Turning an Idea Into a Business
Growing up, my family would take trips to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, every year (my mom is from there). Unfortunately, when I was training and teaching my classes, I wasn’t able to make the trip as often. One summer, my mom went and brought me back a pair of leggings. It was a green pair I’ll never forget, because I was absolutely obsessed with them. I was wearing them to my classes all the time. They had a similar texture to some of the popular products on my site today.
I had a drawer full of high-end workout leggings, but I was always gravitating toward this one particular pair that my mom got from Brazil. They made me feel so comfortable while teaching that I wanted more; washing them by hand in the sink every night so I could wear them again the next day was getting old. And I wasn’t the only one who loved them. People kept coming up to me after class asking where I got them and wishing that they had a pair.
A light bulb went off in my head—there was definitely a market for these leggings. I realized that I could not only create them, but I could also make them even better. I put everything on hold and flew out to Brazil to meet with the designer. After many sleepless nights, my first BBB leggings were en route to Boston with me and I was selling them in two colors. When I was choosing colors, I had no idea if they were the right ones. I had no help; I just went off of what I liked. Luckily, clients agreed with my color choices and they sold out pretty quickly.
I took a leap of faith and trusted my gut, just like with my classes. After delivering my first product, I used my customers’ input to continuously improve and perfect it. Growing the brand meant that I no longer had to follow my gut; I now had feedback and data to leverage.
Even with a quick start to sales, I learned that you can’t just make some leggings, print your name on them, and call it a business. I had a good idea at this point, but a successful business is much more than that; it’s hard work and it’s not meant for everyone. You need to be prepared to fail and to come back fighting ten times harder. You need to market, understand supply chain, sell to the right customers, know who your customers are, get the warehousing space, and coordinate the logistics of how you’re going ship to customers when they buy online. All of these things were part of an intense learning process. We took measures to make sure BBB was built the right way and on the right platform, as a sustainable business that could thrive.
I truly believe that everybody is born with talent and passion; however, that’s not the deciding factor for whether or not you succeed. That’s why, unfortunately, not everybody gets to see their dreams come to fruition. Every business has to start with passion and a great idea, but like my Dad said during the first days of Booty by Brabants, “it’s just a concept until you have consistent data and dollars to prove that it’s actually a business.”