Our Story

Pink Robin co-founders Erica Bacon and Amanda Blake met in college, just a few hours from where they both grew up in Maine. Bonding over shared dorms, The L Word, and trips to Smith College, they had a tight-knit group of queer friends. Sadly, there are no photos of them from this time … or […]

Pink Robin co-founders Erica Bacon and Amanda Blake met in college, just a few hours from where they both grew up in Maine. Bonding over shared dorms, The L Word, and trips to Smith College, they had a tight-knit group of queer friends. Sadly, there are no photos of them from this time … or so they claim.

Life led them on separate paths after graduation, and their connection eventually faded. Fast forward a decade to 2016, Erica was managing a $100M business in New York City. Seeking some solace, she rented a house on the coast of Maine, nestled between an Alpaca farm and the Newagen Seaside Inn. “One morning I went for a run and ventured onto the inn’s property to watch the seabirds,” Erica recalls. When she returned to her rented house, an unexpected message from Amanda awaited – rekindling a long lost friendship.

Hey, I think I’m crazy because I swear I just saw you running by the place my wife and I are staying. We just got married yesterday.

It was serendipity.

Also excelling in her professional life, Amanda was managing projects for a large health insurance provider. As the two excitedly reconnected they discovered that they listened to the same podcasts, followed the same health and wellness ideals, and shopped the same queer brands. They also realized that in the midst of their success in the “corporate climb,” they were both feeling professionally unfulfilled. “We were in that prime where you start evaluating your own talent and figuring out how to up level but also elevate others,” explains Amanda. Together they wondered how they could translate their success to better support the queer community.

“We both had such great success transforming ourselves. We wanted to give back to our community,” explains Amanda. “We initially hit it off talking about queer owned businesses,” adds Erica, “and how awesome it would be to be just as successful, but with something of our own.”

“It always starts with me manically monologuing about some wild idea I have,” says Erica.

Amanda describes Erica as the visionary, which Erica appreciates, because really, she’s super excitable and can’t always sit still long enough to bring her ideas to life. “My sweet spot has always been breaking down work and tactically executing ideas from strategic leaders,” Amanda explains, which is a fancy way of saying they know how to get shit done.

“Amanda is the best hype bro ever. Always ready to talk it out, poke holes, or pump it up,” Erica says.

Simply put, they make a great team.

The timing was right for Erica and Amanda to create something together, something that would allow them to utilize their talent and skill, but would also spark their passion for creating community.

First, they started a health and wellness coaching company, but with a 6-month-old baby at home and managing a start-up in New York, Erica knew their venture wasn’t getting her full attention. A year later they had an idea for a gender-neutral underwear company. “I wanted to erase the binary way we talk about clothes, especially underwear,” Erica says. They designed prototypes and worked with consultants.

“Amanda and I went to a conference and met some ‘famous’ queer business icons in the underwear industry at a bar in Philly.” Excited to share their ideas and talk about collaborating, they were instead met with anger and insults. “They believed there was only room for one successful queer owned business in that vertical. Their own fear of scarcity crushed our dream,” explains Erica. She and Amanda pulled the plug on the company soon after the conference. Today, there are countless gender-neutral underwear brands owned by queer and gay people. The encounter was a reminder to them that support within our queer community is vital to its growth.

“We want to elevate and lift up that experience,” Amanda explains. It’s one that could have turned them cynical. Instead, they doubled down on their dedication to the gay agenda.

Years went by since the meeting in Philly until one day in March 2023, it all made sense. “We needed to build the thing our community is missing. No more waiting.” Erica was ready for a breakthrough as she recalled a past idea for a queer directory that would highlight LGBTQIA+ brands.

She fired off texts to Amanda, calling it the fucking Amazon of gayness. She quickly followed with, including friendlies, of course. Lost in excitement for the first time in a long time, she added, This would literally connect us and our community together.

Living legend Dolly Parton says that “dreams are of no value if they’re not equipped with wings.” Pink Robin was hatched.

It was time to change the narrative around queer stories. Erica was tired of the incessant themes of trauma and tragedy. “Our community never gets the media time about how successful we are.” She explains that we shouldn’t matter only in June. “As a community we’re economically fucking powerful, if only there was a way to harness and centralize that power, and invest it in each other.”

Both Amanda and Erica convey this belief with an authentic enthusiasm.

“We create expansive economic value for queer owned businesses by facilitating the connection between consumers and their products and services in one easy to find and shop platform.”

For the past year they have spent caffeine-fueled mornings, late nights, and weekends researching, ideating, and building the marketplace. Their hope is that what they’ve created feels familiar and easy. “The idea of a marketplace isn’t new,” they say, “but the idea of supporting queer owned brands outside of Pride month is fairly novel, and Pink Robin is the solution for that.”

Welcome to the Gayborhood.

Pink Robin is a digital marketplace that brings together LGBTQIA+ owned brands and service providers in one easy to find and shop platform. We are devoted to providing visibility and support to queer owned businesses, providing easier access to elevate their amazing products and services. Erica and Amanda are so excited about giving back to their community that they’ve even created the Nest Egg Grant, Pink Robin’s own foundation to help LGBTQIA+ small businesses with start-up capital. More details soon to come.

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    Pink Robin is a digital marketplace that brings together LGBTQIA+ owned brands and service providers in one easy to find and shop platform. We are devoted to providing visibility and support to queer owned businesses, providing easier access to elevate their amazing products and services.

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