(Photo:white prom dresses uk)Bend has broken into the world of women’s comfort clothing with a style all of its own. It’s a market crowded with big brands like Nike and Lululemon.

The company has made a splash in the highly populated market of yoga pants and fitness wear since launching in April 2014. Owner Laura Heller and her husband, Adam, have found a successful niche in central Ohio.

Bend’s partnerships with designers like Shelley Meyer (fitness instructor, nurse, wife of Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer) and Laura Hawk (interior designer, wife of former Buckeye A.J. Hawk), paired with popular bamboo fabric, have earned local yoga enthusiasts’ business.

“Columbus has a great fitness community. It’s very special that way, but it is a crowded market for sports gear,” Adam Heller said.

Laura Heller, who comes from a family of entrepreneurs, said she knew someday she’d be her own boss. She worked for a startup that specialized in Ultimate Fighting Champion wrestling gear before deciding to branch out on her own and dive into women’s fitness gear.

She made that decision in late 2013. It felt like the right time, she said.

“Yoga pants have taken the place of the jean,” she said. “It’s fit fashion for women.”

After doing her research and “picking the brains of people we respect in the industry,” Heller found that bamboo material created the most comfortable and durable fabric for yoga pants.

While that is the cornerstone of their offerings, Heller’s commitment to her customers, and many times their causes, has helped make Bend successful in its second full year.

Q: What were some of the challenges you faced establishing a new brand in the fitness clothing market?

A: After we made plans and did our research, we launched the Bend website in April 2014. We went to trunk shows at various fitness facilities and classes to help establish our brand, and people tried it and seemed to like the product.

Q: Why was it important to have a brick-and-mortar store in addition to the one online?

A: What we were lacking was instant feedback from our customers, so we decided to open a store (in the Shops on Lane Avenue in Upper Arlington). It’s great because customers tell us exactly what they think. Originally we planned for the store to be temporary. But it’s worked out very well for us, and we want to keep it open.

Q: Why bamboo?

A: It is an “ecofriendly” fabric that bends but doesn’t break. It has a comfortable fit but can withstand the most strenuous workout. It also looks good as a fashion piece. We did learn it is not something that you can print well on. It is best as a solid color. We use other, high quality fabrics for our print pieces.

Q: What designers and lines are exclusive to Bend?

A: The Shelley Meyer and Laura Hawk collections are ours exclusively, and a portion of the proceeds from the sales of those collections goes to their respective charities. The Robert Sturman Collection features his Italian photography in print on the leggings. We also feature the City Living Collection with images of Columbus and Pittsburgh, where I’m from. More cities are coming.

Q: What motivates you to give back to the community?

A: You get back what you give. I really believe that. Something has always led us to something else. We have our Bend to End collection, which features designs inspired by people motivated by different causes. A portion of those proceeds go to the charities.

Q: What does the future hold for Bend?

A: In addition to yoga pants, we have tanks, sweatshirts, T’s, yoga sweaters. We want to expand those offerings, as well as work on a men’s line.Read more at:green prom dresses

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