FUZEDwear is an athleisure brand for kids that is designed to be the answer to a busy parents’ prayers. Founded by two moms looking to make life a little easier for themselves and other parents, FUZEDwear is a children’s athleisure brand for style-savvy, active kids focused on creating convenient, comfortable activewear. All the signature pieces in FUZEDwear’s line are sustainably manufactured in the San Francisco Bay area from high-quality fabrications to enhance performance.
“The demands and joys of motherhood!” laughs co-founder Priscilla DeGois, when asked what inspired her to join with Mimi Jones to co-found FUZEDwear. “I was tired of buying, washing and searching for separates every time my two boys got dressed” says Mimi “I thought, ‘why are there not quality 2-in-1 options for kids out there?!”
Frustrated with what she was unable to find for her own kids, Mimi started researching in a quest to find better options for her two sons, who love wearing shorts year-round. She soon realized that such a product did not yet exist. That is when she reached out to her close friend, Priscilla, the mother of a son and daughter, to see if she struggled with the same problem when shopping for her children. Priscilla concurred and added that her daughter loved skirts but often required additional layers – either shorts or leggings – under the skirts she loved wearing all year for both warmth and coverage. “Soon it evolved into an entire line of quality 2-in-1 kids athleisure that we are both proud to put our kids in,” says Mimi. Since FUZEDwear’s founding, the line has also expanded to include coordinated t-shirts and hoodies that are easy to match with the brand’s signature bottoms to further simplify and streamline getting kids dressed and ready.
Unbeknownst to Mimi and Priscilla when they first started working on FUZEDwear, a global pandemic was just around the corner, which added additional challenges to starting their new business. FUZEDwear was initially scheduled for a 2019 launch, but their timeline was ultimately delayed by a year due to strains on their production timeline and resources of their vendors. When FUZEDwear finally launched in 2020, a year after they had initially intended, their products became an instant favorite of kids and parents alike. Once they tried out the brand’s signature products firsthand or saw others wearing the brand’s sheggings (2-in-1 shorts and leggings), skeggings (2-in-1 skirts and leggings) and skorts (2-in-1 skirts and shorts), parents wanted to know where they could purchase, and kids wanted to wear the innovative, stylish pieces. However, the innovative designs have come with a learning curve when it comes to scaling outside of the San Francisco area, where FUZEDwear is based.
“Our greatest challenge so far is expanding awareness of our apparel and its tech-forward features,” says Priscilla. Adds Mimi, “There is nothing like FUZEDwear on the market and we know that consumers and parents like us value the innovation, quality and convenience of our pieces, but there is a learning curve.” Not a duo to be deterred, Mimi and Priscilla have taken their products directly to their target consumers. In addition to scaling their e-commerce business, Mimi and Priscilla regularly hold pop-up shows and participate in local pop-up events in the Bay Area to give consumers opportunities to experience the quality and convenience of their designs firsthand.
Mimi and Priscilla are particularly dedicated to taking part in events that give back to the children in their community. At the time they founded FUZEDwear, Mimi and Priscilla made a commitment to give back to children’s charities, a cause that is close to both women’s hearts. Mimi works as a family therapist and court-appointed special advocate for foster children and Priscilla is an attorney with a history of protecting the legal interests of children in cases of abuse and neglect. In addition to supporting philanthropic pop-up events, a portion of the proceeds from every sale at FUZEDwear.com goes to nonprofits supporting the needs of children in the foster care system.
Despite the challenges, FUZEDwear has seen success because of their ability to tap into a gap in the market with their products. Their sheggings, which come in several colorways, have become a best-seller for the brand. While selling sheggings – one single product instead of two separate products, may seem counterintuitive for a business, it’s become the secret sauce to FUZEDwear’s success. “We’re thinking like moms, not merchants,” says Mimi, “Anything that reduces laundry, withstands the active, busy lifestyles of our kids, and saves time while getting ready for school in the morning makes sense to us.” Mimi and Priscilla’s own children have become FUZEDwear’s best billboards, with parents at their schools vying to know where their parents found such stylish, easy-to-style, 2-in-1 looks. “Seeing other moms purchasing multiple pieces from FUZEDwear and telling us how brilliant and helpful our concept is truly is the best compliment,” says Mimi.
Though it has been a challenging first year for FUZEDwear, the brand’s fierce founders, Mimi Jones and Priscilla DeGois are excited about the future of their brand. “It’s been an adventure and we are learning something new each day!” says Mimi. Both women have met the steep learning curve of starting a retail business by diving in headfirst and immersing themselves in an industry to which they are both still new. To other could-be entrepreneurs, particularly moms, Mimi and Priscilla are quick to offer words of wisdom, advice, and encouragement.
Their first tip is to think locally. Look around your own life at what is missing and could make daily life easier for yourself and those around you. If there is a product or service that you could greatly benefit from that does not yet exist, there is a good chance that others are looking for the same types of products or services in their own lives. “We are two mothers who conceived of an idea we truly believe parents want and need for their kids,” says Priscilla. Your idea does not have to be major; it just needs to be meaningful.
Despite how far they have already come in their first year of business, Mimi and Priscilla are also quick to admit that they are still figuring out what they don’t know and have found value in reaching out to ask for help when necessary. Priscilla recommends staying committed to the mission that first inspired you to start your brand in the first place, while also reaching out to professionals in the field you are working to break into that can serve as consultants or mentors as you take on such a momentous new adventure.
Finally, Mimi encourages those considering starting a business to just do it! “[Never] look for reasons why you should not start a business because then you will never start!” You must look at this from a growth mindset… If you have a product or idea, you truly believe in, you can find a way to bring it to fruition!”
FUZEDwear Website: www.fuzedwear.com