Meet a Nasty Woman: 5 Questions with Fran Dunaway

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Meet Fran Dunaway. Fran is a Nasty Woman and the CEO and co-founder of TomboyX. She and her wife, Naomi Gonzalez, started it as a little side business that has turned into brand that resonates with women and girls around the world. TomboyX makes underwear with a focus on fit and quality for every body. In keeping with their brand promise, they carry sizes XS to 4X in every style. TomboyX promotes inclusivity, body positivity and kindness. 

What makes you a Nasty Woman?

Well, simply the fact that when a male then candidate for president called one of my heroes a Nasty Woman, I knew that I too, fit that bill. Not that I want him to define us but it was a moment for women to rise up and say FU, enough is enough. It was an awakening for this country and I’m proud to be part of the movement that is going to hold men accountable for a change.

 Share an experience that shaped your views or helped get you involved in activism.

When I came out I thought everyone would be as excited as I was to have finally answered a gnawing question that I’d had all my life. When I faced the reality that I was a lesbian I suddenly saw everything so clearly, my life started making sense. When I excitedly started telling my friends and family, I quickly found out they didn’t share my enthusiasm. I lost some friends and became estranged from some family. I couldn’t figure out how they couldn’t share my joy and then realized it was because of what our society had told them about people like me. And I hadn’t changed, really. I was the same person just more self aware. So I decided it was time to get involved with the gay rights movement so that people could get over their faulty thinking about gay people being bad, scary or evil. We are your sisters and brothers, neighbors, co-workers. It’s been amazing to see how far we’ve come. And yet, so far to go.

What advice do you have for people who want to help enact change and push progress but don’t know how to get involved?

Find a way. There are so many volunteer opportunities for anyone wanting to be involved. Join some FB groups. Speak up about injustices and support others who do so as well. As women, we really need to have each others’ backs. So listen, pay attention and get involved.

If you could look into the future, 10 years from now, and see that real progress has been made, what does that look like to you?

Women are making equal pay, getting funded equally, are represented in local and federal governments equally, have a platform to call men out for inappropriate behavior.

Share with us a favorite wine, a favorite moment or memory with wine, or a favorite pairing.  

I produced an episode of Rudy Maxa’s World in Mendoza, Argentina several years ago. A local winery put together an asado in the middle of a nascent winery and we dined with white linens, rested in hammocks and rode horses through the vines. All while sampling the delicious Malbec’s of the region. Splendid!

Check out Fran's brand TomboyX and read what Fast Company is said about her booming business here.


Emily Davis