Title Nine: Missy Park : How I Built This with Guy Raz As an avid athlete and college basketball player, Missy Park was lucky to grow up during the early era of Title IX, the 1972 law that created new opportunities for young women to play sports. But in the years before Lululemon and Athleta, activewear for women was either ill-fitting or non-existent. So in 1989—with little experience in apparel or retail—Missy decided to launch a female version of Nike. She sent out a mail order catalog of running shorts, tights, and (at the last minute) sports bras; naming her company for the law that had opened doors for her to compete: Title Nine. Over the years, the company kept "hitting singles," eventually growing into a $100 million dollar business without ever taking outside investment. Today, Missy remains the sole owner.

Title Nine: Missy Park

Title Nine: Missy Park

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Missy Park is the founder of Title Nine.
Scott Everett for NPR

As an avid athlete and college basketball player, Missy Park was lucky to grow up during the early era of Title IX, the 1972 law that created new opportunities for young women to play sports. But in the years before Lululemon and Athleta, activewear for women was either ill-fitting or non-existent.

So in 1989—with little experience in apparel or retail—Missy decided to launch a female version of Nike. She sent out a mail order catalog of running shorts, tights, and (at the last minute) sports bras; naming her company for the law that had opened doors for her to compete: Title Nine.

Over the years, the company kept "hitting singles," eventually growing into a $100 million dollar business without ever taking outside investment. Today, Missy remains the sole owner.

This episode of How I Built This was produced by J.C. Howard and edited by Neva Grant. Research help from Claire Murashima. Additional support from Jeff Rogers, Casey Herman, Rachel Faulkner, James Delahoussaye, Julia Carney, Elaine Coates, Farrah Safari, Liz Metzger, Harrison Vijay Tsui and Katie Sypher. You can follow us on Twitter @HowIBuiltThis, on Instagram @HowIBuiltThisNPR and email us at hibt@npr.org.