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Championing for Change

Five women wearing clothing produced by Strong Girls Co.

Sisters-in-law, Amie and Stacey Raymond, are championing for change with their new fitness apparel label, Strong Girls Co., which produces quality activewear pieces designed to empower women across all corners of the globe.

It was their shared love of fitness and desire to build a community focused around empowering women that first inspired Amie and Stacey to establish the brand.

Two women smiling at camera standing in front of cacti garden
Stacey Raymond and Amie Raymond, Founders, Strong Girls Co.

“The fitness world is overwhelming and the sheer number of options and choices for women’s fitness apparel is no exception,” recalls Amie.

“Both Stacey and I have struggled with our own mental health and so our purpose with Strong Girls Co. is to create a community of like-minded people who value health and wellness while also bringing some quality and sustainable pieces to the fitness industry.”

The pair also use their brand, which launched in May, as a platform to start important conversations around positive mental health and overall wellbeing. As part of this community-focused mindset, Amie and Stacey work collaboratively with real women to design and create their activewear pieces.

“Apparel is mostly mass produced then ‘hyped’ and sold by social influencers; you can never be sure that what you’re getting is genuine quality,” affirms Amie.

“Instead of having a network of influencers promote our brand, it was more about bringing in individuals who would help us create our items. The idea is that our products are created by the community for the community.

“Each woman we work alongside also gets to choose a charity they want to donate a percentage of the collection’s profits towards.”

The brand’s activewear is sustainably and ethically sourced through an Australian Social Enterprise operating from Cambodia known as Avodah Global, which works with Cambodian rescue organisations to provide training, employment and micro-business opportunities for women rescued from trafficking.

“We believe that there is enough abundance in the world for everyone. We don’t need to be in competition with each other, and we really wanted to work with people who held similar values,” says Amie, who was passionate about ensuring their ethos also extended towards the women making their activewear.

“Since Stacey and I have never owned a business before, the team at Adovah Global have really guided us and shared their business expertise which has been very helpful.

“Our hope is that women will wear our activewear and not only feel part of our community but know that their clothing was made by other incredible women in an ethical and sustainable way.”

Four women with backs turned wearing clothing from Strong Girls Co.

Stacey and Amie are both continuing to grow the business while maintaining their individual full-time jobs, however, they agree perseverance has been the key to the brand’s success.

“Everything is new. Everything is a learning curve. You tend to learn the same lessons over and over. We’ve learnt that momentum is going to fluctuate and that it’s important to use the support of other people as well,” continues Amie.

“In the future, we hope to have more lines coming out. The vision has always been about the community so we’ll be looking at ways people can further engage with one another and work towards continuing to start conversations around female empowerment and positive mental health and wellbeing.”

Photography by Amanda Newton of Anew Creative.

Georgie Desailly

Georgie Desailly

Georgie is BDmag’s resident writer who is passionate about entrepreneurship, sustainability and regional affairs. She spent time studying in New York City where she was trained by some of the world's leading journalists at The School of the New York Times.
Georgie Desailly

Georgie Desailly

Georgie is BDmag’s resident writer who is passionate about entrepreneurship, sustainability and regional affairs. She spent time studying in New York City where she was trained by some of the world's leading journalists at The School of the New York Times.