Meet Erin and Ashley of Chakra Fitwear, the creative founders behind the socially responsible line of fit wear made from recycled plastic bottle material. What's even more impressive? These ladies are still in college! Read on to learn more about Chakra Fitwear's current Kickstarter campaign and what's next for the line of stylish and functional fitwear.Q: When did your idea to launch Chakra Fitwear first arise, and how are you differentiating your brand from others in the fitness wear market?
A: We first came up with the idea in the end of May 2014. I (Erin) wanted to start a line of workout clothing that was more affordable than outrageously priced brand names. I told Ashley what I was thinking of doing and not long after she ran in the Philly 5K for Clean Air. The T-shirts that were given out at the 5K were made from recycled plastic bottles. Ashley, coming from an eco friendly and sustainable background, asked if I wanted to collaborate using recycled materials to make an eco friendly line and we formed our partnership from there. We really want to have a product with a purpose - that's kind of become our tagline - and promote sustainability as well as healthy body images for women. I did some work with a nonprofit called the Girls Inc. Organization at their regional chapter in Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey and was really inspired and humbled, and so I wanted to introduce women's empowerment into the line as well. Ashley and I both have our individual passions and areas of expertise, but we've really been learning a lot along the way, not only from each other, but also completely new things as well. It's been a great experience so far.
Q: Walk us through what a day in the life of the founders of Chakra Fitwear is like!
A: A day in the life of the founders of Chakra Fitwear is basically getting from one panic attack to the next. JK...sort of. We wake up at the crack of dawn every day and usually I have 85 text messages from Ashley on a schedule for the day and what our first social media post should be, so that's usually how we start off. We run all of our accounts, send out all of our newsletters, and basically always have a hand in everything going on. If we break it down to a schedule it goes something like this:
Social Media post
Team Meeting (more social media)
- Break for classes because we actually still go to college... -
Work on the business some more (and more social media)
We want to be as involved in our company as we possibly can, so you know that everything you see whether it be a product post, a funny quote, or our newsletter is coming directly from us!
Q: Did you know that you wanted to launch a Kickstarter campaign from day one to further fund your brand? We’re rooting for you to reach your goal!
A: It was definitely always one of our main considerations, but didn't become as much of a reality until after we got a lot of the initial administrative tasks out of the way. For example, once we established ourselves as an LLC and got through a bunch of other legal stuff, it really started to become a reality. The last month before we launched has pretty much been all about our Kickstarter campaign and finalizing our prototypes. It's funny that you ask this question because day one for us wasn't actually that long ago. We've only been a business since June, so this process all came together really fast for us and we definitely had to learn a lot of decision making skills to narrow down what we wanted along the way.
Q: What advice would you have for fellow women who would like to launch their own brand or clothing line in the future?
A: We would tell them to stay focused, to be positive and confident in their abilities, and to never let a bump in the road deter them from starting something awesome. People always ask us about our stress levels and how we're doing this while still being in school, but we've found that because we're doing something we love doing and because we feel rewarded by our progress at the end of every day, the stress is all worth it. That's the kind of business entrepreneurial women looking to launch should be in, one that makes them feel like they're doing something important, that's what makes it easy to keep pushing forward.
Q: Just for fun! If you could choose any celebrity to be the face of Chakra Fitwear, who would it be and why?
A: We both kind of have this obsession with getting Bethany Hamilton to wear our clothes. She just embodies everything we're about, whether it be the sustainability aspect of saving our oceans or the women's empowerment movement. She just encompasses everything we stand for and she herself has been through so much in life, but continues to be a positive symbol to people from all walks of life, especially women. So we would pick her, she's basically just awesome.Keep up with Chakra Fitwear's Kickstarter campaign here, and also on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, @ChakraFitwear!