Meet Shawnna Feddersen of Gameday Couture & SOHO
In 2010, Shawnna saw an opportunity in a male-dominated industry - create affordable and modern licensed apparel for women. Twelve years later, she's made her mark and isn't leaving this "boys club" anytime soon.
CEO and Founder, Gameday Couture & SOHO
With the creation of Gameday Couture, Shawnna Latham-Feddersen disrupted a male-dominated sports industry that was ignoring its female consumers.
Shawnna is proud to be part of the first female-owned and female-Led team to produce thoughtfully designed and ethically sourced female-focused fan apparel.
Gameday Couture's highly curated collections celebrate and exemplify the culture, style, and authenticity of every campus, sport, or team they represent.
You can follow her on Instagram @shawnnafeddersen.
We are an independent brand steeped in the independent traditions of sports and its fans. We make premium, officially licensed apparel that defies seasons and represent some of the most iconic sports powerhouses.
Our highly curated collections celebrate and exemplify the culture, style, and authenticity of every campus, sport, or team we represent.
In 2014, the brand had the privilege of striking a deal with Mark Cuban on ABC's Shark Tank. Today, the brand continues to create fashion-forward women's licensed and private label apparel, holds over 200 NCAA licenses and is distributed through both B2B and D2C channels in over 2000 stores nationwide.
What’s the book on your nightstand right now?
I haven’t read a physical book in years. I’m very much a digital or audio kind of gal. I love anything that covers compelling topics on leadership or business. The last book I finished was Start with Why by Simon Sinek.
What’s your favorite podcast?
The Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast
Do you prefer to have a coffee in the morning or some tea?
Neither. Hot lemon water with cayenne pepper and stevia…mmmm!
How would you describe your personal style?
Confident, stylish, and sophisticated with a modern edge.
How would you describe yourself? At work, at home?
At work: When it comes to my own day to day I’d say driven, intentional, focused, forward thinking, and analytical. When working with the team or others, my goal is to be thoughtful, aware, to lead by example, and keep inspiring the passion in others - keep pushing toward their personal and professional goals. At home? LOL, exactly the same.
How did you get where you are?
Staying insanely focused. Never listening to the naysayers. Always keeping a passion for learning and growth. Never afraid to take the road less traveled.
Did you always want to start your own business?
Yes, even if I didn’t know it exactly at the time. Looking back and laughing with my parents now, my actions certainly spoke loud and clear. I was always more inspired by doing my own thing, brainstorming new ideas, building a better widget, or leading, and motivating others.
Did you grow up surrounded by certain influences that inspired you to take the step?
I’d have to say I get most of my inspiration and personality from my dad. He was a business owner as well and we’re both obnoxiously passionate about business. I am also grateful for a few strong female examples in my life that helped motivate me to compete with myself instead of worrying about the world around me.
In other words, drown out the noise that can be tough in your adolescent and teen years and instead, set your own bar high, and focus on achieving that.
What initially sparked the idea or what inspired you to start GC and later SOHO?
After working and finally building a successful career as an independent contractor throughout my mid 20’s, I reached a point where I became uninspired. I realized that I wanted to build something with a team. Something that was bigger than just what I could build alone.
After months of researching different markets, I decided to combine my passion for sports and fashion together to tackle a very obvious gap in the women’s fan apparel industry. From there, we were very blessed that the female market embraced our concept and our company continued to grow year over year.
SOHO grew organically out of the Gameday Couture brand. After years of marketing and producing the licensed fan apparel, the overwhelming request for the “entire look’ became too hard to ignore, so SOHO was officially launched in the Fall of 2018.
What's the one piece of advice you would give your younger you starting out?
Listen to your gut instincts and go outside your small world earlier so you can educate yourself with as many diverse thoughts, influences, and opinions as possible.
I think we all get a little stuck in our “safe comfort zones” at some point, and when we look back at the experiences outside of that, those were often what helped us grow the most.
What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
As someone that proudly owns a nearly exclusively, fully female-led organization, it’s a really impactful month for myself. It’s also extremely important to me that we get the opportunity to highlight other amazing women that are helping shape the world we live in today with their work or accomplishments.
How do you juggle your personal life, your business, your family and do it all?
My husband and I have been very fortunate to have built a couple of successful businesses together. However, we make no bones about it, entrepreneurship can be very challenging on a family especially when both spouses are involved. The work never really stops, it’s 24/7 for sure. There’s certainly an added benefit to working together. There’s a much larger awareness, respect, and understanding for one another’s situation because you’re fully in tune with the ups, downs, mood, and likely needs. This, at least for us, has made the willingness to jump in and tag team what personal life throws our way, second nature without question. Priceless when trying to juggle it all!
What has your experience been as a female founder in the business world? Do you face additional challenges as a female entrepreneur?
I think early on I wanted to believe there weren’t additional challenges for women. Likely because I didn’t want the chance of that thought allowing me to fall victim to making excuses and feeling sorry for myself. There’s unfortunately, undeniable biases and challenges that I still face today. To date, I still enter meetings where the men in the room will turn to my husband and directly ask him the questions that I should be answering. As if to gain confidence that it’s “true” or something.
This has been really laughable at times because we run a women’s fashion company and they’ll direct marketing, style, or fit questions at him, in which he typically just tosses it right back to me with a subtle dig at the lack of awareness that “the expert in the room should probably address these questions.” Sad, but true.
For women entrepreneurs, what specific advice would you have for young or any age women who would like to become an entrepreneur? Are there specific advantages, disadvantages to being a woman business owner?
Educate yourself on as many things as you can. Both street smarts and book smarts. Get experience in the field you think you want to go into. Learn it intimately so you can make unbiased and better educated decisions.
I think in today’s world, especially with social media, people jump into being “experts” faster without really having the foundational experience we expect and need from the people we are trusting to advise on or perform important things for us. It’s become a little more about the appearance and less about the knowledge of the expert. Would you trust a surgeon that had a great looking Instagram but never finished his medical school or residency?
Be patient, educate yourself. Your passion, experience, and valuable knowledge will outpace and outlast any flashy IG post. Stay humble, stay disciplined, be prepared to work harder, never compromise your values, and lead with integrity.