By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, [email protected]
As Black History Month comes to a close and Women’s History Month is ushered in, Glamourina, a women’s active-wear brand, perfectly intersects both month-long celebrations as a Black-women-owned and operated company.
“Glamourina is the go-to active-wear brand for culturally conscious women. We are most known for our African inspired active-wear pieces,” founders Kia Phillips and Nekol Gaskins told the AFRO in a statement.
Although both mothers, Phillips and Gaskins found time to work their entrepreneurial and creative muscles when establishing Glamourina in 2015 and launching their Kente collection in 2017.
Since the 2017 launch, the millennial mom-bosses have been working constantly to provide quality active-wear, recently launching the 2019 Culture Collection. Glamourina intentionally targets all women within the beautiful, Black diaspora by offering athletic wear that emphasizes and enhances their #BlackGirlMagic.
“We started Glamourina for several reasons. The first is we feel that Black women are highly underrepresented in the athletic market. When you go into athletic apparel stores or see commercials and ads, there is a clear absence of Black women being represented. And if you do see them it is always one type of woman displayed, and that is the super athletic woman,” the entrepreneurs said. “Through Glamourina we wanted to create apparel that represents the diversity of Black women. We come in a variety of shapes and sizes and we wanted to showcase that in our apparel.”
Further, Phillips and Gaskins started Glamourina in order to bring health awareness to Black women.
“Also, we know that heart disease is the number one killer amongst African American women. We wanted to create affordable sustainable apparel in hopes to motivate and encourage women of color to live healthier active lifestyles. We know that when you look good, you feel good and that might motivate you to go workout, or just be mindful of your overall physical health,” they said.
Phillips, 33, is a full time mom and personal trainer. A Northeast, D.C. native, Gaskins, 28, is a mother, artist and financial aid counselor. As entrepreneurs with families and other responsibilities, balancing life with Glamourina has its challenges, yet the women find ways to do it while also growing the business, which now has over 5,000 followers on Instagram.
“It is not easy but it takes lots of planning and prioritizing for the both of us. We also have to make sure that we designate time for the business, our families and ourselves,” the co-owners told the AFRO.
Although now finding success with their active-wear line, it was not always an easy task getting the business off its feet. “Some of the biggest obstacles include balancing business and personal life and obtaining capital to fund our first collection,” they said. However, Phillips and Gaskins have found the trick to keeping Glamourina alive and thriving. “It takes drive and consistency. Also, it takes listening to our audience and staying on top of the news and trends within our industry.”
Phillips and Gaskins definitely listen to their audience and find happiness in engaging with them.
“We really enjoying seeing our vision come to life. We created this brand to encourage and motivate women of color to live healthy active lifestyles by providing confidence-boosting active-wear,” they said.
“When women proudly wear our apparel and share their photos with us, we really feel a sense of joy. It is also great to know that we are building an empire as women of color and being positive role models for our daughters and other young girls.”
The mompreneurs who consider the next generation of Black business owners even as they continue to build their current brand, have advice for other women hoping to start businesses.
“We advise other Black women entrepreneurs to research their market first, create a game plan and remain determined throughout the entire process of starting and growing their businesses.”
As their company continues to grow, Phillips and Gaskins hope that Glamourina will be a true go-to brand for women of color.
“Each year we plan to expand our collections and offer more active-wear options to our customer base. Our goal is to become a one-stop-shop for all active-wear needs.”
For more information on the culturally conscious active-wear, visit the website, Glamourina.com, or follow the company on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter at @shopglamourina.