From Running Marathons, To Running Her Own Business

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Sarah Clancy is part of a thriving community of runners in the New York area, but she’s also a designer. In an effort to combine her passions for running and design, she began making T-shirts with clever run-related slogans. These became so popular in the running community that she created Sarah Marie Design Studio in 2016.


The Business Took Off Quickly

“As a runner since middle school, I was never great, but my love for running traveled with me through decades,” Clancy tells CircleAround. “I'm still excited to wake up and work every morning.” 

According to a profile on Runner’s World, one of the first shirts Clancy designed listed the names of historic female marathoners. Kara Goucher, a marathoner and former Olympic runner for Team USA, posted the shirt to her Instagram followers, and Clancy’s business took off. 

Her Shirts Have Been Called "Must-Have Gifts"

Since then, the company has been featured in numerous articles and television spots where her items are promoted as “must-have gifts” for women who run. 

Clancy has been able to scale her business by using companies, such as Custom Ink and Zazzle, that help entrepreneurs upload designs to their platform, choose a selection of products to sell, and ship products directly to customers. All of the Sarah Marie Design Studio clothing products are also produced sustainably with Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production certified factories. The garments are then professionally printed in the U.S. 

Other Women Rallied Behind the Business

“The hardest part was the uncertainty of if this would last as a career,” says Clancy. She had to work hard to ensure her business wasn’t just another fad product. “Trending on social media doesn't keep you selling products for a decade,” she adds, though she’s been able to master the art of ecommerce, especially with over 66,500 Instagram followers getting direct access to her online shop each day.

It’s this kind of support the designer and entrepreneur attributes to her overall success. “No one will rally behind you like other women,” she tells CircleAround. “Find a few great friends or mentors to help you as you navigate your journey, and it will make a world of difference when the hard days come, when you need answers you can't find.” 

The Bottom Line

There are ways you can combine multiple passions into a business that will thrive for years to come. Using the power of a supportive and active community, and entrepreneurial e-commerce skills anyone can master, Sarah Marie Design Studio continues to win in the female-owned small-business world.

Tags: Entrepreneur, exercise, Small Business Owner

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Written By

Katka Lapelosová

Katka is a writer from New York City, currently living in Belgrade, Serbia. See Full Bio

CircleAround is owned by One GS Media, a subsidiary of Girl Scouts of the USA, and we make financial distributions to benefit the next generation of Girl Scouts. We strive to make the world a better place by supporting each other today and emboldening the women leaders of tomorrow.

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