It’s Female Founder Friday, where each week a female founder and her product/company is spotlighted. Why? Because women entrepreneurs do amazing things everyday, and traditional media doesn’t always cover them. I want aspiring female founders to be able to read stories about other successful women in business and be inspired and encouraged to start their own companies!
Let me introduce Margie Benford, the Director of Merchandising and Design at Betabrand. Betabrand is a crowdfunding platform, similar to Kickstarter, that allows user to crowdsource clothing ideas and prototypes into real garments. Since the platform was launched, Betabrand has funded almost 100 garments, including ‘Dress Pant Yoga Pants’ (comfortable pants designed to look like formal trousers). Margie is the inventor of maternity yoga pant dress pants. I wish they had been around when I was a pregnant female founder and wanting to get into the restorative teacher training dream of doing yoga on the side for my mental and physical health, and to help others.
Below are Margie’s answers to some of my questions. Learn from her inspiration, challenges, and advice ladies!
What inspired you to create the dress pant yoga pants?
If you need to do anything for 40 hours a week, you should be comfortable doing it. That is the thought that began the quest for an ultra-comfortable office pant. A pair of pants that would help exude office-confidence, a put-together look, and total comfort.
What was your biggest obstacle and failure in going from idea to business?
The traditional design model is challenged every day at Betabrand. We are in a continual cycle of building new ideas and new processes so it’s expected that we fail. That said, we encounter obstacles every day that fuels our ability to then build solutions. Time is usually our biggest enemy, though. When we get excited about a program and see it’s potential we can never release it quick enough.
You never know.
Please share your best piece of advice for aspiring female founders:
Set goals, professionally and otherwise, and stick to them. Be flexible about how you achieve them. Know that you cannot do it alone. The different paths to achieving them can be as equally rewarding as the success of getting there. Always look at the road in front of you as opportunity.