Graced By Grit: Athletic Fashion for Women
San Diego fitness enthusiasts Kimberly Caccavo and Kate Nowlan hit the ground running and haven't stopped since they conceived the idea for Graced By Grit a little over two years ago.
Frustrated by the limited options for women's workout apparel, the two began designing their own line of active wear that would flatter the female figure. They named their line “Graced By Grit,” in reference to their shared ability to overcome struggles in their personal lives. This sentiment serves as the foundation for the company's philosophy, as it emphasizes strength and empowerment in women.
Caccavo, a Chemical Engineering graduate of UC Berkeley and UCLA, married at 24 years old. Early on in her marriage, her husband succumbed to leukemia. She spent the next few years privatizing a telephone company in South America. On a visit to the U.S., she ran into an old friend, Jim Caccavo, who she married a few years later. Caccavo has acquired extensive experience building companies over the past thirty years.
Nowlan is a Sociology and Psychology graduate of The University of Massachusetts Amherst. When she was a junior in college, she learned that she was pregnant. She married six months later, had a child, and still managed to complete her dual degree. She has since earned a background in athletic training, event coordination, and business.
Graced By Grit offers an online store with choices for a variety of athletic pursuits on land and sea. Featured products include tanks, sports bras, long sleeve tops, jackets, shorts, leggings, skirts, socks, hats, gloves, and headbands. Currently, the company's best-selling products are their Land and Sea Knickers, Delicious Half Zip pullover top, and compression socks. While all of the products come in standard women's sizes, there is also a small selection for youth as well.
Caccavo and Nowlan try to develop classic styles that will withstand the ever-changing fashion scene. They cite the fabric, fit, and functionality of their products to explain what makes their athletic gear stand out from other lines
“We use the most luxurious Italian fabric,” they said via e-mail. “It is soft and silky, yet offers compression. It feels so wonderful on your body. The colors are vibrant and elegant.”
Their designs are first tested on real female co-workers and friends to ensure that they fit and function well. Safety is an essential component in Graced By Grit's definition of functionality. That is why every garment is designed with a loop and detachable whistle for emergencies.
Graced By Grit has enjoyed significant success since its incorporation in January 2013. Revenue far exceeded expectations within its first year of business. The company has been recognized locally and nationally by various media outlets such as The Huffington Post, Life and Style Magazine, CBS Los Angeles, and Fox 5 San Diego. The owners have received plenty of feedback from their customers as well. Graced by Grit seems well on its way toward expansion, as the owners recently signed a lease to open their first retail location in the San Diego area. The store will be located on Highway 101 in the coastal city of Solana Beach. Additionally, customers can expect to see pop-up stores at athletic events across the country later this year.
In spite of these new developments, Caccavo and Nowlan haven't lost sight of their company's origins. They also mentioned plans to increase their online presence and market their company name to a wider audience. Graced By Grit's website encourages customers to host trunk shows and they have proved to be quite popular. There are at least two upcoming shows planned for the San Diego area in the next few weeks, and many more are scheduled statewide. Customers also have the opportunity to become “influencers,” which requires a greater commitment to marketing the brand. The trunk shows and influencers have played an important role in the promotion of Graced By Grit products thus far. Caccavo and Nowlan expressed delight in seeing women as far away as New York and Colorado wearing their designs.
Athletic women across America are beginning to run with Graced By Grit's style. With its Solana Beach headquarters and retail store announcement, the company is well on its way to becoming a staple in the wardrobes of athletic San Diego women. To check out the entire Graced By Grit line, visit their website at www.gracedbygrit.com.