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Meet Bre Cruickshank of Radical Girl Gang

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bre Cruickshank.

Hi Bre, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I’m the founder & CEO of Radical Girl Gang, the online marketplace to shop emerging women-owned brands. How I got here is a loaded question! I was the quintessential little girl labeled “bossy” and “aggressive” while my male peers were called “strong” and “assertive.” You can’t be what you can’t see. I grew up not knowing entrepreneurship was a viable path; it wasn’t until my 20s when I was working at Nike World Headquarters in Oregon that I began rethinking my place in the world and what I was capable of doing. I relocated to Austin in 2017 to lead eCommerce at Outdoor Voices (I was their first digital merchandiser). Soon after moving here, I launched Radical Girl Gang as a side hustle. It was a fraction of what it is today — I launched RGG simply as a lifestyle brand; a way to dip my toes in the waters of entrepreneurship. What I didn’t expect was that it would take off so quickly! I started scaling the brand to retailers, first in Austin, then around the country. At the time, we were even in the Smithsonian museums (and oddly enough, Brazil). After about eight months of growing Radical Girl Gang while juggling my full-time job, I made the decision to go full-time and focus on my vision and how I wanted to ultimately evolve the business. In 2019, I joined an accelerator program called Founder Institute, where I came up with the idea of pivoting to a marketplace for emerging women-owned brands. It was clearly a huge gap in the market that I felt uniquely positioned to address with my background. I launched Radical Girl Gang as a bootstrapped solopreneur in 2020, and the rest is history!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Lol, no. I don’t think entrepreneurship is smooth for anyone (and if it is, you’re probably doing it wrong). The biggest struggle I’ve faced is what I’m also trying to solve with my business, and that’s the immense inequity that women entrepreneurs face.

Despite the fact that women-owned businesses have grown by more than 3,000% since the 1970s, women entrepreneurs continue to face systemic obstacles that threaten their ability to scale.

Access to capital is a massive barrier. Only 2.3% of venture capital funding went towards women-led businesses in 2020, and less than 1% for women of color. Women entrepreneurs also get offered smaller loans, pay significantly higher interest rates and are less likely to be approved than men. There is truly no shortage of data that speaks to the immense obstacles women-owned businesses face, especially in the early stages.

My biggest struggle has been going through this experience firsthand as I raise our first round of outside funding (we’re raising half a million to scale). Not only am I a woman — I’m also building a business that is completely women-centric. Statistically, I shouldn’t even be here, and that’s exactly why I refuse to give up.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Radical Girl Gang is the online marketplace to discover, support and shop emerging women-owned brands. Simply put, we help early-stage brands gain exposure to grow, and we make it effortless for consumers to shop women-owned.

Our goal is to level the playing field for women entrepreneurs by creating a space to support, celebrate and invest in women-owned brands. Every purchase on Radical Girl Gang directly advances gender equity by supporting women entrepreneurs.

Conscious consumers come to us to shop small, local, BIPOC-owned, LGBTQ-owned, sustainable, fair-trade and more! We even have filters on the side that empower customers to filter by their own personal values. We’re also deeply passionate about representation, which is why 50% of our brands are helmed by women of color.

How do you think about luck?
I’ve been lucky, but I’ve also worked my ass off. I think hard work creates luck.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Picture of myself in CEO Tee is by Gaby Deimeke

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