The UR Sportswear story begins with our founder, Jacalyn Gross, during her final semester at Michigan State. Jacalyn was a middle-distance runner for her track team, dealing with societal pressures about body image that are prominent in the running community.
“I realize now I had body dysmorphia as most young women in sports do. I had eating issues not obvious or dangerous, but they were there in high school and in college. It is hard to avoid when you are wearing buns to compete in. I internalized and looped every comment said about my body.”
Gear fit issues compounded these feelings.
“I would feel shame when I got a small and it was too small. Workouts during spring practice where the heat felt like it was on top of you made my team-issued green shorts slowly work their way up on my thighs. The seam’s rough edge would catch and rub on my skin until I had a raspberry on my inner leg that burned in the shower.”
As a part of her Apparel and Textile Design degree, Jacalyn created a survey geared towards other local college runners.
“Other than the comment that my survey was one of the weirdest they had ever taken, I also found out I wasn’t alone. There were countless issues with running sportswear for women. I took the data and like a true fashion nerd compiled it to evaluate the most common issues. It was not just me—it was us, and we were runners.”
After graduation and a quick trip to California. Jacalyn found her way back to Michigan and founded UR Sportswear in 2010.
“I went back and read through all the issues to design a short that would not ride up or rub. My first task was to find a fabric so soft that it wouldn’t cause chafing. To keep with the values of the brand I created and sent out new surveys to select the colors and patterns of the short. Women voted on Facebook by liking what they wanted UR to create.”
To finance her dream, Jacalyn went to Alaska to work as a processor but ultimately ended up working as an office assistant.
“A co-worker, who found out I was a runner, bet me $50 that I wouldn’t run every day for at least 30 minutes. I am happy to say I won that bet and had several bear encounters, because of it. I never wanted fear of anything to stop me from running—even if it was a 13 ft. grizzly bear. Yes, I saw one of those as well.”
She was able to pick up another job, ultimately working 16-hour days.
“Through this entire experience, I had a sticker on my computer with a UR logo that I had drawn to inspire me, and to remind me I wasn’t just representing who I was. It was UR I was representing—who you are.”
It has been eight years since the Just Rock Short was first manufactured and worn. They have lasted! We continue to make kickass quality sportswear for women that fits well and lasts. Nothing should stop you from running—not how your sportswear feels, not what you think you look like, or, well, bears.
There is always an obstacle every one of us has had to overcome to keep showing up for ourselves. Our lives are all different, but being active brings us together. We are runners.
We want to foster an empowering community of active women adventuring together – not only empowering themselves inspiring others to get out the door in long-lasting, great quality sportswear.
Why BUY UR Sportswear
We make clothes that fix fit issues and are built to last. All of our products are made with the athlete’s comfort in mind. We have tons of experience with ill-fitting sportswear, and have created our products specifically to address issues that detract from the exercise experience.
- Designed by women, for women.
- Manufactured in the USA
- Empowering Women
- Insured Quality
- Support small business.
- We support your individuality.
We want to hear from you
UR Sportswear will be an open forum company. This means we want people to feel comfortable enough to tell us what they want from UR Sportswear. We pride ourselves on creating a product that is shaped and improved by the advice of the people who use it the most. UR Sportswear wants to inspire people to get active and live a healthy life style, and also to provide them with gear that makes them feel comfortable and excited to work out. We want to promote the addictive qualities of exercise. Why not start by creating great athletic wear?
Keep your eyes open, keep spirits high and always keep exploring. Exercise is more than just healthy, it’s fun, inspiring and educating. -UR