Micki Krimmel — creator of Superfit Hero, roller derby daredevil, and all-around badass — never slows down. If you had any doubts, just look at her derby nickname: ‘Mickispeedia.’ When she’s not busy working on launching her own line of fashion-forward, body-positive athletic wear, she’s either at gym or on the track.
“I’m on a mission to make women feel like superheroes,” she says. Superfit Hero is about making athletes feel confident during any activity, from yoga to running to roller derby. When Micki decided to create athletic clothing line, the first thing she did was ask as many female athletes as possible what’s important to them. Their feedback prompted her to focus on key details like fit, fabric, and full coverage. As a result, the first piece from her line, Superfit Performance Leggings will launch via Kickstarter on June 30.
Go behind the scenes with Micki in our video interview, and check out her Q&A for even more inspiring insights!
You’re a professional entrepreneur and an athlete. How does one aspect of your life influence the other?
My team (Angel City Derby) is currently ranked 7th in the world, and we have our sights set much higher. We practice together three times a week. Including my cross training, I spend between 15 to 20 hours a week training. With that much time spent, my schedule pretty much revolves around working out and eating.
Starting a company requires even more time and dedication. To balance the two, I’ve devised a rather strict schedule for myself that prioritizes workouts and leaves significant uninterrupted blocks of time for creative work. I’m a huge fan of time-boxing, or setting aside blocks of time to work on specific projects. I find it especially important to schedule email! It’s such a relief to just close the window and be able to work without constant distraction.
Check out a glimpse of Micki’s typical day.
My personal experience with fitness has been a transformative one. Roller derby and crossfit have helped me come into my own as a confident woman and entrepreneur. I have a great appreciation for and connection to my body. I feel empowered to constantly improve through hard work and dedication. With fitness, I can see small improvements every day. But with constant improvement, the goal keeps moving.
It’s the same with entrepreneurship. Starting a company can be a daunting experience. There is no such thing as an overnight success. Entrepreneurship is a lifelong process of discovery that is built up of small bits of success and learning every day. I’ve definitely realized that similar skills are required for success in both sport and entrepreneurship – confidence, grit, and perseverance.
How have your teammates (and other strong women you’ve encountered) helped to inspire the idea for Superfit Hero?
Roller derby provides a unique experience for women. It’s a full contact team sport that requires strength, stamina, strategy, and teamwork. To compete at the highest levels of any athletic endeavor, an athlete must be confident. She must also be willing to be vulnerable. She must be willing to lose – to fail in front of her peers and competitors. She must trust in her team and commit herself to the experience fully, win or lose. I have the distinct pleasure to spend ten hours a week with a group of women who embody these amazing traits. I am constantly inspired by them and encouraged by them to put forth my best effort and to continually become a better athlete, better teammate, and a stronger woman.
My own experience with sport and fitness has been so transformative. I believe strongly in the power of fitness to help women build strength and confidence in all aspects of their lives. With Superfit Hero, I want to help other women discover their superpowers.
What made you decide to be your own boss (and/or be an entrepreneur), and what’s the most fulfilling part of the job?
I think a big part of personal goal-setting is driven by role models. I was lucky enough to work with some very successful entrepreneurs early in my career. When I first moved to LA over a decade ago, I got a job with a fledgling film company called Participant Media. I was the third employee, so I got to really get my hands dirty with the development of what is now a multi-million dollar company. Working so closely with Jeff Skoll (founder/chairman/CEO) to get it off the ground taught me what it takes to start a company and made me feel like I could follow in his footsteps.
As I became more involved with the growing tech community, I met even more entrepreneurs, many at the start of their careers. I felt like I was part of a community of world-changing thinkers and creators. It was exciting to be counted among them when I started my first company in 2009.
It’s often said that the Internet Age is the era of the Attention Economy. We are all so busy, and we have so many distractions and demands on our attention. As an entrepreneur, I am honored any time someone chooses to spare some of their time and attention with something I’ve created. When my work resonates with people and improves their lives in some way, this is the greatest part of the job. Hands down.
Did you always know that you wanted to start your own business?
No way! I didn’t even know it was an option until my 20s. I grew up in a pretty blue collar area. I didn’t have many role models, and public school certainly didn’t teach me about entrepreneurship. We didn’t have the Internet then or shows like Shark Tank and Silicon Valley. Now, all we need are versions of those shows that appeal to women and girls. 😉
As a girl, what did you aspire to become?
I always wanted to be a writer. I was never very good at visual arts as a kid, but whenever I wrote something, I noticed it would have an impact on people. I always wanted to make something that would have an impact on people.
What would you say to 10-year-old Micki?
I would tell her to do more sports! I wasn’t always an athlete. I grew up with my face buried in books. I was a pretty social kid, but I definitely felt more comfortable with the geeks and freaks than the jocks. I didn’t know growing up that you could be both! No one ever told me you could be smart AND strong. No one ever told me that exercise was a path toward feeling more comfortable in my own skin. If only I had known sooner!
Any words of wisdom for young women pursuing their dream job?
Be clear about what you want – first with yourself, then others. So much of our careers are defined by momentum. You might find yourself getting pigeonholed into a certain type of job, or promoted into a path that is not where you want to go. You don’t have to go with the flow. But, if you don’t speak up, you might find yourself stuck with a job that isn’t exactly what you wanted. You may be surprised how flexible job descriptions can be. Speak up for what you want, and be sure to define your own role.
+ See Micki in our latest style story, and stay tuned for more interviews with women who inspire!