Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in clothing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Bridget Kilgallon, Co-Founder of Tera Kaia, located in Bishop, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Tera Kaia is a women-owned and run company with a grassroots start. We make Basewear: technical underlayers for outdoor adventure. Our customers are women of all ages who love to get outdoors and are in tune with nature. We got our start as Arêt Basewear, making the most comfortable sports bra for climbers. Now we make tons of technical underlayers that are designed by our all-women-run team and fit-tested on as many body types as we can find. Once designs are ready to go, they are wear-tested here in the Eastern Sierra mountains. Rock climbing, skiing, camping, hiking, backpacking: our Basewear has been on hundreds of adventures.
Tell us about yourself
As a person who loves the outdoors, I've done it all, from rock climbing to backpacking. My background in interactive design and front-end development lead me down the road to creating TK. I've always enjoyed solving a problem and designing something that makes people's lives better. Basewear does just that: it solves the problem of uncomfortable sports bras and underwear that fall apart when you wear them outdoors. Everything we make is created based on feedback, and it's our mission to get every customer into the perfect fit. We really love what we do, and you can see it when our customers light up in their Basewear.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Surviving! This small grassroots operation has survived the COVID pandemic, recession, and many more hardships. Through it all, we've prioritized sustainability and maintained our commitment to making versatile underlayers that are designed to perform outdoors.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest part of being a business owner is the uncertainty. Each day you're faced with a new set of challenges and problems to solve. There's no guarantee that tomorrow will look the same as today. For someone like me, who loves to solve problems, this is an exciting and gratifying lifestyle - but it can be scary too!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
For anyone looking to start their own business, I'd say you can do it - but it won't be easy! Just believe in yourself, and don't be afraid to fail. Each failure is just a redirection toward what will work. Be clear about what you believe in and define your values. Stay true to your goals but be flexible on how you get there.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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