Member Spotlight: Cherry Sports Gear
Sep 21, 2020
As a former college athlete, Thalia Cherry knows the importance of quality sports related product. She purchased hundreds of sports-related products during her days as a multi-sport conference All-American. As an adult, she recognized the lack of options for women and women athletes that captured fashion, style, and comfort. Hence, the beginning of Cherry Sports Gear.
Cherry was founded in 2012 and specializes in creating fashionable sportswear to celebrate great local teams. But beyond the clothing, Cherry’s mission is to illuminate the possibilities of every athlete and customer – whom they refer to as fans. In the past three years, Cherry has grown and obtained more than 20 collegiate licenses. In fact, Cherry is the region’s only African American, women-owned sporting goods company with extensive licensing agreements.
Thalia Cherry is also the first Black woman to own a retail clothing store on the Country Club Plaza. The store opened inside Made In KC this past August. With strong retail presence, they also have a robust website. Cherry has been able to use their digital presence to not only increase business, but also support nonprofit organizations. Through partnerships with Girls on the Run, Women Leaders in College Sports, and Sisterhood of Hoop, Cherry sells a clothing line with proceeds that go directly to support these organizations.
The combination of a successful business with a strong footprint in the community has led to multiple accolades for Cherry. As a company Cherry received the Goldman Sachs Small Business Award in 2018, and as an individual Thalia Cherry was named one of the Kansas City Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business in 2019, and this year named to the Ebony Magazine Power 100 List.
You can learn more about Cherry at the KC Chamber’s Top 10 CEO Panel, October 1, 9:00 am – 10:30 am. The Small Business of the Year will be announced October 15, at the Small Business Celebration Virtual Awards event. The Presenting Sponsor for the CEO Panel is Bank Midwest, and the Presenting Sponsor for the Awards is the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Our 2020 Small Business Programming is presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City and Evergy.