Buzz About Us

Girls on the Run

CELEBRATING GIRLS: POWWFUL is now an official sponsor of the Girls on the Run SoleMates team. We believe that our values, commitment to empowering women, and focus on health are an ideal match with Girls on the Run’s mission.

Girls on the Run-Chicago is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit after-school program that uses the power of running to educate and prepare 3rd-8th grade girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. The innovative program combines training for a 5K event with interactive lessons that encourage positive emotional, social, mental, and physical development. Since 1999,Girls on the Run– Chicago has served 65,000 young girls across eight Chicagoland counties. This year, nearly 2,000 coaches will mentor 10,000 girls – empowering them with the confidence and character they need to become strong, healthy women.

Girls on the Run SoleMates Team T Shirt



A Sweat Life

Innovating Sports Bras For Real Women by Dani Kruger

Zip-front sports bras, like the POWWFUL Sweat Talk, are one such innovation. “For this particular style, our focus was three-fold,” explained POWWFUL co-founder Lotika Pai. “It is full coverage, super easy to take off, and [provides] high impact support.”

I, for one, greatly appreciate the flexibility of not needing to pull a tight bra over my head, especially when I’m feeling sore from lifting the day before. Pai agreed, saying “I am training for the 2018 Chicago Marathon and after double-digit long runs on the lakefront getting your sports bra on and off can be a real hassle. With a front zipper, you never have to wiggle it over your head!”  

Sweat Talk




Women Lead More Than Half of Tech Startups in China by Kate Springer

“Women hold up half the sky” has been a common saying in China for the past 50 years, but for most of that time it hasn’t been the reality in business. But China is changing fast, and in the past decade women have been holding up their half — and often much more — in big cities like Shenzhen and Shanghai.

When China native Wen Yao relocated from Chicago to Shanghai earlier this year, she wasn’t sure what to expect. A WeWork Creator Awards finalist in Detroit, the serial entrepreneur has already started two businesses in Chicago and is now leading her third: Powwful, a female sportswear brand that aims to empower women of all shapes and sizes. “When we expanded Powwful into China, we realized that we couldn’t just copy and paste what we were doing in Chicago,” says Yao, who worked as a marketing professional before starting her first business. “Everything works so differently in China — the social media platforms are different, the customer preferences are different, the behaviors are different….” But despite the learning curve, the Taiwan-born Yao has found herself at home in a like-minded community where women are highly regarded. 

Powwful: Wen Yao on China & Entrepreneurship



GuavaPass Logo

The perfect match to your healthy lifestyle! POWWFUL partners with GuavaPass in Asia.

Healthy living is more than just working out. What you eat, what you wear and how you treat yourself are all vital parts. POWWFUL is now offered as a GuavaPerk to the large GuavaPass community of fitness studios and healthy-living experts in cities across Asia. Now available in: Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Bangkok, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, and Mumbai. 

GuavaPass: One Pass. One Community. GuavaPass gives members access to a community of fitness studios and healthy-living experts, offering unlimited classes at premium fitness studios, exclusive events with wellness experts, community classes and a range of perks from healthy living partners in your city. 

Guava Perks



Fleet Feet
2018 National Conference, Minneapolis

From the post conference survey of Fleet Feet Franchisee's across America: "Of the newer brands, we were particularly impressed with Powwful."

We are so happy to be recognized as an emerging newcomer by one of the leading and most respected specialty running stores in the country! Thank you!!



Celebrating our one and a half year anniversary with the launch of POWWFUL in Asia!

Now available online on WeChat and Taobao.

Asia Launch 1

Asia Launch 2



Chicago Inno

A Chicago Fashion Startup Has Surpassed its Kickstarter with New ‘Power Socks’  By Katherine Davis

The knee-high compression socks help encourage healthy blood flow from the legs back to the heart. Besides their health benefits, the founders also made the socks very expressive.

The socks come in nine colorful designs, decorated with progressive and feminist phrases. They have titles ranging from “We Are All Human,” which is designed to represent LBGTQ rights, to “No Fear Just Power,” which promotes a woman’s right to feel safe in more vulnerable situations, like when traveling alone. “We wanted our designs to convey how we feel and think as a small women-owned and women-run company,” the founders wrote on the Kickstarter page. “We used the socks as a canvas to express our views with frankness and honesty.”

Power Socks - My Choice



Trendhunter Lifestyle


POWWFUL's Power Socks are Graphic-Heavy and Empowering

The Power Socks by POWWFUL openly embrace communities, equality and tolerance. The whimsically illustrated designs are not only fun and a staple to the monochromatic or simple outfit, but also strongly express POWWFUL's values with regard to an open-minded and humane exchange between people.

As well as being adorable and very fashion-forward, the power socks also have a very high-performing and sport-minded construction. POWWFUL sources the softest micro-nylon yarn and blends it with an appropriate amount of spandex to ensure comfort. Thus, the colorful socks become perfect not only for playfully casual outfits but also for sporty activities such as hiking or biking. The superior compression in the Power Socks allows for more oxygen to flow to the muscles during exercise, which ultimately results in faster recovery rates and higher performance.   

We Run Better - Power Socks



Power Socks - As Seen On


POWWFUL, Chicago’s emerging activewear brand, started and run by women, announces their newest line and Kickstarter campaign this week. POWWFUL designs pieces around the idea that health and wellness is a personalized journey. What you wear should compliment how you think and feel. The company prides itself in using bright, high-quality, technical fabrics at reasonable price points.

POWWFUL’s new line introduces socks to the company’s repertoire. Power Socks is a line of knee-high, graduated compression socks with designs that illustrate some of today’s most pressing issues. This collection includes nine unique designs that compliment one’s self-expression with the added health benefits of compression.

See the design inspirations for Power Socks at this LINK.

Power Socks - Fully Funded on Kickstarter



Polsky Weekly 10

The startup with a leg up on the competition.

Booth alum-founded startup POWWFUL wants to be the new go-to for fitness fashion with an emphasis on making its wearers feel "powwful" in all aspects of life, both physically and mentally. And their newest product, boldly-patterned compression socks, are no different. Designed to increase blood flow from the legs to the heart, each pair of socks is also designed with a variety of empowering slogans and phrases such as "we are all human," and "my choice." A mission and message that has clearly resonated with consumers, the aptly-dubbed "Power Socks" have already surpassed their Kickstarter campaign goal of $15K.

Power Socks



American Chamber of Commerce

Designing Culture: Driving China’s Future

American Chamber of Commerce Shanghai's Entrepreneurship Committee hosted a special fireside chat featuring Miguel McKelvey, Co-Founder and Chief Culture Officer of WeWork. Also on the panel, POWWFUL Co-founder Wen Yao shared her vision on shaping the future of work and why a having a strong core belief and values as an organization matters. 

Wen Yao, POWWFUL Co-founder, at the American Chamber of Commerce event in Shanghai



Chicago MMA    POWWFUL Logo      DyMynd Angels


POWER HOUR with POWWFUL and the fierce team at Chicago Mixed Martial Arts. An amazing evening with a room full of powerful women venturing out of their comfort zone. We threw punches, elbows and kicks and learned how to defend ourselves. Thank you Misho, Rosie & Leah for teaching us risk awareness and basics of hands-on street-smart self-defense techniques. It is so important to know how to protect yourself in situations where self-protection becomes unavoidable.

Power Hour with POWWFUL and Chicago MMA


ANGEL HOUR with POWWFUL co-founder Lotika Pai and Carolyn Leonard & Monika Black, with DyMynd Angels, Chicago's Only Women Led Female-Focused Angel Investing Initiative. Discussing why female founders in Chicago and throughout the Midwest receive just $2.90 out of every $100 that is invested in her male counterparts. And how we all can contribute to creating the change we want to see.

Angel Hour 


WeWork Creator Awards

Modern Women Should Refuse To Be "Defined": Creator Story featuring POWWFUL Co-founder Wen Yao

WeWork shares a creator story, with Wen Yao, from their Yunnan Road location in Shanghai where POWWFUL is in preparation for expanding into the Asian market. In this fast-paced contemporary society, each of us is anxious about how to make "right" choices, while creators choose to start their own lives. 

    Wen Yao, POWWFUL Co-founder    Wen Yao, POWWFUL Co-founder    Wen Yao, POWWFUL Co-founder     Wen Yao, POWWFUL Co-founder  
Reader's Digest

8 Fitness Motivation Secrets That Actually Work
By Lindsay Tigar

Is this the year you're going to—finally—make the difference in your health? Here is a guide to staying focused on fitness from former couch potatoes who made it happen for themselves.

POWWFUL's powerful co-founder, Lotika Pai, talks about the role running plays in her life. "Don't compare yourself to others." Six years ago, Lotika Pai had a lot on her plate as a new mom and an investment banker. Then a friend suggested running, inspiring her to sign up for a beginner's program. "Running in a group provided me with a structure to get started, people to hold me accountable for showing up to our group run sessions, and gave me a specific plan for other individual workouts to tackle during the week. I was hooked," she shared. Now, logging miles is a critical part of her life; it also helps her cope with her chronic illnesses (insulin resistance and polycystic ovarian syndrome). She also has built a new career that allows her to spend time with her family. "For a long time I allowed myself to be intimidated by the people working out around me," she says "You can't compare your day one or even your day 50 to someone else's day 365. When it comes to fitness, no body shape is better than another. Just as no workout is better than another. What is important is actually doing something," she says. "I learned to define my own individual fitness journey through running. I run slowly and I run short distances, but I get up, get out, keep getting stronger and I love it."

POWWFUL Co-founder Lotika Pai


Chicago Magazine

Tackle Your New Year’s Fitness Resolution in Style By Jessica Moazami

Be chic at the gym with trendy workout gear. At #1: Sweat Talk, moisture-wicking zip-front sports bra by Powwful ($38)

Chicago Mag + POWWFUL



Fleet Feet Sports Chicago

To highlight the expansive styles and versatility of sports bras on the market today, we asked a group of runners to show us their favorite spots in Lincoln Square that help them maintain their lifestyle that comes with being a "runner".

Many women have had a complicated relationship with sports bras. Straps, hooks, padding, and bands can be uncomfortable and just plain awkward. But times are changing. As Time once said, a sports bra renaissance is upon us.

By using buttery-soft fabrics, incredibly lightweight and breathable materials, removable pads, and adjustable compression and fit, sports bras have reached peak comfort.




Chicago Magazine

2017 Gift Guide: Best Local Gifts from $30 to $100

At #12: The Lift, moisture-wicking sports bra by Powwful ($36)

Chicago Magazine - 2017 Gift Guide - Best Local Gifts



Fleet Feet Sports Chicago

This Sports Bra Takes Design Cues From Old Town's Triangle District

In July we introduced POWWFUL, a new Chicago based sports bra company into our stores that focuses on style just as much as support. The brand uses architectural and cultural icons across Chicago and uses them in their designs. At $36, these sports bras have been a customer and staff favorite at our Fleet Feet Sports Old Town store.

Powwful's newest design, The Triangle, is no different.

POWWFUL The Triangle Sports Bra     POWWFUL The Triangle Sports Bra    POWWFUL The Triangle Sports Bra



Chicago Booth Magazine

From Fail To Prevail, By Alina Dizik

Finding the opportunity for growth and knowledge in professional setbacks has these Booth alumni reaching great heights.

When Lotika Pai, ’08, arrived for her first day on the job, she was told to leave. Her role had been eliminated. It wasn’t personal; Pai’s start date was September 15, 2008—the same day that Lehman Brothers, her would-be employer, filed for bankruptcy...

From Fail To Prevail

Chicago MMA  POWWFUL Logo      


POWWFUL and Chicago MMA teamed up to host POWER HOUR, a free introductory self-defense class for women to gain the necessary physical and mental skills to help prevent and de-escalate dangerous situations. Trained Mixed Martial Arts instructors taught risk awareness, verbal resistance skills and basics of hands-on street-smart self-defense techniques.

We welcome all who experience life through the lens of a woman in body, spirit, and identity – past, present, future, and fluid.

The inaugural event was held on Wednesday, August 30th at WeWork’s Kinzie location (20 W Kinzie Street, 17th floor) from 6 – 8 pm.

No Fear Just PowerNo Fear Just Power

Power Hour with POWWFUL and Chicago MMA




15 Athleisure Looks That Can Take You From the Gym to Happy Hour, By Bethany Cantor

This sports bra is so playful you’ll want to workout just so you can wear it. The unique back detail means it’ll look just as cute peeking out from your tank at brunch as it did during spin. 

The Triangle     



Fleet Feet Sports

❤️  POWWFUL, now available at Fleet Feet Sports ❤️

Ladies, We Hear You. And We've Brought In a New, Fun, Sports Bra Company.

POWWFUL is a Chicago-based company who thinks about sports bras a bit differently. With designs inspired by architectural and cultural icons across Chicago, these sports bras will help you power through working out looking good and feeling good. Made using a buttery soft technical fabric that will feel like silk against your skin, and priced at a very affordable $36, these four new styles are available at Fleet Feet Sports Old Town.

Fleet Feet + POWWFUL



Chicago Inno

Seven Rising Fashion Startups That Will Help You Dress Better (With a Tech Twist) by Karis Hustad

They're now gearing up to launch their second line of apparel which will be a "visual representation of women taking up space in their lives and being unapologetic for it," said Pai. This will include both sports bras, open back tops, and full-sleeve tops.

POWWFUL New Line Sneak Peak



A Sweat Life

 NOT YOUR EVERYDAY ACTIVEWEAR: These Brands Are Out To Do Good By Dani Kruger

When I first saw the backs of the sports bras from POWWFUL, my heart skipped a beat. I’m not sure what it is about a criss-crossed, strappy sports bra that makes me want to ditch my shirt and join the #sportsbrasquad, but I love them. And POWWFUL’s message is just as perfect...



Chicago Inno

8 Chicago Sports Startups to Watch by Jim Dallke

In the spirit of March Madness we wanted to take a look at some of the sports startups making moves in Chicago. Powwful's line of colorful sports bras are made with flatlock seams that prevent chafing, and come with high-performance breathable, sweat-wicking fabric with four-way stretch.

Chicago Inno: Powwful's first line of colorful sports bras.

Sports bras designed by an engineer (and inspired by Chicago architecture) 

An orange-and-pink bra with V-shaped straps was inspired by Alexander Calder's "Flamingo" statue in Federal Plaza.

The Business Journals: POWWFUL Sports Bras inspired by architecture



 Thing you didn't know you need: A Chicago-inspired sports bra   By Robert Loerzel

Crains Chicago Business: Thing you didn't know you need: A Chicago-inspired sports bra



Chicago Inno

An Engineer Designed These Sports Bras, Inspired by Chicago Architecture   By Karis Hustad

Chicago's unique architecture played muse to two Chicago entrepreneurs jumping into the fashion business.

Chicago Inno: An Engineer Designed These Sports Bras



A Sweat Life

 WE GOT GOALS: Co-creator of POWWFUL, Lotika Pai, shares   By Maggie Umberger

There are people who love life, and then there are people who exude loving it out of their pores. 

aSWEATLIFE: WE GOT GOALS: Co-creator of POWWFUL, Lotika Pai, shares



Wantz Events and Lifeway Foods

We had a glow-tastic time at Glo-ga yoga with Wantz Events and Lifeway Foods. 

Thank you to everyone who came out to flow with us!

Glo-gla Yoga POWWFUL