LOS ANGELES (WFXR) — The most decorated American track and field athlete of all time hasn’t slowed down since hanging up her running shoes. In fact, Allyson Felix is busier now than she’s ever been before.
The five-time Olympian retired from her competitive running career last summer, capping off an era that saw Felix win 31 global medals at World Championship and Olympic meets. Since competing in Tokyo, she launched her own company, Saysh, a lifestyle and footwear brand that’s geared toward women.
And her soon-to-be five-year-old daughter, Camryn, is quickly following in Felix’s footsteps with her own entrepreneurial ideas. Ahead of National Small Business Day on May 10, Felix is teaming up with HP to help other business owners be successful.
WFXR’s David DeGuzman sat down with Felix to talk about life after competing, being a mom, and running a company.
David DeGuzman: Hard to believe that two years ago you were training for Tokyo, your fifth Olympics, and balanced being a mom and an athlete. What have you been up to?
Allyson Felix: I’ve been having a lot on my plate. Just being mom. Being present at home. Growing my own business, Saysh. Doing a lot of speaking so kind of all over the place.
DD: Well, let’s talk more about your business. Your company, Saysh, focuses on lifestyle and footwear, specifically geared toward women. I love that. What was the inspiration behind that?
AF: Yeah it really came about naturally when I expanded my family and I wasn’t fully supported by my sponsor. So I was left without a footwear sponsor and so I did it myself. Our company creates shoes fit to the form of the female foot, which most companies don’t do so it was a joy to be able to compete in my shoes at the Olympics. And now just growing that business and really showing up for women and feeling like we deserve more.
DD: Well I hear the company is thriving. And so are you as a mom. You have a four-year-old, am I right? Camryn? About to turn five?
AF: I do, yes. So I’m trying to keep up with her and all the things she’s doing.
DD: I hear she’s already following in her footsteps, is that right?
AF: A little bit yeah. We’re excited about National Small Business Day. She’s got some of those entrepreneurial dreams herself. She really enjoys baking. So we came up with Camy’s Cookies and have been having a lot of fun with that.
DD: I gotta follow up on that, I mean having her being an entrepreneur herself. What’s that like? Especially being a mom too and juggling your own business. I mean that must be a lot on your plate.
AF: It’s really a joy seeing that interest that she has and being able to foster it. Working with HP has been great because they have amazing resources. Online they have fun business plans, and they have printables, so we’ve been designing little Camy’s Cookies flyers and things like that, and being able to use our HP printer and laptop and having all the gear ready to go has been great.
DD: So clearly you’ve been busy after the Olympics. And Allyson, you know I talk with a lot of athletes, especially Olympians. I hear the same kind of story though. They kinda struggle to figure out their life after their athletic career is done. Do you have any tips for any athlete about adjusting and transitioning to life after the competition?
AF: Yeah the transition is definitely really hard. I would start to think about things early and really encourage athletes to figure out other interests and passions that they have. I think for me that’s really helped. But I think there’s no way of really getting around that loss of the thing that you’ve loved to do. But it is nice to step right into something else.
DD: I gotta throw in one sports question. I know you’re not competing anymore but I assume you still have a pulse on the track and field world. So any names we should keep an eye on for Paris?
AF: Yeah, we have so much depth. Anna Hall is an amazing athlete who is representing our country well. Sydney McLaughlin, I mean we have so much depth so Team USA is going to be in good hands.
DD: I’m sure you can’t wait to be watching as a fan. Alright, that’s all the time we have. Allyson Felix, a five-time Olympian, a self-made businesswoman, and of course, a mom. Thanks so much for taking the time. Take care. Good luck. Happy Mother’s Day, too!
AF: Thank you.