Fran Dunaway is a media executive-turned-fashion entrepreneur and co-founder of TomboyX, a Seattle-based gender-neutral underwear and loungewear brand launched in 2013. The brand started as a passion project in collaboration with her wife and co-founder Naomi Gonzalez to create the perfect button-up shirt, pivoting to focus on underwear based on the overwhelming demand for their first boxer brief for women. Fran and TomboyX are driven by a belief that brands can be a force for positive change, and their messaging promotes a human agenda to inspire conversation about gender, confidence, acceptance, and inclusion.

As CEO, Fran has led TomboyX to doubled year-over-year growth and industry recognition that has included a listing on Inc. Magazine’s 500 fastest growing companies and being named Small Business of the Year for King County and Fastest Growing Minority-Owned Company by the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Prior to founding TomboyX, Fran spent over 15 years in media production including Director-level roles with political consulting firms. Her work included managing multi-million dollar budgets and large teams in production of TV/radio ads and animations for congressional candidates and social causes. She has also produced TV episodes for PBS and independent films, with festival showings at Sundance and DigiDance.

Fran is active in social causes and served as Executive Director of Equal Rights Washington, a nonprofit focused on LGBTQ rights successfully advocated for passage of anti-discrimination legislation (Washington House Bill 2661) in 2006. She also served on the Steering Committee and Board of Governors of the Human Rights Campaign’s Seattle chapter.

Fran holds a M.Ed. from University of Missouri-Columbia, a BS in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from University of Missouri-Rolla, and a Certificate of Excellence from Vancouver Film School.

Related content

Season 3

Boxer Briefs


Following a successful career as a media executive, Fran Dunaway founded TomboyX with her wife to address an unfulfilled need: good and more comfortable underwear. Since 2015, Fran has used her years of experience and knowledge to raise the profile of TomboyX, and its inclusive, gender-neutral underwear, particularly its boxer-brief style, to disrupt the $13B undergarment industry.

Listen to this week’s episode of Start Small, Dream BIG to learn more!

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