IVL Story

First meeting in Portland (July 10, 2018)

Some pics of my AMAZING team! Diet Coke and doughnuts in the shape of our IVL logo, they got to know me REALLY well over the last year. Also pictured, Taylor’s computer and financial model that does a good job at keeping me in check when I want to do everything all at once 🙂

The design process starts here well before samples ever become available. This is the creative part and definitely the most fun! After this, making these designs become a reality is more work than I could have ever imagined.

Fitting some of the first samples, not the finished product. We only had sample colors and fabric at this point!

This little yellow measurement tape might look insignificant, but it is seriously our best friend throughout the process. Every single centimeter of every piece is carefully measured to make sure the fit is exactly how I want it.

We worked on the leggings FOREVER to perfect them. They had to be the perfect fabric with the most flattering lines and fit possible. We redid the lines around the butt and legs multiple times (you can see the chalk markings). I can truthfully say the finished product is my favorite pair of leggings ever, because they have absolutely EVERYTHING I want!

Shannon, my sisters, and friends have been a part of more focus groups than they ever thought possible.

Amy came to Portland with me a couple of times so Tay could stay home with the babies.

We are officially ONE WEEK away from the IVL launch. I could not be more excited about this! This has been a work in progress for a VERY long time – almost three years. I want to go back and tell you the story of how IVL came to be. I think the main takeaways from this journey are (1) things don’t always go according to plan and that’s okay, and (2) not giving up can actually be an effective strategy for almost anything!

About three years ago when I was a mom to just two little kids, Capri almost 5 and Cannon almost 2, I found myself spending an increasing amount of time in activewear clothing. I would put them on first thing in the morning for an early workout, and then as mom and work life got busier and busier, I didn’t always have time to get “all the way” ready. So it was activewear for more than just my workout, it was for most of my day! It was then that the thought of starting an activewear line first crossed my mind. ​I started full of ideas and excitement! I found a contact, ordered some samples, and then waited patiently for them to arrive! The samples were average at best, definitely not something that I would ever want to wear. Months came and went and so did my attempts to improve the samples that I was receiving from different manufacturers. My excitement had slowly turned into discouragement as turning my ideas into reality was proving more difficult than I had thought. It was during this time that our family received the incredible news that the twins were on the way! It was an incredible blessing, so I decided to stop everything and focus 100% on my pregnancy.

After the twins were born I was ready to dive in again. However, I was at a bit of a stand still because if there is one thing that my previous experience taught me, it was that I needed help. I knew the activewear brand was the ultimate goal, but in the meantime, I started working on other projects like my running guide. As I worked on the guide, I had more samples made by a different manufacturer that my sister had recommended. The samples I got back were an improvement from before, but still not the standard or quality that I wanted. At this point I knew what the problem was, all the manufactures I was working with were not strictly dedicated to the activewear space which was reflected in the end product. They were doing dresses and other clothes, but not high-end, technical activewear. Right as my running guide launched I had some tanks made. They were cute and at a great price point, but they were not the high-end, technical quality I wanted. However, I really wanted to test the market and see how they would do. To my surprise, they sold out in one day. I was SHOCKED and so HAPPY. This gave me the confidence I needed to move forward and invest the time and money necessary to find exactly what I wanted.

One night during my thinking hours, also known as those couple of hours between kids going to bed and exhaustion kicking in, I thought to reach out to a company called Rhone, which is a high-end men’s activewear brand. The founder and I had a few mutual connections, so thankfully I was able to line up a meeting with him to discuss how in the world he was able to develop such high quality products with such amazing techinical attributes. I had one week to prepare my thoughts and figure out exactly what I wanted to get out of the call. I vividly remember taking the twins over to my moms house that day so she could watch them while I took the call.

Nate Checketts, who is the owner of Rhone could not have been nicer or more helpful. He did not owe me anything, but took a significant amount of time to give me direction on where to go and who to talk to etc. I will never forget how helpful and nice he has been to me, and I hope to be in a position to pay that forward some day. Shortly after speaking with him, Taylor and I found ourselves flying to Portland because I was certain that we had found a design team and manufacturers that would finally be able to bring my now 2-year-old vision to life. It should not have come as a surprise that Portland, not New York or LA, has the most talent and highest level of expertise in the activewear industry, because nearly all of the largest brands in the industry have a presence in the area.

As Tay and I got to Portland and met with this team, I knew it was a match made in Heaven. I told them my vision and exactly what I wanted, and they not only demonstrated that they could execute on it, but showed me ways of improving what I had brought to them. So, we put our heads down and have been working for the last year. And now, the end of this week will lead us to the day that IVL will FINALLY launch! While everything online might at times appear easy and perfect, this launch isn’t coming without overcoming a significant number of obstacles and stress. Late nights with the addition of twins have been even later, but we have made it to the end of this long road! The stars finally aligned and I could not be more proud of what we have created. I hope you love it just as much as I do!

I will go more in depth on the fabrics and technical aspects later this week! Be sure to subscribe to IVL because subscribers will get to see the full lookbook two days before launch and exclusive info regarding the launch!

Thank you so much to all of you who have followed and supported me throughout the last 7 years! It’s been a wild ride and I am so excited for this next chapter!

12 Comments

  1. CONGRATULATIONS emily!

    So THRILLED fOr you! My KIds live near you… Sttend church with you.

    Hope your Active weAr will have SOMETHING for me. If Your moTher’s
    In your focus grOup, ProbAbly sO!

    Definitely looking Forward!

  2. congratulations on your new line. I do have a burning question though. How can you stand to stay in workout clothes all day long? I couldn’t do it after a significant workout.

  3. congratUlations! Sounds like a long journey but the most important thing is that you are enjoying iT! With yours and your sister’s experience, can I Kindly ask you could you recommend good manufacturer for women’s clothing? Maybe you could be my Nate ? Thank you in advance!

  4. I think it’s a good idea to incorporate afterpay System , since it will open you to the possibility that more people can consume your brand! Many successes to you in thia journey

  5. I love our Blog and the way you handle family life without loosing sight of your career and things you love to do from the Business perspectiVe. yoU and your Family are a BIg inspiration! Greetings and congrats from Munich, Germany! Sofie

  6. I cant wait to see the finished designs. Are these Clothes made in the United States? How dod you come up with the name Ivory Lane?

  7. So amazing emily! I just Launched a weighted sleep sack last month and i couldn’T agree more! People see the fjnal product and think oh thats nice but its years iN the making. Im incredibly proud of you ans cheering you on! Cant wait to get an outift when it launches!!

  8. So fun to Read YOUR STORY! Con and i cannot wait to buy The leggings! June 24th cannot get here fast wnough!!!