About Butch Basix

We have a story about what compels us to spend our days, nights and weekends and all the time in between thinking about Butch Basix (our online store full of curated, masculine style goods). Some might narrowly define us as part of the (thankfully) growing group of retailers who re-position the categories of "men's clothing, accessories, jewelry, and personal care items" to be more inclusive. Butch Basix has also been described as an online "LGBTQ clothing and accessories company," but we feel we're much more than that. As we grow and expand our product offerings, we hope to be understood by our customers as more than a niche business, and as part of a movement towards expanded choices and personal freedom.

The use of the term “Butch” in our business name is our way of telling you something about us and about who we want to reach.

How Butch relates to us: The idea for the online store was informed by Ames' experience as a frustrated and alienated butch consumer and her longing for an alternative to both online and in-store men’s, boy’s and women’s departments.

How Butch relates to you: Our goal is to offer “masculine”styled goods to shoppers of every gender, while being particularly welcoming to masculine of center folks (including people who identify as butch) who are excluded and harmed by the pervasive gendered retail segmentation. Regardless of your identity, shopping at a place like Butch Basix, lets you participate in shifting the retail paradigm from one that focuses on the gender of the consumer to one that focuses on the characteristics of the goods sold. 

The term “Basix” conveys what we sell – the basics. Extra points if you can guess the significance of the "x."

Butch Basix is based in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Emeryville, California.




Ames Simpson: With over 12 years experience in the world of eCommerce, Ames has been immersed in virtually every aspect of running and growing online retail businesses. As Director of eCommerce Operations for over 10 years, Ames helped 5 Star Web Inc. make the Inc. 5000 List for being one of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Ames also provides eCommerce operations and optimization consulting to small businesses.  

Prior to a career in e-commerce, Ames entrepreneurial track record includes an independent record label, Ms.ter Records, under which her CD, Circumstances Strange, earned a GLAMA Award nomination for Best Debut Album; a toffee company, Simpson Toffee Company, and Tail Wagger, a Dog Walking and Pet Taxi Service. Ames has a BA in psychology from UC Berkeley. As an active community member in her community, Ames served on the Emeryville Child Development Center as Vice Chair for 2 years to help clarify the Center's vision and meet its goals.

With Butch Basix, Ames draws on personal experience as a butch consumer, her creative talents, active imagination, and her analytical and operational business skills in manifesting a retail dream that was first imagined over 25 years ago.


Susan Donaldson: Susan has over 16 years of experience working in the online space for large and small companies focused on human and environmental sustainability. She has produced award-winning websites for Scholastic Entertainment and PBS and was an initial employee and Director of Merchandise for startup eco-retailer, VivaTerra. She has an undergraduate degree in Studio Art from Mills College and an MBA in Sustainable Management from the Presidio Graduate School, specializing in alternative capital markets (crowdfunding, cooperatives, community capital) and building businesses that use technology and collaboration to advance sustainability.

Susan is an active member of the vibrant sustainability community of the Bay Area. She is a board member of the Bay Area Girls Rock Camp, an organization empowering girls through music, team building, female empowerment, and self-defense. She is also a founding member of the East Bay Community Capital Working Group, educating business owners, citizens and local governments on alternative capital raising and ownership models.

Susan's expertise in artisan made goods and her passion for social justice, along with her educational background and years in online retail, come together to further her vision for Butch Basix: to make it easier for underserved communities to have more empowering choices when it comes to presenting themselves in the world. With style.