I can’t tell you what pleasure it gives me to discover designers who are creating clothes for EVERY woman… no matter her shape and size. And, right here in Dallas, creating an athleisure brand for the plus-sized woman is Jennifer James, founder and Head of Design at Active Ego, and my GLAM GAL for November.
Since launching Active Ego two years ago, Jennifer is responsible not only for designing and developing the product line for the brand, but also for day-to-day operations. So, how did she start her business? Jennifer says,
I wanted to immediately get back to working out about 2 months after I had my daughter. I was twice the size I was before I had her and my breasts had enlarged to a ‘G’ cup size. It was important for me to find a good sports bra and workout clothes that made me feel and look good.
I went to every athletic store you could think of and I found nothing to fit my size or anything that was comfortable. All the sports bras that I found to fit my size were mostly black, beige, and white. Very boring colors and nothing that was bold and stylish.
I quickly realized that modern, stylish athleisure wear for plus-size women did not exist. Shortly after, I decided that I would design and create my own clothing and here we are today with Active Ego.
A typical day for Jennifer includes a morning workout, preparing and dropping kids off to school, then immediately jumping into her Active Ego work! Depending on the type of day, she spends majority of her time working with her design team on new clothing concepts and her marketing team on strategizing ways to effectively market the brand.
But, the best part of her day is the opportunity to meet customers whether online or in-person and hearing how grateful they are to finally be able to purchase workout gear that fits their bodies. Currently, there is no brand that creates athleisure wear specifically made for plus size women outside of Jennifer’s Active Ego line.
Right now, Jennifer and the team are working on the Spring Collection. Pushing out our Fall Collection was exciting, but Jennifer is eager to share with customers the new items they’ll see in a few months.
The designs just get more and more stylish and the colors and patterns get better and better.”
So, what’s next for Active Ego? They’re looking to expand the brand beyond the Dallas area. With some fun health and wellness events planned for 2017, Jennifer will be working with retailers to expand the brand’s products, so stay tuned.
For those of you wanting to launch a fashion line of any kind, Jennifer has some advice… to stay committed to your passion and take the time to nurture your dream.
It is so easy for us, as women, to put our goals, dreams, and passions on the back burner, but please stay focused. A big part of my success stems from the fact that I had to make the decision to stay on my journey until it came to life. No matter how tired or how unsure I was about what I was doing at the time, I followed what I consider God’s plan for my life. I will say it’s scary not knowing if what you’re doing will work or if it will even be needed or wanted by anyone, but there’s no greater feeling than knowing you’ve done it. And, most likely, you’re inspiring someone else just by telling your story.
Your favorite virtue. Loyalty
Your favorite vice. Food– I really love to eat!
Your favorite occupation. Public speaking. I love speaking to others about their goals/dreams and finding ways to help them navigate towards them.
Your favorite pastime. Debuting my collection at NYFW! This opportunity and experience was everything I imagined!
Your chief characteristic. My smile!
Your idea of happiness. My idea of happiness would be what I’m currently doing, living up to my own standards and not those standards of society. I took a chance on myself and left the working world to invest in myself and my passion. It was one of the best decisions of my life, and I’m so blessed to be able to share my happiness through my brand and the all the wonderful women I meet along the way.
Your favorite name. Jenn-Jenn is what my mother calls me.
If not you, who would you be? Being me is a great deal… so there’s no one else I would want to be.
What’s in your handbag? I have a red lip stick, sanitizer, wallet, pressed powder, and Active Ego business cards.
What is your present state of mind? Tired, but glad to know my journey is just beginning!
Your favorite motto. Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
How do you “Adorn Differently?” I adorn differently by always looking for ways to turn negative situations into positive situations. Active Ego stemmed from my own bad experience with shopping for workout attire as a plus-size woman. I turned that negative into a positive by designing and developing my own apparel. I no longer wanted to wear boring colors such as beige, white, and black while shopping for sports bras, or wear workout pants that showed my behind anytime I bent over in Yoga class. I wanted to LIVE IN COLOR and wear pants that fit. Designing for the plus-size woman really hits home with me because I am that woman! I’m a mom-on-the-go who needs a brand that gets my curves and style, so that’s what my brand is all about!