Amy Robbins - Alexo Athletica | Mace®
Meet the Founder of an Active Wear Brand Committed to Personal Safety
According to a 2021 survey by Runner’s World and Women’s Health, 60% of
women said they have been harassed when running. Despite the health and wellness benefits, 11% of the women surveyed said they had stopped running because of harassment.
Personal safety devices like pepper spray can help runners feel safer and more prepared. But, where do you put your pepper spray if you don’t want it in your hand—and your cell phone, keys, and whatever else you need? Enter Alexo Athletica.
We want our safety-minded readers to know about Alexo, because they offer comfortable, functional, and fashionable apparel options that allow you to carry a personal safety device—and anything else you want to carry when you run.
We spoke with the company’s founder, Amy Robbins, to get the story behind the brand. She shared some background and helpful advice for runners.
Why did you found Alexo Athletica?
The idea came to me when I was training for a marathon. I went out one morning—just like I do every day—and ran the same route. Unfortunately, I got followed and aggressively harassed by a group of men. At that point, I didn't carry any form of self-defense tool because I believed like so many other women that I was safe.
As the harassment continued, I started wondering how I would defend myself if the men stopped and got out of the car. Then, the car passed me, went to the end of the road, and circled back toward me. At that point, I was pretty sure I was in trouble. I just started praying and luckily they drove away. I ran back home, and I said that's it. I don’t want to feel defenseless.
Why did you focus on athletic apparel?
I realized that many women who run or walk have had very similar experiences to mine. That’s why so many women carry personal defense tools like pepper spray. But, when I founded the company, there were no workout companies or activewear brands that were making it easy to carry self-defense tools. That's where I saw an opportunity in the market. And that's how I came up with the idea for Alexo. I wanted to have secret places hidden into a waistband to discreetly carry self-defense tools, whether it's a firearm, pepper spray, or a stun gun.
Our leggings and apparel are about giving a woman a way to do whatever she wants to do—and feel safe and confident. Something as simple as carrying pepper spray probably would have helped me feel a lot more confident that day when I was harassed.
What advice would you give to women who enjoy running?
I'm a big believer that you need to have multiple tools in your toolbox, especially when it comes to your self-defense. Having options—whether it’s pepper spray, a stun gun, or a firearm—allows you to carry protection in nearly any situation.
But, I’m also a proponent of making sure that you are trained with whatever tool you choose. It’s essential to know the functionality and limitations of every single tool that you're going to carry, so you’re ready when it counts.
Runner’s World. 60% of women we surveyed have been harassed while running. Posted: May 2021. Accessed: December 2022.