folder Filed in Interviews
Names with stories: The story behind
By SmartBranding Team access_time 4 min read

Founded in 2013 by Fran Dunaway and Naomi Gonzalez, TomboyX is a gender-neutral underwear brand.

We talked with Fran Dunaway, Co-Founder and CEO of TomboyX, about the origin of their brand name, why they picked as a domain, and what is new and exciting in their future plans.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how TomboyX got started?

My wife and I started this underwear company because I was frustrated with the lack of button up shirt options for women. I wanted quality fabrics with fun details, like a Robert Graham or Ben Sherman. That’s where we started. We launched a Kickstarter campaign to pay to get the shirts into production and about a week into it we realized that we were tapping into a white space in the fashion industry. We had instant brand recognition because of our name. Our customers told us they wanted comfortable underwear that fit who they were. So we obliged.

What was the process of selecting a brand name like? When did you know this was the one?

My wife and I were on a long walk with a friend and brainstorming on what a good name for our brand would be. Tomboy came up and we really liked the sound of it. In order to give the name a ‘store’ vibe, we added the word Exchange which we ultimately shortened to TomboyX. We love adding the X as we can play with the gender neutrality of the X in a way that the word tomboy doesn’t allow.

What was the reason to get the domain name for your brand? 

So that we could set up a retail store.

How has owning affected your business? Do you own any other domain names?

We got lucky that the name wasn’t taken and it has made a huge impact on our business because people who identify with the tomboy spirit immediately understand what we’re about.

What was the vision and purpose of your company when it first started and how has TomboyX evolved as a brand since? 

We wanted to make sure we were building a brand that was true to our personal values, environmental sustainable practices, fair trade, living wages, and size/model inclusivity and diversity. 

Fran Dunaway, TomboyX

We just got B Corp certified, so we are very proud of the work we put in from the beginning to ensure that could happen.

Has the pandemic affected your company in any way? What has changed since?

It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride, which is still happening in some ways. We’ve been nimble and able to weather the ups and downs pretty well. It’s been great for team bonding as we have to react to things quickly and collaborate across teams. 

What do you do to make sure your marketing is effective?

We are very data driven and drill down into the details of our assumptions and our results.

What would your advice be to entrepreneurs who are just starting out?

Prioritize your to do list by having the 3 most urgent things at the top, followed by the 3 most important. Nothing else matters.

Fran Dunaway, TomboyX

Prioritize your to do list by having the 3 most urgent things at the top, followed by the 3 most important. Nothing else matters.

What do’s and dont’s can you share when it comes to branding and naming?

I don’t really have any.

What is next for TomboyX?

Scaling for growth.

You can follow TomboyX on LinkedinInstagramFacebookTwitter, Pinterest or visit their website to find out more about the company. 

How does your brand name match your company vision? What new horizons can a better name open? Get in touch if you feel your brand deserves a better name, we are always happy to help.

branding domain name Fran Dunaway interview naming TomboyX