Startup Stories: Smashing Golf and Tennis

Slim - Shape - Smashing

Tell us about your entrepreneurial product or service.

Looking for the latest in women’s fashion? The Smashing line of golf & tennis apparel is not only stylish, but it also shapes and slims. Our hidden layer of compression works to smooth the waist, flatten the tummy and eliminate muffin top.

Manufactured in Chicago, IL of Made in the USA fabrics.

What inspired you to launch your business idea?
All great business ideas begin with martinis, right? In our case, it was pomegranate martinis, which has the added benefit of anti-oxidants. Tennis friends Jayne & Kelly had been fermenting a business idea for a couple months while they played, but due to their busy schedules, couldn’t find time during the day to flesh it out. Finally, during an evening of martinis, the brainstorming began.

The original idea was a line of funny tennis shirts, because quite frankly, we’re hysterical (or at least think we are.) It was sort of a “Life is Good”, line with funny tennis sayings. But during our brainstorm session – we realized that none of us wore t-shirts on the court, or out in public. Nor did we know anyone who did and this began a conversation of what we hate about tennis clothes that are on the market today. We hated the “fat sucking, muffin top inducing” styles – we wanted something that was figure flattering, and thus Smashing was conceived.

Our market research began immediately, and we knew we were on to something one windy summer day on a clay tennis court. As we were hitting the little yellow ball across the court and saw muffin top after muffin top, we knew we had to do something.

Now I’m sure we could all do a dose of P90X and a few months of Atkins to firm up that midsection, but that just sounded, well, exhausting. As one of us said, “When are they going to put shape wear in tennis clothes?” A business was launched. A line of golf and tennis apparel for women that has an inner layer of compression (or shape wear) to make you “Slimmer in Seconds.” Great idea right? Now we had to design the product. There isn’t a product out there like this we could knock off, this meant not just researching the fabrics we liked, but also testing designs to find the optimal prototype.

One benefit of our team was that we all had different business backgrounds, and so brought different expertise to the table. Kelly was a VP at a top advertising agency where she specialized in consumer insights/strategy writing and how to target consumers, while Jayne has vast international business experience holding high-level positions in both the Financial Services, Management Consulting and IT industries.

What problem does your business or organization solve?
There are 10 Supermodels in the world. We designed Tennis and Golf clothes for the other 3 billion women.

We are dedicated to making real women look and play their best by incorporating fashion and performance into our designs.

Our goal is to be the first choice for tennis and golf apparel by providing unrivaled fit and fashion, and to thrill our customers with our unparalleled customer service.

What has been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur and how are you working to overcome it?
Smashing Golf & Tennis was founded in 2009 on a shoestring budget, and has become a profitable business with nationwide distribution due to the fact that Daugherty and Drew approached marketing differently.

“When we launched Smashing we had zero marketing budget,” said Managing Partner Kelly Daugherty. “The only way we were going to survive was to do things differently and create a buzz via social media and the press.”

Featured in AOL, AP, New York Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, Huffington Post, NBC News, FOX Morning, Shape Magazine, Golf Digest and countless blogs, local and national businesses began to take notice of Smashing’s success and reached out for advice.

Give us one word that people might use to describe you.

How has Project Eve helped you and/or your business?
Exposure to another audience.

Give us an insider tip that relates to your industry or startup story.
Business experience is vitally important to a successful Fashion Business. Fashion students should also study business.

Company: Smashing Golf & Tennis


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