For Featured Lady Lisa Welch, finding hip, comfortable maternity fitness wear wasn’t a challenge she anticipated with her first pregnancy. As a mother who remained active while pregnant, Lisa knew this was a niche that needed attention. She founded BornFit in 2007 with the mission to create a fitness line that would make women feel inspired, empowered and confident. Since its launch three years ago, BornFit has been featured by media outlets including The Today Show, ABC 7 Chicago, Good Morning Arizona, Fox Houston, NBC Houston, South Jersey Mom, Oxygen, Pregnancy, Mothering, Women’s Running, Shape, Women’s Health, Walk! Magazine and Today’s Parent.
“What I quickly discovered was the need for quality and stylish clothing for active moms – not just those who are expecting,” Lisa says. “I wanted to create products that not only made women look good, but also made them feel strong, confident and inspired.”
Armed with her idea, a marketing degree and no experience in retail or manufacturing, Lisa spoke with people in the industry for advice. “I surrounded myself with those who had more knowledge than me,” she explains. ”I’m a determined person. I always think, ‘How can I make this happen?’”
Knowing what she’d want in maternity active wear, Lisa developed a line that was stretchy, moisture-wicking, didn’t look like pregnancy clothing and could easily be worn long after the baby was born. She introduced BornFit Maternity with an informational website and a maternity collection only available in stores. “Surprisingly, once the line launched we quickly discovered that women wanted more than maternity active wear, and we could provide it. We were getting such great feedback on our technical performance and quality garments,” Lisa says. “Women wanted clothes that had the same, comfortable fit in an all-new fitness collection.”
“They wanted it for running, biking, tennis, yoga and everything else. So although we initially designed the line to suit pregnant women, we evolved and launched the fitness line.”
As a result of BornFit’s successful debut, Lisa expanded to a full active wear collection eighteen months later and added the ability to buy direct from the website. Today, the company offers fitness and maternity fitness apparel for running, golf, tennis, yoga and cycling. BornFit’s tops, jackets, pants, shorts, capris and signature skorts (a combination 14” long skirt with no-chafe undershorts) come in a variety of styles and colors.
The company name, BornFit, came to Lisa while she was running. “That’s my alone time when no one is pulling at me,” she says. “It’s when God allows me to listen. Ninety-five percent of the time, ideas come to me when I’m running.”
“BornFit reflects the idea that all of us are truly born fit, it’s in all of us,” Lisa says. “It’s about getting back to that core and implementing a fitness lifestyle.” BornFit was founded on the solid belief that a strong body produces a confident spirit. Lisa explains, “When we feel confident, anything is possible!”
BornFit experienced a period of transition when the person with whom Lisa shared business responsibilities decided to leave. “We had things split fifty-fifty, so when she left it created a lot of change,” Lisa says. “I absorber her half of the responsibilities, in addition to my own. It’s not easy growing and running a company, but now I’m managing many more areas at once. But I like to think there’s always a silver lining.”
Lisa’s vision for BornFit is to reach as many women as she can domestically and internationally to make them feel good about themselves. “Fitness is a foundation, it affects every aspect of our lives. Your first 10K race leads to the confidence to go back to school and earn that degree,” she says. “Life is like fitness, you take it one day at a time.”
What sets BornFit apart from other fitness apparel brands is that their active wear is completely designed by women for women. Lisa says, “Also, our focus is completely on the clothing. We’re not a shoe company that happens to manufacture a line of apparel.”
In the end, Lisa believes it’s all about attitude. “When you love what you do, it’s really not work at all. It’s about passion,” she says. “My passion is not to sell as much clothing as possible. It’s about getting women to exercise, to stay fit. So it’s the movement behind the message that’s most important.”
What we learned from Lisa: “As moms we need to give ourselves a break.”
“Show gratitude and acknowledge that you don’t get to where you are all by yourself.”
“If you have an idea, just start! Jump right in. Don’t get caught up in analysis paralysis.”
“Balance is a really tricky word. BornFit hasn’t grown as fast as it could because my family is my priority.”
This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.