Jordan Veatch-Goffi climbed the ranks at Gap for five years before she leveraged her corporate experience into Doce Vida Fitness. Her advice to office workers: You can make the jump in six (sort of) easy steps.
1. Treat your job as an MBA program.
To get the full picture of how to run a retail business, I applied to the Gap's retail management training program. Essentially, the company paid me to learn design, marketing (which is how to get publicity for your products), planning (meaning, have enough money on hand to pay the bills), and production (how to buy zippers from one factory and buttons from another and ship them to a third where they make the garment).
2. Find a problem.
I'm a very athletic, big-boned person, and I like my body. I want to look great when I work out, but nothing I bought in the United States ever fit right.
3. Let your idea be the solution.
I'm half Brazilian, and I visit the country at least twice a year. The women there are very curvy and very body confident. They show off what they've got. Brazilian fabric and design reflect that. I wanted to create athletic gear here that makes you look better, feel better, and work out better.
4. Stretch yourself.
Our fabric, which is made in Brazil, has 12 percent stretch—that's more than most American athletic fabrics. It really hugs your body. The compression not only makes you look smooth but also expands and contracts as your body changes. Expecting moms wear our V-top pants before, during, and after pregnancy.
5. Celebrate your success.
The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders hired us to create their fitness wear—we celebrated by doing high kicks!
6. Make alterations.
We modified the Cowboys cheerleaders design before putting it in our catalog—their inseams are really short. No one but cheerleaders could ever wear those.