Mentee’s Launch: TRU ATHLETIC

Today we’re excited to announce the launch of TRU ATHLETIC — a sportswear for the everyday, amateur athlete. Available exclusively for purchase at Inspired by the the physical nature of sport and the essence of competition, their core focus stems from the competition and training segments of the Australian sporting landscape.  Team sports such as netball, basketball, hockey and Australian Rules Football, and the awesome ladies that play these sports and many more, are what drives TRU ATHLETIC.

The owner, Trudi Langford, answered some of the important questions on how she started her label.

1. What is your label and who is it for?

My label is TRU ATHLETIC and it’s made with the everyday athlete in mind. Inspired by the Australian team sports landscape, my range is for any active woman looking for practical and stylish sportswear to take them from training, to game day and for off-duty athleisure style.

2. How long ago did you start the process of your own label?

I started slowly getting a business plan together in early 2015 (I think!) when my twin boys were only 2. At the same time I undertook the Fashion Label Launchpad program to just learn about the fashion industry. Being an accountant by profession, I knew absolutely nothing about creating garments so I just wanted an understanding before jumping in. In late 2015 I decided to get the ball rolling and properly start designing and sourcing fabrics.

3. What is the biggest thing you have learnt through the process?

Details! You’ve got everything in your head, but you need to be able to communicate it clearly with detailed notes to all your suppliers. Otherwise, you won’t get the product you desired and it’ll cost you more in the long run going back for alterations.

4. What is one thing you would tell another designer before they were starting out?

I would make sure you know EXACTLY what you want to create, right down to the nitty gritty details of design lines, stitch types, how you want it to fit, etc. and definitely have a well-thought out and documented marketing plan. How are you going to get people to buy your designs? How will you gain their trust if they’ve never heard of you?

5. What was your next biggest hurdle?

Cash! Unless you’ve inherited thousands from your great aunt, keep your day job for as long as you can. Besides the actual garment production process eating up the bulk of your savings, decent marketing efforts benefit from having cash to spend. I’m finding there’s only so much you can do on a budget of nothing!

6. Would you do it all again?

Yes. As a long held dream of mine to have my own sportswear range, I’d still be a frustrated accountant if I hadn’t changed direction and started it.

7. What is the one thing you would do differently if you had your time again?

I would want to put more effort into having a beefier marketing and distribution plan. All well and good to get the product made, but no good if you can’t shift it properly.

8. How did the Fashion Label Launchpad help you through this process?

It gave me the foundation of knowledge to get started on the process and an understanding of what’s involved at every step. The Sample Room have seriously held my hand through ‘the unknown’ for me. It sounds corny, but I felt I could ask those basic of questions without feeling inadequate. I have the confidence to deal with suppliers should I have a chance to do another range!

You can follow TRU ATHLETIC’S progress here:

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