How did this all happen....History of The Cami Girl
Back in 2006, lots of changes were happening in my life. I was a high school teacher and had been doing that for 10 years, still dancing for the Portland Trailblazers year number 9, coaching high school dance (year 11) and teaching little kids dance at a local gym (year 2). Single, never married and no kids. I knew that I had to start slowing down but wanted to still venture into something new and different. Something that had its own niche, that didn't take up a lot of inventory space (so no brick and mortar) and was fun and something I believed in. Never did I ever think I would own my own business.
Like most women, I love to shop and get dressed. It didn't matter what it was for...the gym, practices, school or a wedding or a black tie affair. The bigger the bargain....the better I felt wearing it. How could I combine my love and passion for fashion, bargain shopping and working out? What could I do that still allowed me to be a High School teacher full time?
That is when I came across a new style called seamless attire. I had purchased 4 tops from a friend of mine and I loved them. Made of nylon and spandex. They were so functional. You could wear them for working out or you could wear them with a suit. And they were one size fits most! How amazing is that! So I reached out to the company and little by little we developed a working relationship to where I thought maybe I should make my own company. Oh the names I came up with were really funny, Insatiable by Lene, 3 B's (Boobs, butts and bellies). Nothing clicked.
Slowly I was getting merchandise and inventory and needed to start selling them. So I would sign-up for small craft fairs and holiday bazaars to see how they would do. To my surprise, people loved the tops. I guess my price points were great because on a two day craft fair people were coming back to buy more. I would hear people say...."I'm looking for the cami girl who sells camisoles?"
And there is was.....a star was born.....The Cami Girl.
Being a high school teacher at that time had a lot perks and the students were very tech savvy. So I connected with our marketing and designing and drafting teacher to see if he wanted to partner up and have his students design my logo and business cards and maybe even start a website. And just like that the students took this project and ran with it. Within a few weeks I had a logo, business cards designed and potential website ideas. Keep in mind it was 2006- 2007 so templates that automatically do all of this for you were not available so this all had to be created.
While this was going on, the Cami Girl started to expand by adding tank tops, cap sleeve tops, 3/4 sleeve tops and long sleeve tops to the mix. Then within a year, leggings and more leggings. All still seamless and one size fits most. It was an inventory dream to not have to keep sizes. Then we decided to add plus sizes and maternity to our already long list of products we were making. A website was needed and more space was needed to keep all of this inventory.
Thanks to my new business cards I was starting to get email orders. They started off weekly then I was getting them daily. Then multiple orders a day via email.
Finally after 2 years of slowly moving this
business along I realized that a website was needed and it was time to
invest in some pictures and move this business forward. I had checked
off most of my questions I had set for myself back in 2006-
- Did I find that niche in Seamless Attire?
- Does it take up a lot of inventory space (so no brick and mortar) Can I work this from home?
- Is it a fun business and something I believed in?
Yes, yes and yes.
Hence The Cami Girl was born. My domain and website was first hosted Go Daddy. At the time they were one of the first to help provide templates to building your own website. Go Daddy also provided on-call tech support to help walk you through building your own website. Once I went live with www.thecamigirl.com it changed my life. I was getting orders like crazy. Who would have known that seamless camisoles and tank tops would sell so well. Overnight this business went from something I worked on once or twice a week to now working daily. I was also learning so much about the business world and the technology world. I made lots of mistakes. Learned from them as well and I am still learning on a daily basis.