Lindsay had just finished the Ironman triathlon when she learned that she was pregnant. She and her husband, Gerry, were so excited. They went to the doctor and learned all the “rules” – what to eat, what not to eat, etc, etc. The couple took notes. Lindsay was worried she wouldn’t be able to keep doing her cardio routine, but her doctor encouraged her to stick with it. He said, “You can keep doing what you love – and now you’re going to do it with someone you love.” She put her hand on her belly and thought, “Okay, Little One, we’re going to do this together.”
Lindsay began to show early on. Her workout clothes started to pull and chafe – she couldn’t run around the block without having to tug her pants back up. She started looking for maternity sportswear, but – no such luck. Really??? After a decade of wearing the good stuff – she was suddenly faced with plain, heavy fabrics that were only suitable for lounging and stretching. The pants came with huge belly flaps, and the shirts all had cutesy little sayings like “baby on board”. Ugh.
Ironman Florida – Pre-pregnancy; Sportswear that fits like second skin
Chicago Marathon – 22 wks pregnant. *Notice the bagging shirt with baby feet on the belly and the skort rising up in back.
Three years later, the misconceptions held by the sportswear industry still haven’t changed much. “I’m not sure if pregnant women should be exercising”; “How different are maternity clothes from regular clothes really?”; “Can’t they just buy bigger sizes?” No! No, no, no.
Thankfully Lindsay didn’t give up. She gathered a team of professionals near her home in Raleigh – all experts in sportswear, all varieties of athletes, all moms. Together they began designing, prototyping and testing. The outcome was sensational. High-quality, comfortable and stylish performance-wear made just for moms-to-be. Let the industry upset begin.
SHARE THE HEALTH
A critical part of the Tribe Maternity business model has been to give back – to make a real difference. They have developed processes so lean and free of waste that they can do just that. With prospective partners like Unicef and Save the Children, every purchase from Tribe Maternity can help another mother in need world-wide. Their mantra is “Share the Health”, and they are proving that a little can go a long way.
- One item can fund a midwife kit needed to overcome nearly all basic childbirth complications
- Two items can fund complete health services for mother/baby – things like prenatal exams, safe delivery and immunizations.
- Three items make it possible to also offer surgical kits, makeshift ambulance services and even Obstetrics training.
- A portion of every purchase is dedicated to nutrition – before/during/after childbirth. Always.
Tribe Maternity won’t be satisfied until every woman has the option of a safe delivery and a healthy baby. Together we will change the world.
Tribe Maternity is fully established at this time, with its first line of pants, shorts and capris. See a few examples below:
Having said this, there is still ample opportunity that remains on the table. With backer support through the iFundWomen campaign, Tribe will expand its inventory to include tops, sports bras, athletic swimwear, and (still-impossible-to-find) cold-weather workout attire.
Marketing will also continue to be a focus of the organization. Let’s be honest – there is no such thing as fashion copyright. Being first to market is a great thing, but Tribe needs to take hold of the market to become a household name. The products will continue to develop with the same four tenets that have made us successful to date:
- Quality – Our clothes need to keep up with the strong women who wear them. They are made to perform – to move with you. The seams are smooth enough to go completely unnoticed. Our fabric is four-way stretch, moisture-wicking and, yes, climate sensitive. 100% Made in the USA.
- Fit – Endurance should be about the workout, not the outfit. All our apparel goes through the “Sag and Rise” test to ensure you can complete a full workout without ever having to yank at your clothes. Plus, our clothes are designed around more than ‘the bump’. Pregnancy affects the whole body! We put extra thought into our placement of elastic “compression”, as well as cooling vents, and special linings.
- Style – It’s time to insert some color! Sure, solid black may be “slimming”, but show me a woman who wears it every workout and I’ll show you one who has no other choice. Tribe sportswear is meant to be as bold as its athletes, and flatter their figures. We don’t do belly flaps, big red bows, or cutesy sayings. We are consumers of our own products and our philosophy is this – if we wouldn’t wear it, it never leaves the design room floor.
- Affordable – What’s the difference between our leggings and the $135 ones? About $75. No, really. Put us up against our competitors, and we’re certain you’ll be astounded. So why do the major sportswear empires charge so much? Simple – because they can. We don’t fault them for it, but that’s not our deal. Call us sappy, but we are about mothers helping mothers
THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER (from the Founder)
I think every entrepreneur is forced to consider the risk. Perhaps even more than “consider” risk – eat it, sleep it, obsess about it, and also – be upfront about it. The potential risks that we face are that of any start-up. First – does the market exist as we think it does? Extensive research via Fit Pregnancy, the Bump, social media, and personal interviews would suggest – we’re onto something. Second, will someone else try to steal our idea? Possibly. In fact, probably. However, I am confident in the expertise of this team, our philanthropic mission, and our lean supply chain that holds down our price. Not to mention Tribe’s outstanding customer service. We’re North Carolinians – we can’t help but be friendly! Put simply – if we continue to provide outstanding products at a price too low for others to touch, and we’re easy to work with – we’ve got a good chance of weathering any storm.
As for my personal resume, I have a Master’s degree in Business with a concentration in Global Health. My previous employment includes 15 years’ experience with Duke University Health System. I am Six Sigma Black Belt certified, I have spent more than a decade in the Ironman triathlon circuit, and above all – I am a wife and mother.
The truth of the matter is that this company was inspired by a growing family – and that’s what it’s still about. We could change the lives of mothers everywhere by giving them a safe delivery and a healthy baby. I think back to that moment in the doctor’s office long ago – when I looked down at my belly and thought “We’re going to do this together.” Now I want to say that to all women.
Share the Health.
08/22/2017Tribe Maternity: Monetary Contribution With No Reward$1.00
08/22/2017Tribe Maternity: Monetary Contribution With No Reward$50.00
08/23/2017Tribe Maternity: Pay It Forward$100.00
08/23/2017Tribe Maternity: Monetary Contribution With No Reward$20.00
08/23/2017Tribe Maternity: Monetary Contribution With No Reward$50.00
08/25/2017Tribe: Fueled by Support$20.00
08/25/2017Tribe Maternity: Monetary Contribution With No Reward$100.00
08/27/2017Tribe Maternity: Monetary Contribution With No Reward$25.00
09/02/2017Tribe: Fueled by Support$1,000.00
09/06/2017Tribe Maternity: Monetary Contribution With No Reward$20.00