We see the BBS tribe rocking our favourite True Life Apparel leggings out at the barre all the time, so this month we want to introduce you to the #GirlBoss behind the line, Jessica Clarke. The good cause, the great price and the adorable, yet functional leggings stole our hearts instantly when we met with Jessica about carrying her line in our boutique, so this week we chatted with her all about her brand and the life of a local business owner. Check it out:
We started off by asking Jess about herself and the brand, True Life Fitness:
Well, not sure where to start! I’m born and raised in Edmonton, although I spent
most of my 20’s living in Vancouver and Whistler. I returned home to Edmonton
almost four years ago when I took a job in medical sales at 3M.
But, anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE being activity and fitness has always
been my passion. You can get me to do just about anything that involves getting
sweaty, so, of course I buy a ton of workout clothes. However, over the last few years,
I have found that my usual well brands are increasing in price and decrease in
quality, so I was tired of paying a fortune for something that was made more for
walking around then a spin class.
True Life Fitness Apparel was born with myself in mind. I would make the samples
and wear them to absolutely everything I did and see how they would hold up and it
worked! I went through a ton of samples before I landed on the fabric combination
that was perfect for the gym but looked cute enough to grab coffee in afterwards.
I also believed that fitness apparel should come in all sizes for all different shapes of
women and affordable to a larger group than just those who are willing (or able) to
spend $100 for leggings. I didn’t want to be just another “legging” company.
One of the most important parts of the business is that we want to support girls
getting involved in sports and fitness all over the world. Here in Edmonton we are
lucky enough to have some access to different kinds of programs and services for
young girls to get involved in but I believe that all girls can benefit from getting
involved in any kind of activity, no matter what it is! For me, growing up as a young
girl was difficult and I struggled with self-esteem and confidence, like some many of
my peers. I gained my own self-worth and confidence in who I was through sports so
I am happy to support other organizations who are providing those types of services
throughout the world. We donate $2 from every purchase to the Women Win
foundation who are extremely activity, all around the globe, in helping young girls
get involved in sports. They have been able to massively impact some much needed
Lastly, all of our products are names after inspirational people in my life. I just
thought this would be a nice “shout out” to just some of the most amazing women
that have all touch my heart in some way or another. You can learn more about them
on our website!
Next we asked her to speak on the life of a #GirlBoss - how she started off, what motivates her and what obstacles she has come across in the process. We also asked her to narrow in specifically on her connection with the fitness community in YEG and share with us her ties all around the world.
I’m not sure I would call myself an Entrepreneur just yet! I have a full time job,
which I enjoy, I am currently just completing my MBA (this year!) and I started an on
line business for fitness apparel. I am also a girlfriend to an amazing, supportive
man, I’m a doggie mommy, friend, daughter and sister. Like many women, I’m many
things but mostly I just want to be a good human. I am realizing that your brand and
who you are intertwined together and your influence can reach hundreds, even
thousands of people. I want the brand to promote a healthy lifestyle, family,
friendship and just pure genuine kindness that is much needed these days.
The Edmonton community has been incredible! I originally had no intention of
selling my product at retail and now we sell in four different studios with more on
the way! The local support has literally blown my mind and I am realizing more and
more that Edmonton’s community is a unique one where everyone really wants to
support each other. I am thankful for my friends at BBS who started the trend in the
city by supporting me from day one! I have also been very fortunate to have created
an online community all over the world, especially in the US, thanks to social media.
I have had some influential girls in the fitness community share their own love for
what I’m doing which has continued to grow my following to over 3200 people (as of
right now) in four months.
I think the last things I’ll add is that starting your own business is fun but not exactly
easy. You are going to make so many mistakes and do dumb things. (At least I have!)
You will always have some people that are constantly doubting you or not
supporting you but you just need to remember that it’s not for everyone. However,
when you walk into a workout class and someone is wearing your leggings, it feels
pretty cool and then you start thinking about the next pair you need to make…