By Dakota Parks for Pensacola Magazine
So you've put working out on your list of New Year’s resolutions—good for you! Now, what to wear? Those torn old band t-shirts and stretched out yoga pants might be okay for a home workout, but if you plan to get fit in public, why not look fabulous doing it? Lucky for us, Pensacola is home to a few activewear designers who make it their business to combine function with fashion when designing their activewear. Whether you stay fit by running, stretching, boxing or weightlifting, keep it local and add a few of these homegrown pieces to your workout wardrobe.
Reboot & Co.
Reboot & Co. is a lifestyle, entertainment and apparel brand started by former healthcare executive Addie Murdoch and former AppRiver owner Michael Murdoch along with their children Amanda and Bryce. After dating for many years, Addie and Michael married in 2018. To celebrate their union, they bought a boat and christened it Reboot.
“We just started thinking about the name,” Addie said. “Not only do we have a boat named Reboot, but every time we go out on it, we feel that we’re rebooting ourselves. At the same time, we are rebooting our lives by starting a new life together and new careers. It just all started to make sense.”
Enter 2020 and the idea of a reboot or renewal began to resonate even stronger. The family started thinking more seriously about their idea for a lifestyle brand that would be built around, and inspired by, a life spent on the water. The family of avid travelers also wanted to highlight travel, hiking, wellness and epic adventures of all kinds.
“We decided to go with a lifestyle platform because we have two children that are in their 20s,” Addie said. “They understand the importance of brand building these days. Everything is done through web design and social media and those types of platforms. They’ve definitely schooled us on that.”
As a digital lifestyle brand, Reboot & Co. seeks out brand ambassadors from around the world to help spread the word about their products. Reboot’s website offers blog posts and giveaways in addition to their lifestyle products, which include apparel, accessories, travel items and home décor. In January of 2021, the company will roll out a new clothing line with a particular focus on fitness and athletic wear. Future plans include an editorial lifestyle series, wellness retreats and charitable giving projects. To learn more about Reboot & Co., visit rebootandco.com.
Pensacola native Natlyn Jones is no stranger to the world of fitness and professional sports. While many know her as the wife of boxing champion, Roy Jones, Jr., many don’t realize that Natlyn Jones is also a promoter and entrepreneur—and she’s a boxer as well.
In 2019, Jones opened a boxing gym that focused on empowering women in the male-dominated world of boxing. While working with female boxers, she noticed that most high-quality activewear for women seemed to come as an afterthought to already established, male-focused brands.
Jones was inspired to design and create She Warrior, a female-focused athletic wear brand that highlights female strength. She Warrior’s mission is to nurture the fighting spirit within all women and lead them toward championing their health, wellness and inner warrior. Jones has always had a fondness for fashion as well as a creative streak, so melding those loves with her passion for boxing and female empowerment was a perfect combination.
As for the name, “It just resonated,” she said. “Female strength, the warrior mentality, the fighter—She Warrior.” While Jones designs the line herself, she has the clothing manufactured in New York City. Designed to be inclusive for every shape and size, She Warrior urges women to celebrate their bodies and reminds them that “Strong is the new sexy.”
For Jones, her favorite item is the high-waisted compression legging. “It offers great compression,” she said. “It’s so comfortable.”
Sustainability is also important to Jones and she chooses environmentally friendly materials for her line.
“We’ve neglected the environment for so long,” Jones said. “We are the generation of fast and now, but if we take time to take care of the environment, it will take care of us.” She Warrior’s newest line launches in January of 2020 and will be available on their website. Visit www.iamshewarrior.com to learn more.
Brittney Meads Designs
For Navarre-based custom clothing designer Brittney Meads, the love for designing clothing was born out of volunteering at Nashville Fashion Week while sprucing up her resume for law school. After watching dresses go down the runway, Meads went home and challenged herself to making her first dress out of one of her father’s t-shirts.
“I started with bed sheets and curtains, and now I use fabric from all over the world including Prague, London and Barcelona,” Meads explained.
After graduating from Belmont University in Nashville in 2013 with a degree in psychology and sociology, Meads started her custom clothing design business before heading to England in 2015 to expand her brand and study fashion business at the University of Hertfordshire. Over the years, her work has been featured in several magazines, runways and special events. In 2019, Meads was nominated for a Global Beauty Award in the best evening gown/fashion designer category. Dresses, however, aren’t the only clothing she designs.
“Everything is custom made by me and tailored to my client’s specifications” she explained. “As a custom designer, my clients have the freedom to choose the style, fabric and budget for their designs. I also offer alterations or reconstruction of items already in their closet that may need a bit of life brought back into them.”
As Meads explained, her clothing is designed to fit the bodies of her clients, rather than women or men trying to fit into clothing off a rack, which can help everyone feel comfortable in their bodies. Her custom designs allow her clients to take the stress out of shopping and personalize their wardrobe.
Her fitness and exercise designs including swimsuits, leggings and sports bras utilize Performance Quick Dry Fabric, which is stretchable and body-hugging. All of her designs can be customized in any color, shape, style or fabric. To learn more, you can follow and reach her on Instagram @bmeadsdesigns or on Facebook at Brittney Meads Designs.