Fitfluence Introducing - My Gym Wardrobe
You may have heard us mention on social that there is a new online activewear site launching this month and you’ll find them at My Gym Wardrobe. Imagine our delight when we got the opportunity to speak to founder and uber inspiring girl boss, Jenny Squires.
For all of our ladies in The Fitfluence Network you are going to love Jenny, although she started out in advertising she never saw her career as the CEO of her own online activewear company. Jenny is living proof that if you can dream it you can achieve it.
We chatted to Jenny and here's what we found out
Jenny, you’re about to launch a unique collection of activewear available online at My Gym Wardrobe. Have you always been in the fitness industry?
It’s an incredibly exciting time! I started my professional career as a media strategist working in advertising. I then got married and started one of the most demanding but rewarding jobs of being a mother. It was after having my first little one that I found my real passion for fitness. I had always been fit and healthy but being active after pregnancy is very different.
I took my time and after about a year I was feeling and looking great. I began to get lots of questions from friends on the safe way to return to fitness after pregnancy. I loved giving advice to my friends and that’s what inspired me to become a personal trainer. I qualified as a personal trainer and then took on a handful of clients which suited me perfectly as I was able to fit the sessions around my lifestyle. That’s how My Gym Wardrobe was born. I was dropping my son Mason off at nursery and heading to the gym to train clients and I needed something to wear but there wasn’t much around.
You’re right. It’s hard to believe it now as activewear is everywhere but there was a time when all that was available was just Sweaty Betty.
Exactly, other high street fitness stores didn’t really have anything that was inspiring to put on and I needed something that would allow me to work with clients but didn’t feel like I was wearing my gym kit all day.
So how did you bridge the gap?
I was on holiday in New York and I remember seeing everyone walking around in leggings, not baggy see-through ones but fashionable pieces. Pretty much everyone was wearing activewear, and they didn’t look particularly sporty, they looked smart and stylish. I began to look into it more and found some incredible pieces in Sydney, Byron Bay and California. I wanted something that would make me feel good so I bought them.
Oh my gosh, that sounds incredible.
It was, I loved them. I felt fantastic and I would get so many compliments when I wore particular pieces. I remember one day wearing a top from P.E. Nation and no-one had even heard of them. However, there was a downside. I got stung by the huge shipping and customs taxes. The clothes were great but the price to get the pieces from across the other side of the world was ridiculous. However, I knew I was on to something. Interest in activewear in the UK was growing but people were looking for something different. I knew that the Australian and US markets had the perfect products. I just had to work out a way to bring them to the UK at a price which didn’t require me to remortgage my house to pay for the customs charges.
And you did! My Gym Wardrobe is full of brands from across the globe.
Yes, we have handpicked products from a number of brands which are new to the UK, which means we will be the only place where you can buy them. We have 17 brands which are completely new to the UK and Europe. What’s even more exciting is that the brands are also run by really inspiring women. Women who have worked in huge fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton and then branched out to create their own collections.
How did you decide which brands to include?
You’re going to laugh but I have physically tried on every single item of clothing on myself. I wanted to be confident in what I was selling. I want the clothes to empower women and make them feel good but an important part of My Gym Wardrobe is that people look good too. I want women to find pieces that they feel happy wearing to yoga and then to a meeting or to work and then with some simple changes they could go straight into a spin class. The one way to ensure that each piece made women feel the more confident and inspired was to try them on.
You’ve tried on every single item you sell?
Every single one. I wanted to know how each item fit and with the brands being new to the UK and this being people’s first experience I wanted to check that the items performed in the way they said they did. Mostly though, I wanted to make sure that we had an incredible catalogue of products. I want to give women the experience they have when they get dressed up to go for dinner and they put on a dress which makes them feel like they are invincible. I have chosen items that women will want to wear and that will make them feel more confident and comfortable when they’re at the gym and hopefully help them train a little bit better, or spin a little bit faster too.
(Editorial note: how awesome is Jenny, this is what sets her apart and makes us know My Gym Wardrobe will be a success, such a girl boss)
Was there a turning point when you knew that your love for activewear was more than just a hobby and that there was a potentially profitable business idea in there too?
Looking back now I suppose the moment that I knew I had to leap was when I was commuting across central London. It would have been about 8:45am, peak rush hour on the Northern Line and I was heading to train a client on the King's Road. A woman, another commuter, pushed her way through a crowded carriage to reach me to ask me where my outfit was from. It might sound crazy but I knew then that unique activewear was something that women in the UK wanted.
That sounds like an incredible moment, have there been any times where life as an entrepreneur have been tough?
It's largely been so much fun and I can't wait for My Gym Wardrobe to launch in the middle of September. However, I once received a shipment from California. I had been over to the US and seen samples of the brand and placed an order. However, when they arrived the products weren't anything like what I had seen whilst I was out there. The quality was nothing like the premium products which we stock and so it all had to go back. All the way to California.
And what’s been the best moment to date?
Without a doubt it was the recent photoshoot we did for the launch. There were stylists and videographer, a hair and makeup team but more than that I took a look around the room and was surrounded by some of my best friends who are all giving their all to help my dream come true too. Everyone on the set was giving their all and it was so incredibly exciting to see the pieces being worn and come to life.
Finally, if you could offer one piece of advice to anyone starting out in business in the fitness and wellness industry what would it be?
Ride the Tiger - keep moving forwards. There will undoubtedly be hurdles and roadblocks along the way but if you can keep going. Make a decision, it might not be the perfect decision but make a decision either way and go with it. I know women who have had incredible business ideas and started but then stopped because something got in the way. My advice would be whatever challenges you face, just keep going.
Thank you Jenny for an inspiring interview. We cannot wait for My Gym Wardrobe to launch. If you want to be the first to hear about their launch you can sign up to their mailing list here.
Ps: as well as bringing new brands to the UK, My Gym Wardrobe has a pretty epic USP. Until they launch towards the end of this month we are sworn to secrecy but believe us ladies you will love it.