The key to her success.
Women have made extraordinary strides in the sports business in recent years, and the world of golf is no exception. Once an almost exclusively male-dominated industry, golf now offers tremendous opportunities for business women in the United States and beyond. In our on-going series, “What Drives Her,” we shine a light on women in the golf business to share their inspiring stories with the goal of encouraging even more women to consider a career in the sports industry.
Our first featured guest is Betsy Rittenhouse, co-founder of BelynKey, makers of golf apparel that women love to wear on and off the golf course. We met Betsy back in 2010 when Golf4her first launched and have enjoyed watching her and her staff grow BelynKey into the successful business it is today. Betsy graciously agreed to answer a few questions for our followers.
Q1: When did you start playing golf? How often do you play?
I started playing golf when I met my first husband, at the age of 26. I always say: I got 3 wonderful things from my first marriage: My 2 beautiful sons and the game of golf. Unfortunately, with running the brand, I don’t get to play as much as I would like. Maybe 1 time per week, occasionally twice.
Q2: What made you start your business?
Having been in the Industry for many years, I knew that there was a big void in women's golf apparel for a crossover brand that could take us from the office right out to the links, and from the links in for cocktails. Timing is everything. Having just left another brand, I teamed up with my co-founder, and we created (in my basement) the blue print for what would become Belyn Key.
Q3: Does your name have a special meaning?
Belyn is a combination of our names, Betsy and Lynne. The Key: We knew that our logo was going to be the Key from day one. We decided to add ‘key’ to the brand’s name because we felt that Belyn wasn’t enough. People always ask if we were in a college sorority, but neither of us has been…We just love they key, as simple as that.
Q4: Where do you find inspiration to stay motivated and creative every season?
I never run out of ideas. It makes our design team a little bit crazy. We pay a lot of attention to what is going on in Haute Couture, and then put our unique, classic twist to it. We will outsource when we get stuck, but that doesn’t happen very often.
Q5: What’s your favorite thing about owning a business in the golf industry?
I love everything about the game of golf, and the Industry in general. The people in this Industry are generally happy people, and I am so grateful that we all are continually picking each other up, especially this past year. The best thing about owning the business is that we can JUMP on opportunities and innovative idea without having to cut through red tape.
Q6: What is your absolute favorite item you sell?
Our Commuter Pants. They are just perfect. The fabric and the fit are phenomenal. Classic design, and super flattering. They look great on every body type. And, they wash up great and are SO comfortable.
Q7: If you had one piece of advice for a women starting their own business, what would it be?
I am hardly an expert, but in my experience the best advise is to always stay positive and to surround yourself with positive people. Steer clear of negative people!!
Q8: What advise you give a women thinking about playing golf?
Do it, and stick with it. But most importantly: Have a sense of humor about it. Every day will be different, some good, some not so much. But, you always have to laugh and have fun.
Q9: Do you have a mantra that you could share with us?
I sure do: I actually have 2 of them, #1: “It never hurts to ask” And, my favorite, that my mother told me ever since I can remember: “there is nothing that you can’t do.”
You can view the latest collection from BelynKey at Golf4Her.com