I know there is a WHY section on the website and even a fun little video, but when I wrote this, I was officially past 40 weeks with my third pregnancy. So, I thought recapping some of my thoughts as I was *impatiently* awaiting our sweet baby boy to arrive would be a good way to pass the time.
**Update: Thomas Dean Perry was born June 18th, 2020 and everyone is happy and healthy.**
Almost exactly one year ago (June 28th, 2019) duoFIT Maternity Activewear launched. We had an amazing launch party right in the heart (and heat) of Kansas City. It was everything I could have imagined.
But the real story and work was the two years leading up to actually launching a brand. We found out we were pregnant with my son in December of 2017. My work life had recently shifted from working full time for a family company to staying home with my daughter. I always knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur, as it was something I had seen my parents and siblings do. I had lots of ideas, it was just focusing in on what I was passionate about.
During my pregnancy with my daughter a few years earlier, I had "joked around" that there was a serious lack of maternity activewear. Little did I know, that statement would stay with me and keep coming back to the surface.
Fast forward to my second pregnancy... When it was time to transition out of my normal clothes I did what so many women do and pulled down the bins of my old maternity clothes. As the pregnancy progressed I quickly remembered my old frustrations. I was constantly adjusting the leggings I had worn during my first pregnancy as well as buying new leggings a size or two larger to accommodate my bump. And to exacerbate the problem, I was maintaining my position as a SPIN instructor and chasing a very active toddler. Life was definitely more of a workout this time around, and I could not find a true pair of maternity leggings that met the same level of quality and performance as my non-maternity workout leggings.
This was it! This was what I was going to do...I was going to make maternity activewear. I thought about it, researched it, and ran it by a few trusted confidants and business minded professionals. I decided that I would be the creator of what I had been searching for.
So many small and mundane things happened between this point and the launch, but all of it was important and all of it was the necessary work to make duoFIT come to life.
Without a background in fashion design, pattern making or sewing, I had to create a way to show my vision and explain why my product would be better and different than anything available on the market. I had to create something that I wanted and would be proud to create and wear.
It took time, research, finding experts, and surrounding myself with people smarter than me. It also took people willing to see my vision and take a chance. There were plenty of mess-ups and do-overs. But every lesson learned got duoFIT closer to becoming something that was real.
During the research and development stage, we had put our sample through rigorous testing. But, no one was was currently pregnant so we had to make some assumptions based off what I remembered. Knowing that I needed to have more comprehensive feedback, we held a FIT party prior to launch. I had approximately 12 women at all different stages of pregnancy or newly postpartum come and try out our launch line. Each woman had a top, leggings and sports bra to wear during a 15 minute group workout and then was able to take them home for a week to put it through the ringer. Their insight proved to be invaluable. We made some tweaks to the final product and we were ready to launch.
Seeing something I had been working on for a little over two years actually come to life at the launch party was surreal. It felt like a dream. But it also meant the day-to-day grind of selling and promoting duoFIT was here. Now the work started. And to be honest, this part of the work has been the most rewarding.
Five months after launch, we found out I was pregnant with our third baby. We were so excited and I couldn't wait to actually wear duoFIT. And to be completely honest with you, I have been living in duoFIT since about 14 weeks.
Having the experience of wearing duoFIT throughout an entire pregnancy has been incredible. Everything in our line is what I thought it would be and I have so many ideas for what is to come next.
Many ask what my goal is with duoFIT Maternity Activewear, and my honest answer is this...if a mom tells another mom that she has found a great pair of maternity leggings then that to me is success. Moms will not recommend a product to other moms. ESPECIALLY if they don't like it! That to me defines success.
So if you have supported duoFIT, told a mom friend or even just followed us on social media, thank you! Thank you for being a part of our story, for supporting a small business and for believing in my vision.
Run a few miles,
Or just walk around the block.
Make time for an hour of yoga,
or just find time to breathe.
Get in a few reps, a few steps, or maybe an afternoon nap.
Embrace your changing body, nurture your expanding heart.
And when you're ready, get out there.
Welcome to Motherhood.