Monday, September 6, 2010

Moo-Loo-La-Ba – What Language Are You Speaking?

The language of Fashion. Comfort. Genuine performing fabrics that leave you in a state of magical, unnoticeable movement around your body.

My conversation today is about active, sporty, casual wear that totally fits me: both my body and my image.

How many times did I buy something brandy-trendy to find out that the performance of that clothing item was much less that expected and desired? Even such brands like Nike, at times, leave not a “smooth” impression on my skin.

I love clothes that allow me to workout without constantly pulling the top down or readjusting the fitting of my shorts. I also love the outfits that allow my skin to breath and look fashionable and feel comfortable.

Where do YOU go to find “your type of such clothes”? As for me, I go to Mooloolaba. Once you wore it, it’ll be hard to go to anything else, but MooLooLaba.

As you know, when I discover amazing things to use in my home, for my wear, for my lifestyle, my curiosity goes further than that. I get hold of the owner, inventor, creator of the product to find out Why’s, When’s, How’s.

Jen Ryan, the creator and founder of the Mooloolaba brand, graciously agreed to share what it takes to imagine and run the business like hers.

You’ll find out too. Just read the answers to the questions below.
CelebrateWoman (CW)  Dear Jen, what was the beginning of your business? Why did you start something that has so much competition in the market place?

Jen Ryan (Jen)  My roots go to Australia. There, we wear light clothes, colorful clothes. When I came to the U.S., I brought my own outfits that reflected my culture, my environment, and generated a lot of questions of “Where did I get this skirt or this top?”

What stroke me at that time, that the active wear industry was pretty much devoid of colorful sportswear and served only certain age groups who enjoyed wearing their clothes.

I decided to change that with creating a new market nich for the women who are over 30 years of age and who would wear fashionable, colorful clothes suited for active and casual lifestyle. That’s how it all began.

CW  Any difficulties in the beginning of such business endeavor?

Jen  The biggest difficulty and a surprise for me was that big brands like Billabong, Quicksilver, O’Neil, Hurley, Volcom were really dominating the clothing market for the surfers. And it took a tremendous amount of effort to convince the retailers to try and carry the Mooloolaba brand for their customers.

But I started with the local surfers, supporting their efforts with my clothing. Slowly, the word spread out. So did the brand awareness.
Being in a very competitive environment, I wish I had a partner from the very beginning. That would allow us to share responsibilities and have more time to do what needs to be done for the success of a business.

But don’t take me wrong. I love what I do and would do it again... just a little bit different.

CW  Jen, how do you see your Mooloolaba lifestyle clothing line would effect your life in the future?

Jen  I like outdoor athletic clothes. Seeing people wearing my brand truly inspires me to create more and come up with different styles and colors for fashionable clothes to wear.

I so much enjoy the process of creating of new items, that I took a drawing class to be able to reflect on the paper my ideas of new designs and styles.

Staying open to the process is my way to living life. It shall take me where I need and want to be step-by-step.

CW  What is the #1 Thing you would say about your product to the customers?

Jen  The first thing that comes to mind is Quality and Function. The clothing items perform great when they’re worn on the body, and they last without losing its fashionable colors and quality.

CW  Do your family and friends know what Jen does with her business life? What would they tell me about you?

Jen  All of my friends and family are very much aware of my crazily busy life and what I do with my business.

They would tell me that I DO care about my company and its prerogatives. They’ll mention to you that I am a genuine, real, and open person. One of my friends nicknamed me Jen-uine Ryan.

I always take an extra step to deal with my vendors and customers. Personal touch is my trademark in everything I do.

CW  Has your involvement with your business changed your self-image, your personal relationships?

Jen  The business has come to be a huge strain on my relationships. What I learned during this process has served me a huge lesson.

One of the positives that I carried out during this time is ability to un-stress and embrace the journey. In my case, it is giving birth to a business with a million projects and design developments running parallel to each other.

The final result – I learned to take pride in what I do and enjoy my sailing across the rough seas.

CW  Jen, where do you find your source of refreshment and rejuvenation?

Jen  Exercise, especially yoga, have been my companions. Staying active helps me to focus and come up with fresh ideas for my business.

Taking lunch breaks has become my practice. Before, I ignored that time, thinking it’s a time away from my business. Now, I treat it with respect and don’t skip, unless it’s a necessity.

CW  How do you celebrate your victories?

Jen  I take vacations. Love to go home to Australia and spend some time with my family there.

Another gift I give to myself is long walks and taking Fridays off!

CW A few questions about your product. Who is your target market?
Jen  I designe for women 35+.  However, what I noticed, the Mooloolaba brand is very attractive to anyone who cares about style and comfort. So, younger generations use it as much as older.

CW  Please, give us some reasons to buy the Mooloolaba brand again and again.

Jen  All Mooloolaba clothes are of high quality. No matter how frequently you wash it, it will still look fashionable, without loosing its vibrant colors. Plus, all of our items are made in the U.S.A. It’s like supporting your local farmer: Support those companies that produce and manufacture locally, i.e., in your own country.

We donate part of our procedures to the Wild Aid, the non-profit whose goal is eliminating animal cruelty and deaths for the sake of harvesting animal parts.

CW Jen, how are the Mooloolaba clothes are different from your competitor’s?
• Lasting quality is our trademark.
• We use organic bamboo, soy fabrics with spandex woven into the fabric.
• All of our clothes items have 50 UV sun protection.
• The materials we use weaks away the sweat from the skin during the activity.
• We use sustainable blocks for the fabric production. That means that these blocks will be used again and again and not just thrown away after one use.

CW  Where can we buy the Mooloolaba brand?

Jen   Please visit our website and buy anything you want from there. Also, check the “store location” button for the stores that carry our brand.

PS: If you have any questions to Jen Ryan, please leave them in the comments below. She will definitely read and answer them.
PPS: If you know a woman-entrepreneur who has created healthy product(s), please let me know, so we could spread the word about her and her contribution to this planet.

Disclosure: I only write about products I believe in and use personally. I am not compensated for my opinions.
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