Anna Sabiston is a business woman, mother of two, and creator of Playing 9, the first ever line of maternity golf apparel. An avid golfer, Sabiston played in college and continued using the game in her finance career to entertain clients, but when she was pregnant with her first child she was stumped as there was nothing to wear. “I felt embarrassed in the clothes I was wearing. I searched to the end of the internet, and there really wasn’t anything that fit well.”
By Hally Leadbetter
Sabiston resorted to baggy men’s polos for baby number one, but when baby number two came along, she was reminded again of her struggle finding decent clothes to play in and decided enough was enough. “I thought, well, maybe I’ll create it, and so I did.”
While on maternity leave with her second child, Sabiston decided it was time to see her idea through. At first she was hesistant. “I thought, ‘I think this is a good idea, but what if no one will buy it?’” The only way to find out was to try, and with her busy schedule, she held herself accountable through a Kickstarter campaign. She raised just over $6,000, and Playing 9 was born.
Anna Sabiston and her oldest daughter, Scarlett.
Sabiston’s two biggest concerns when it came to her designs were fit and quality. She collaborated with local designers and a manufacturer in Minneapolis, using her friends who were pregnant to make sure the clothing fit just right, and that the fabric could stand the test of time. “A lot of maternity clothes aren’t high quality. I wanted to make my stuff out of high-quality fabrics so that you’d be able to wash it over and over and wear it again for your second or third pregnancy.”
Golf is actually an ideal sport to play during pregnancy because it can be tailored to the individual. “If you’re not feeling well, you can hop in a cart and ride or if you want more exercise, you can walk,” Sabiston said. As of now, Playing 9 has one main shirt and skirt model, with four colors in the shirt and three colors in the skirt. “Everything can intermix, so if you bought all the pieces you’d have 12 different outfits.” Sabiston said she hopes to add a sleeveless option and a sweatshirt to the collection down the road.
Golfing moms-to-be is a niche demographic, to say the least, but it’s a void that is being filled by Playing 9. “Nike and Adidas aren’t going to fill that gap. It’s a very small market. My goal is not to be the ‘end all, be all,’ but to just serve that segment for mom’s-to-be who want to keep playing golf.”
Playing 9 is available online at Playing9.com.
(Photos courtesy of Playing 9.)