Today we’d like to introduce you to Maria Kusar.
Maria, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My parents are immigrants from Italy. My mother was trained as a young teenage girl in a European tailor shop and also worked in a textile factory in Germany before getting married and coming to the U.S.
Growing up with a mother who was a seamstress, I was always around different fabrics and threads and loved playing with leftover scrap materials, making Barbie clothes. The idea for Vita Atletica (which means athletic life in Italian) came about over dinner and a bottle (or two) of wine. With Italians, everything is centered around family, vino and good food!
My husband teased my sister in law and myself, “Do you girls wear anything other than leggings and workout pants every day?” In perfect unison, we broke into laughter and responded, “Nope! These are our uniform!” It’s true we live in our activewear! This opened up the conversation about what we did and didn’t like with respects to current activewear/workout pants/leggings. And from that night a “baby” brand was born!
Has it been a smooth road?
Being a self-funded family start-up, currently, without any investors – a smooth road is not something we are familiar with! Financing has always been our biggest challenge from the start.
Each decision we make, as a team, has to keep our budget in mind, which at times causes stress and frustration. The creativity and ideas are there, but the financial constraints make it difficult sometimes to pursue certain directions we want to expand the brand.
However, this has also been a blessing of sorts in that we really have to do everything meticulously and make every decision with limited mistakes and for the best interest of the brand.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Vita Atletica – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We sell women’s activewear/athleisure, primarily leggings/yoga pants, sports bras, and some mix and match pieces. We created our line using top quality materials and designs while incorporating the aspects that were important to us. We wanted fashionable pieces that could transition from the gym or Pilates studio to everyday life.
We want people to fall in love with not only our brand but the family behind it. When you call or email, you are actually dealing with the owners and excellent customer service is our main priority above any sale.
The Giulia High-Waist Yoga Pant is probably our most comfortable “like butter” legging. The material blend is super soft, yet it holds you in and accentuates your curves while providing support. You honestly will wear them all day!
We are also proud of the fact that a portion of each sale is donated to The ALS Foundation in honor of my father-in-law, retired Los Angeles City’s firefighter living with PLS (pulmonary lateral sclerosis), a rare neurological disease. Our philanthropy is part of the heart of our family business. We give to local charity events and auctions that benefit different organizations, and we try to help where we can.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and the least?
Being born and raised in the South Bay and constantly having some type of six degrees of separation between people we meet is very comforting about our city. Especially with the business, the more people we meet and talk with, we start finding mutual friends or acquaintances between each other that we may not have known otherwise had we not started talking to this person. This happens often whether it’s around our office building or during our pop-up events.
What do I least like about our city? The metered parking is definitely not easy around our office in Hermosa! We are lucky we have a parking structure for the tenants but for clients it does make it difficult.
- Yoga Pants run $63-$65
- Sports Bras $40 -$47
- Address: 200 Pier Avenue Suite 426 Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
- Website: www.vitaatletica.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/vita_atletica
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/VitaAtletica.shop
- Other: www.twitter.com/vitaatletica
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