Stepping into a new gym can be intimidating to anyone at any time – it’s an emotion that even the fittest and most confident person can’t help feeling. But when you’re gearing up to head in to better yourself after a fitness break, or perhaps for the first time ever, the anxiety is at its peak.
Just because we can’t always control our emotions, we can take a step in the right direction of feeling good about this new chapter in our lives by dressing comfortably and feeling good about our entrance into this healthy lifestyle. Sounds easy, right? It used to not be, but thanks to Jenny Gresla and her creation of SELA Fit, it’s now easier than it’s ever been. We spoke with Jenny about her passion – to create a brand that helps women of all sizes and athletic backgrounds take control of their journey by feeling more confident in their activewear. SELA Fit was born when Jenny realized the lack of quality activewear clothing for women.
Finding workout clothes can be a pain! With so many different body types out there, how did you come across a way to cater to everyone?
Well, the answer is kind of simple. I had to listen. I knew what I was looking for in a workout top, but I’m only one person and I wanted to know if other women were looking for the same things I was. I also knew that if I wanted to create a product for women, I had to listen to them. So I sent out a pretty informal 10-question survey to family and friends that focused solely on different parts of workout tops. They then sent it out to their networks. I had received numerous surveys back and when looking at all the feedback (and to my surprise), I noticed there were some common themes that revolved around the length of the shirt, the fit of the mid-section, the upper back, the chest, etc. It turns out other women were looking for the same things I was looking for too! Also, what’s been surprising (and something I didn’t really plan for) is that while I’ve designed these tops to be longer and looser, I’ve heard back from many customers that they like to tie the shirts in a knot – so they’re getting both a longer/looser top AND a shorter/more fit one.
Can you give us a little background on your inspiration for creating such an awesome brand?
Sure! My whole life I’ve always been in sports or physically active in some sort of way (I never really knew anything different!), so finding workout clothes that I felt comfortable/confident in was never an issue. Fast forward to a few years ago, I went through some “life stuff” and ended up putting on a significant amount of weight in a short period of time. During that period of my life, my world had been rocked in the sense that for the very first time, I couldn’t find one workout top that I felt comfortable wearing…they were all too tight and too short. I kept trying to push this idea of creating my own brand to the back of my mind, but my “go big or go home” mentality (plus I had a few loved ones nudge me) took over. If I couldn’t find anything that I felt comfortable in, why not take things into my own hands and create something myself? And that’s how SELA Fit came about.
Let’s be serious…we all wear our gym clothes in other places than just the gym! How did you hit the nail on the head for such cool designs that are fashionable for everyday wear?
Well, it was really an accident and to be perfectly honest, I didn’t really set out to create active wear that you could wear outside of working out. It just kind of happened. You see, my original goal with SELA Fit was to make tops that women would feel comfortable/confident in when working out because I know from personal experience just what kind of impact being healthy and taking care of yourself could have on other parts of your life. Throughout the entire design process, I made it a point to constantly collect feedback from others. As I moved further along, the idea of wearing these tops outside of just working out kept popping up from multiple individuals so I decided to run with it and chose to stick with simple designs and simple colors.
What was your creative process for the brand?
If we rewind all the way back to the very very VERY beginning, it was all about what I was looking for. Then I quickly learned, what started out as a “me” thing, quickly turned into a “we” or an “us” thing. You see, SELA Fit was started because I was in need of tops that fit me for the stage of the health/wellness journey I was in. When I found out so many other women were in the same boat, I knew this brand was becoming something bigger than myself and so I had to include them in the process too! I have many ideas of what I want to create and I run with those ideas, but because it’s a “we” and an “us” thing (and not just a “me” or “I” thing), I’m ALWAYS looking to others for feedback on everything that comes from SELA Fit. Also, my overarching goal for the SELA Fit brand is to provide tops (and eventually other products) that see a woman through every single part of her journey to overall health/wellness. If I’m going to successfully do that, I need to be constantly listening to what other women have to say. Even though I’m a woman myself, I need to be in tune with others and keep their feedback top of mind while still staying true to the SELA Fit brand.
“At SELA Fit, we think striving to be the best version of oneself is about much more than just the start and finish, but rather it’s about the journey – it’s all about the in-between. No one is perfect, nor should they be. It begins with seeing your potential and ends in taking action (or should we say it never ends!)”