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Startup Founder & Consultant

Abby Sugar

Having worked as a writer, editor, and independent personal trainer, Abby Sugar is a lifelong learner and taught herself about fashion, business and startups after studying English Literature in college. Abby is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, and studied abroad at Hertford College, Oxford University.


To Abby, learning is everything, and her life motto is f*cking figure it out – so she set out to build the brand that she and her cofounders wish existed when they were younger. As an outgoing, unapologetically queer startup founder, she strives to be a leading voice in and for the LGBTQ+ community.

Abby founded Play Out Apparel in 2018 with her cofounder, Grey Leifer. As Play Out's CEO, Abby:


  • Graduated from the Founder Institute as a Select Portfolio Company

  • Raised $750K in pre-seed from mission-aligned investors and secured loan opportunities

  • Won $20K from the National Business Inclusion Consortium’s pitch competition and $10K from Alibaba and HelloAlice (chosen as 1 of 50 winners from 12,000 applicants!), as well as winning other pitch competitions

  • Shared her story in the New York Times and Forbes

After an incredible journey, Abby closed Play Out Apparel in 2024 to pursue other opportunities as a startup founder, consultant, and investor. 

Abby was named to the Forbes Next 1000 List in 2021, she speaks on podcasts, international panels, and gives frequent interviews about startups, fashion, diversity and inclusion, and topics important to LGBTQ+ individuals.

Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to Multitudinous Musings, Abby's monthly Substack Newsletter, where she shares general educational articles about startups and investing, longform journalism, and poetry/literature that she reads - it's also known as Sugar's Recommended Reading. 

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Read and Subscribe at

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aesugar @ abbysugar . com

Based in

New York, New York and

San Francisco, California

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