory they had committed to that season. My thigh was twitching. It didn't stop for 3 months. I couldn't stop the negative thought cycle. I'd been here before. Not this exact place, but I'd been in a position with Skirt Sports where I wasn't sure how we would get through a tough time. But never before did I question if I could actually pull us out of it. I went from gearing up to sell my business with 3 strong, profitable growth years behind me, to losing more in one year than we had lost combined in ten years. There was no way I would find a buyer for my business and I definitely wouldn't get my dream exit. So I did what I've learned to do over 15 years. I took action one mile at a time. One aid station at a time. In April I realized that the COVID-era had put a stamp on our difficulties and the best decision was to close our doors. All the while I held out hope that a new owner may present herself. I know I had created something special and I hoped that there was a woman out there who had the vision, resources and guts to carry it forward. Enter Sarah Ratzlaff. In late April 2020, she replied to a 6 month old email I had sent her and said, "I know this is pretty late, but do you still want to do a cross promotion?" I replied back, "No, I don't want to do a cross promo, but if you want to buy my company, let's talk!" Four months later the ink is dry. Sarah Ratzlaff of the ZOOMA Women's Race Series is the new owner of Skirt Sports! The most important question is: Who is this woman? Sarah is a brilliant visionary. She spent her childhood in rural Kansas and her adulthood honing her craft and her passion by helping develop the RunDisney race series. She later became an entrepreneur by purchasing the ZOOMA Women's Race Series and infusing it with the new energy it needed to thrive. She's a mom of two young kids. She loves helping women find happiness. And she is driven to make this world an equal playing field for women. I couldn't have found a better fit. I'm honored to help bring Sarah's story to the world - it's her turn to shine!