BASED IN: CANADA
At Numi our mission is to inspire women to have the confidence to reach their highest potential every day. We manufacture and retail innovative fashion essentials for women using sustainable manufacturing processes. Numi’s signature collection is a line of undershirts for women that are enhanced with a high-tech fabric in the underarm to wick and absorb moisture away from the body to keep you feeling dry and your clothes clean longer.
What prompted you to start this company and specifically high-tech clothing for business wear?
Often the best business ideas come when someone is frustrated with the current status quo, which is exactly how I got the idea for my business. While working in finance and wearing professional attire I realized that all my clothes had to be dry-cleaned or hand-washed, which was expensive and time consuming. When I looked to the market for something I could comfortably and practically wear under my clothes to keep them clean longer (we don’t wash our pants every time we wear them, thanks to our underwear!), I realized there were no practical solutions. I then started doing market research, starting with my friends, colleagues and clients, and realized that this was an issue for the majority of people. Once I identified there was a need for a solution to this common problem, I set about developing a product that would resolve it.
Do you surround yourself with positive people & people who share your vision both in personal life and while hiring your team? Why?
Yes! As an entrepreneur you get way more “no’s” than “yes’s”, particularly when you are starting out and establishing yourself. Having a well defined vision of what you want to create, and why you want to create it, will give you the motivation and inspiration to stay positive when things take longer than you expected, or don’t go the way you anticipated (which you can count on happening). It is important to surround yourself both in your team, and in your personal life, with positive people who share your vision because the environment you are in will impact your mental state and performance.
As an entrepreneur you always have “competitors”. What makes your business unique? How do you treat your “competitors” different?
Our product is one of the first to the market so we don’t have many competitors, particularly creating this type of solution for women. Our line is different because we combine organic bamboo fabric with a high-tech fabric to create a line of solution based layering pieces for everyday wear. Typically high-tech fabrics are only found in athletic wear so we are carving a niche in day wear using fabric technologies and innovative designs. We are also continuously looking to complimentary brands for inspiration and to identify areas where we can improve our product and customer service.
Being an entrepreneur is definitely exciting and challenging. Can you name one rewarding facet of being an entrepreneur?
One of the best things about being an entrepreneur is being able to create a business around making a difference in people’s lives. Getting direct feedback from our customers about how our product has changed the way they dress, and therefore feel about themselves everyday, is rewarding beyond words!
What advice can you offer our readers and other entrepreneurs who are reading your interview?
Build your network and don’t be afraid to ask for help! Particularly within the start-up community, people are more than happy to help where they can. The best way to get advice and build relationships with those people is to be very specific with the areas you are looking for advice on and then spend time getting to know them as well.