Betsy can 'B' very stylish when it comes to sports

Jerry Greene
January 16, 2008


Ladies, this column is for you.

The Web site is bforbetsy.com.

The product is high-fashion clothing and accessories for the female sports fan who wants to show team support and look really good doing it.
The Betsy is Betsy Stephens, a Pasadena, Calif., mother of two who turned her personal desire to cheer for the Lakers fashionably into a thriving business that has her preparing for the Super Bowl right now.

Our telephone conversation began haltingly as Betsy was distracted. She explained: "Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins, ordered 75 black velvet garment bags with the Redskins logo embroidered in crystal and I was sitting here watching two production assistants bringing them in on a rolling rack -- and they just fell over."

That meant the garment bags fell over, not the assistants. But the minor accident isn't the point. The point is Snyder placing the order for 75 gifts for members of his Super Bowl party to a woman who did not start her business until 2006. It was only her then, making things by hand.

Now she has 12 employees and they have their hands full.

"I wake up every day and think 'Wow!' I've been so lucky to get in at the right time."

Just a few years ago Betsy made a belt for herself with the Lakers logo and wore it to a game against Phoenix. Someone from the Suns said: "We love your belt. Will you make 24 of them for the wives of our owners and players?" From there, Betsy began long negotiations with the NBA that led to a merchandising contract with the league.

And as they say, from there --history, including a "Micro to Millions" award from "Count Me In," a national organization that recognizes women-owned businesses that they expect to top a million-dollars in sales.

She also has contracts with the NFL, MLB and some major universities.

Right now she is "gearing up for Phoenix" and presenting her merchandise at the NFL Experience for the second consecutive year.

In addition, she sells to individuals from her store in Pasadena and the Bforbetsy.com site. She was recently featured on the Rachael Ray TV show where they labeled her stuff an "instant male magnet."

It may be that, but Betsy says 80 percent of her individual sales are to women who are sports fans and not just trolling for guys.

And perhaps her two most frequent requests to add to her client lists are "NASCAR and the Florida Gators."

So, ladies, if you are looking for a special tote or T-shirt or fashion strap or suitbag or pillow or the belts and headbands that started it all, check it out.

Hey, Eva Longoria wears Betsy product. If it works for her, it should work for you, right?