When I graduated from college, I took a position as a designer at a company looking to start an activewear division. I gained unique, hands-on experience in product development, merchandising, and activewear design. I took multiple trips to China for sourcing, developing, and production purposes. As a head designer, I sourced fabrics, developed garments, created tech packs, ran fittings, became involved in sales and production meetings, and helped solve product issues. While I enjoyed this fast-paced job, I became troubled by the fashion industry’s environmental impact.

In my free time, I spent my weekends hiking in the mountains. Nature possesses the ability to heal us in ways we did not know we needed. As I continued to hike, I realized it was a stress reliever and an immense confidence builder. I knew what I was capable of in a work environment, but physically climbing miles of mountains proved to me what I was truly capable of. I began connecting with the women’s hiking community through multiple channels. This group of women is incredibly supportive of each other: we share our hiking wins, our hiking fails, and our overall experiences in nature.

I began planning more adventurous hiking trips: the Great Range, the Presidential Traverse, and the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon was, without doubt, one of the hardest trails I had ever done in my life. As I struggled towards the top, a woman who I had briefly crossed paths with earlier in the day, stood and cheered me on. Receiving support and encouragement from a total stranger was an epiphany for me: I wanted to be a part of this community. I wanted to connect with others and help them climb their literal and figurative mountains, just like she had helped me.

It all just clicked: I knew I needed to combine my fashion experience with this spiritual need for perseverance and community, and Cerinic was born:  an active line with a focus on clothing for the adventurer. I knew what I wanted in a line: comfort, functionality, and well-fitting garments … oh yeah, and pockets.

I had struggled to find clothing to fit the woman hiker body type. Nothing provided all-day support/comfort, and most importantly, there was the issue of pockets. There was nothing more annoying than being on the trail and having nowhere to easily stash my iPhone Plus. I asked myself, “Is there a need for this product? Is this what people need? Sure, I have these problems, but do others?” I started speaking with fellow female adventurers throughout the hiking and climbing community to see if I was alone in these concerns, and I quickly discovered I was not. I continued to do my research: reading product reviews on websites and gear review sites, ordering different brands to test them out, and spending hours in fitting rooms

At that point, I decided it was time to take everything I learned and everything I loved and combine them in one product line. This line would be focused on the active woman and gave the comfort and support needed to push herself further. Nothing like this existed in the marketplace: a stylish line with utility (pockets!) and made from eco-friendly fabrics right here in the United States. Just like in the mountains, where the goal is to leave no trace, I wanted the same for my product … as close to zero impact on the environment as possible. I took the time to vet factories and found one that would provide me with fine quality, using eco-friendly and sustainable resources. I also refused to sacrifice performance due to cost, so I ensured the factory worked within the necessary budget to make these products affordable. Once I found the right factory, I worked hand in hand with them in the creation/construction of the garments to develop recycled fabrics that provide compression for proper blood flow to reduce fatigue and guarantee that quality and fit were consistent regardless of the body type.

Since launching Cerinic, I have been able to connect with amazing women and I can’t wait to connect with more of you! It has been extremely rewarding thus far, and I am excited to see where this adventure takes me. I established Cerinic as more than a clothing line: it is a community.  We support each other; we share information; we encourage women to try things they’ve never tried before and cheer them on through the process; we celebrate women for who they are and not who someone tells them they should be; we share each other’s struggles, journeys, and achievements;  we laugh and cry together.  We are strong, resilient, effective, and beautiful, just like the clothes we wear.