THE BACKSTORY - Barbells & Ponytails

Barbells & Ponytails offers unique, quality fitness apparel designed specifically for women who like to lift. Or run. Or do yoga...hey, whatever you're into! I am not one to judge. This brand is really for any woman, of any size, any age, who enjoys any type of fitness. I believe in being inclusive...not exclusive.  (And no, you do not need a ponytail!)

Who am I?

My name is Elisa...but you can call me 'E'. I'm 37, live in Tampa, Fl with my 3 dogs, 2-year-old daughter, 2 (future) step-kids, and an incredibly loving boyfriend/baby-daddy. 

I'm not someone who craves attention (read: social anxiety) and I have no dreams of becoming an "influencer". I've been perfectly happy hiding behind the camera...but I realize the importance of our customers knowing exactly who "we" are.

So if you'd like to hear how we on!


How B&P began (The short and sweet version)

In 2012, I discovered CrossFit...and that is when my entire life changed (cliche', I know). I was almost 30 years old, bartending, and in an incredibly toxic 5-year relationship…which I couldn't seem to escape. I had never been single, never lived by myself, and was terrified of the idea of being "alone". So I put up with a man who was manipulative, verbally abusive, and cheated on me like it was his job.

 Until CrossFit.

Tired of the globo-gym scene, I stumbled upon CrossFit and was immediately hooked. It made me feel strong, capable, and honestly…like a total badass. My confidence skyrocketed…and soon thereafter, I kicked that piece of trash to the curb.

In 2013, I found myself opening a CrossFit gym (which is a whole 'nother story). One day, I was scrolling Instagram for some cool CrossFit gear. Everything I found was either hot pink or super cheesy…which was NOT what I was looking for.

It was then that I had my "lightbulb' moment to create B&P.  I had a design in mind so I spent $300 (money that I could not even afford) on a graphic designer to help bring it to life. I wanted a design that women could wear and feel strong, confident, a total badass. I had no idea if anyone would like my idea...but here we are 7 years later!!

I want all women to feel how I did when I started weightlifting. My entire life changed after that first touch of a barbell- and I'm dedicated to encouraging other women to find the thing that does that for them. I have big hopes and dreams for the future of B&P… so stay tuned- there is SO much more to come!

 Elisa Tanner



P.S. I wrote all of that so you know that when you make a purchase from B&P, you are supporting a woman-owned small business...not some nameless, faceless corporation. I really hope to do some big things for women in the future- and your support means everything to me :)


  • Becky

    While I’m not a huge crossfit girl, I love lifting and exercising. It is the best mental and physical therapy I’ve ever had. I started my journey around 2011. I’d always been active but after year and years of toxic relationships I needed something that was " just mine" and could build me up. I have trained and have become a NASM instructor. I want to continue to build me and other women like me. You have my support from Memphis Tn.

  • Tanya

    I just got my first order from your company. I love the items I bought. They are very high quality, and I will be buying again from you. I am a survivor of abuse first from my parents, and then from my ex. I am currently with the love of my life my husband and he is amazing. We have two kids and one of them is a daughter. I love supporting women-owned businesses and lifting other women up. I am teaching both my kids that they should never accept abuse in any form. I am a Muay Thai Martial artist. I also lift heavy. I too had to fight to get out of my abusive relationship. I understand that feeling of empowerment when you learn you can do something. I feel that way even in my Muay Thai. I will never let another person, man or woman put their hands on me again.

    Thank you for building this company. The products you make, make me smile, make me laugh, and make me happy. I hope you keep inspiring women all over the world and being the awesome person you are.

  • Jamir

    You rock! I’m from your tribe of abuse. 13 years and I k ew when my daughter was born I had to get out. It took 4 more years but it was done! You have my support as a mom and step mom of 6.
    Life is too short to live in the past. People will do what they want regardless of the outcome. U choose happiness and positivity! You Rock

  • ERika

    Hi Elisa, I follow your page since almost two years ago I think, and I love it!! I never read your story and I am impressed! I identify with it so much (CrossFit changed my life too). I have a 5 and 10 y.o. Boys and a husband but in my case, I was out of shape, and struggled so much to lose my baby fat I felt ugly and unhappy. I lost all the extra weight, I’m in the best shape I have ever been, I am in love with barbells and the gym in general and the level of confidence I gained is amazing.
    It’s a joy to explore your merchandise and I wanted to say thank you for offering other options. Have a great day and stay healthy.

  • Cassandra Nav

    Getting more into CrossFit and lifting – with the pandemic I’ve finally created a good space where I can feel comfortable being ME and focusing on strength. I stumbled upon your brand on Instagram – and I am hooked. Even more so now reading the backstory. You have a customer for life – and will always support B&P’s mission.

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