Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Apparel Wire: What Drives Golf4Her

Profile: Christina Thompson - Founder/Owner,

By Janice Ferguson
GPA Style Editor, The Apparel Wire
February 13, 2013

Christina Thompson counted on some bumps in the road after leaving her cushy 20-year career in the medical marketing industry in 2010 to start, an e-tail website for women's golf apparel.

One bump she did not expect was being diagnosed with stage three, life-threatening colon cancer in 2012, at the age of 41. For many that would mean folding up shop, but Thompson did just the opposite. She under went successful treatment while not skipping a beat in building her burgeoning business.

What led Thompson, an avid golfer, to create, were frustrating attempts to find stylish women's golf clothes that she liked. Not finding many viable options, she took control of her own destiny and set her sights on filling a perceived void in the marketplace.

"I always knew I wanted to own my own business and just wasn't sure what it would be," Thompson said. "Then one day while traveling for work, I asked myself what are the three things I love: golf, fashion and shopping. So I started researching the retail side of women's golf and noticed a huge and growing gap in what was offered. I quickly realized this would be my perfect storm. I bought the name Golf4Her in July of 2005."

Christina Thompson, left, with LPGA player Mallory Blackwelder, a Golf4Her brand ambassador.
Thompson's original plan was to open a brick and mortar store, but an online e-tail site was a better option and less of a financial risk. In 2009, and in the middle of a down-turned economy, she quit her job and started working 24/7 for many months to launch the website in April 2010.

The Golf4Her site offers golf fashions, accessories and gear from top golf and lifestyle brands such as Abacus, AUR, Ame & Lulu, Cross, Fila, Lija, Loudmouth, Shi Golf, SandBagger and Wear to Win. The site carries a collection of basic golf essentials as well as modern trendy items with the goal of bringing easy access to the newest selection of styles, fabrics and looks in women's golf. The site also features a newsletter, gift and style guide, blog, social network links, rewards program and golf event listings.

In early 2012, Thompson suffered a personal setback - and it was not due to the economy. Thompson received a positive test result after a routine colonoscopy.

"I was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer just prior to 2012 PGA [Merchandise] Show," she said. "So for the first six months of the year I was running a business while undergoing major chemo, and not to mention, playing the best golf of my life. Golf4Her and playing golf honestly got me through the worst days of my life. I'm doing great and have a clean bill of health, but this is why Golf4Her means more to me than just a website for women's golf."

So does her journey feel like a huge leap of faith that has tested her courage and conviction to continue?

"There was no leap of faith," Thompson said. "I knew in my gut that once I set my mind to it, it would be a success and I have not regretted my decision for one moment. I miss my corporate paycheck, but I have never been happier in my life."

Click here to view article on The Apparel Wire

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