I had the chance to meet the ladies of local, San Diego-based brand Graced By Grit. After seeing a photograph of celebrity fit mom, Jessica Alba in one of their tanks (total ab envy), I was thrilled to find out that the brand headquarters was located just down the road from me and immediately signed up to attend one of their trunk shows. Sipping wine while perusing the collection, I was impressed by the quality of the material sourced from Italy, the bright, bold colors of their legging and tank offerings, and loved the built-in compression that made for amazing fit. Kate Nowlan – one of the co-founders – was such a pleasure to speak to. She shared her background in swim and fitness, and the story of how she first started the business with her longtime friend and co-founder Kimberly Caccavo. Graced by Grit is a brand created and run by women FOR women and their early success – including the opening of their first store front in Solana Beach just a couple of weeks ago – is truly inspiring.
How was GRACEDBYGRIT formed?
We wanted to create clothing for women that made them look and feel good so that they could perform better. We were running together along the coast of Solana Beach and noticed the clothes that women were wearing and thought about the changes that would make athletic apparel better: safety features, technical fabric and a fit that made your butt and legs look better. We also love working together.
Congrats on your first store front! What’s your vision for the brand?
Our goal is for GRACEDBYGRIT to be in every athletic woman’s closet. We believe that once women wear our clothes, hear our story, and workout in them they will LOVE our clothes and connect to our brand. We hope they will want to support a women founded and run business. We hope to open new storefronts in key cities, host trunk shows, launch a virtual trunk show and quadruple online sales. And we definitely will continue to laugh together every step of the way.
What is the premise behind your tagline #sweatyourstory?
We encourage women to get out there and sweat their stories; to work through tough moments and to find strength. Every woman has a gritty moment that could make or break her. It’s realizing that grit is often what gives us grace.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
We pulled items from our closet, our friend’s closets and our dreams for inspiration. What did we like about them? What would we change? How would we make it better? More functional? Safer? When we design a piece for our collection, we always keep elegance, functionality, safety and fit in mind. All of our clothing is UPF 50+ and comes with a whistle for safety.
Do you have advice for working mothers like you who are trying to find balance and go for their dreams?
Be passionate. Believe in what you are doing. Get your family involved; they will have to help you. Try as hard as you can to achieve some sense of balance: set time aside for yourself, your partner and your children. Our families are involved in our story: Kimberly’s husband helps with finance and strategy, Kate’s ex-husband helps build shelves and sets up the website, Kate’s boyfriend makes life easier by cooking and helping where we need it, our daughters model and help sell and Kimberly’s son has taken photos for us. Our parents, siblings and friends are involved. We are so thankful and lucky to have so many wonderful people in our lives.
Contributor: Ali Grant, Be Social PR
Graced By Grit: 153 N. Highway 101, Suite 103, Solana Beach, CA