Sweatnlace helps curvy women look their best
Jamela Daniels felt really self-conscious going to the gym. The place seemed filled with fit girls in nice workout gear.
“I am a curvy girl and I could not find many nice outfits that made me feel secure and gave me a booster about myself and made me want to go to the gym,” Ms Daniels said.
So, on Valentine’s Day, she launched Sweatnlace, an online boutique selling athletic wear and lingerie for women with curves.
“I wanted to provide an area where women can feel comfortable in what they have on,” Ms Daniels said. “I wanted them to feel sexy and comfortable from the gym to the bedroom. Those are the two places where we feel insecure about ourselves.”
Ms Daniels said in the past athletic wear was largely designed for the thin, but things are starting to change.
“There are a lot more brands that are stepping out and providing workout clothing for mid-sized and full-sized girls,” she said.
She sells leggings and sports bras from the Brazilian sportswear brand KehLu. The clothing is manufactured to help burn more fat, reduce cellulite and reduce muscle fatigue.
“The clothing has a lot of scientific technology within it,” Ms Daniels said. “The fabric is sweat resistant and helps to keep your body cool. So it is not just about wearing a pretty outfit to the gym, there is also some real science and technology built in, that helps you to have a better work out.”
Ms Daniels said KehLu uses a thicker fabric that is flattering, no matter what your body shape.
“I work closely with the manufacturer and designer,” she said. “It is not something that I just picked up and said let me sell that.”
She had always been interested in fashion. In college, she studied fashion and communications. She worked in the industry, for a time, in Miami, Florida, but when she came back to Bermuda, found there were not many opportunities in the fashion arena. Instead, she worked in the corporate world doing marketing, advertising and sales. In 2012, she opened Guilty Pleasures in the Washington Mall, but closed it down four years later.
“My mother and grandmother were sick and I had to devote more time to them,” she said. “But I always told myself I would definitely do it again. It is not just about fashion. I love how putting on a really good outfit improves your mood.”
And she thinks in these times we need all the mood boosting we can get.
Ms Daniels has found running an online business more challenging than a brick and mortar store.
“You have to be intentional in everything you do, and everything you put on your social media,” she said. “With a store you have that foot traffic, and people remember that your store is downtown. Online, it is so congested. There is so much going on that there is a lot of work you have to do to stick in people’s minds, so they come and check out your website.”
Ms Daniels said the pandemic has been the most challenging thing she has had to deal with, running Sweatnlace. She learnt to pivot.
“It is a re-education,” she said. “I am really trying to figure out the structure of my business and how I want to move forward. I feel like this is the way we shop now.”
She does not think the demand for kerbside pick-up and delivery is going to go away any time soon.
“I think people will get comfortable having things delivered to them, and being able to shop and get things right away,” she said.
But she said, considering the current business climate, she is doing okay.
She works hard to provide engaging content on her social media pages. On her Instagram page she provides fashion and beauty advice. She also does videos on how to repurpose clothing.
“I do a remix on different outfits,” she said. “I do different hats that people seem to enjoy.”
She can not sew, but she can pin things, cut things and tie knots.
“I would take an old granny dress and turn it into a sexy halter dress or strapless dress,” she said. “We shouldn’t look at a T-shirt as just a T-shirt. It can be made into a crop top or a halter top. There are so many things you can do with it.”
A lot of her fashion hacks are for curvy, busty girls.
She sees her biggest competition as other online sales platforms overseas.
“We have to become a little bit more competitive and be able to provide the same value that our customers usually get from overseas companies as well,” she said.
Sweatnlace offers free islandwide delivery that is same day or next day.
“My prices are comparable to boutiques overseas, sometimes cheaper and sometimes it is on par with the other speciality boutique stores” Ms Daniels said.
She is looking for models of all sizes and ages, and brand ambassadors.
Ms Daniels is offering anyone who reads this article a 10 per cent discount if they use the code ’newsworthy’. The discount expires on Sunday.
For more information see: www.sweatnlace.com, Instagram: @Shopsweatnlace, Facebook: @Sweatnlace, Tiktok: @Shopsweatnlace or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org