GO Proudly Presents: 100 Women We Love, Class Of 2021

Abby Sugar

Abby Sugar by Eric Jukelevics

Abby Sugar is the founder and CEO of Play Out Apparel, a gender-equal clothing brand. The brand came out of a personal struggle to find gender- expression affirming apparel, and from her entrepreneurial spirit, which was nurtured in The Founder Institute startup accelerator. As an “outgoing, unapologetically queer startup founder,” she says, Sugar strives to be a leading voice for the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, when faced with adversity within the startup world, she didn’t back down. In 2020, only 2.3% of venture capital funding went to women-led startups, and for LGBTQ+ led ones, the number was even smaller. “I think a lot about the obstacles to success that LGBTQ+ founders face in the startup industry when I think about being an out startup entrepreneur,” says Sugar. “I am determined not to be limited by these numbers and to succeed in the face of adversity.” Her current role allows her to not only plant a flag for LGBTQ+ led startups, but give back to the community through comfort and fashion. “The most rewarding aspect of my work is hearing from customers and members of our community that they feel represented and seen by our brand and can fully express themselves authentically by wearing Play Out,” Sugar tells GO. “It really touches me when we receive messages that our website and social media is a safe space, and that they truly see that we are making the world a kinder and more accepting place. It inspires me to keep doing what we’re doing!” —IL

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