4 Houston women who made fitness a fad


When Jan Huff was diagnosed with prediabetes, she challenged herself to lower her blood sugar and cholesterol levels. She has created her own fitness routine, complete with a nutritional plan and recipes. After losing 42 pounds, she was ready to share it with others on her website. There was only one problem.

Huff had nothing to wear for his videos – or at least nothing that matched the bill. She therefore took matters into her own hands.

She created a sportswear line and added fitness clothing to her website.

She is one of a handful of Houstonians who have found a way to combine fitness and fashion. Working a sweat is not contrary to staying in style.

“My main mission is to give people something to wear, so they can go out, get some fresh air, exercise and move more,” says Huff.

She had a secret weapon. During the pandemic, the Meyerland resident walked, socially, to Willow Water Hole with her friend Laurie Husmann, owner of Spirit Valley Manufacturing.

“She’s a professional seamstress,” Huff says. “And when COVID hit, she lost customers. “

Many of Husmann’s clients were professional dancers and they no longer needed costumes once the stages were closed.

“Listening to his speech, I thought to myself, ‘Why not think about how we could work together?’ Huff said.

As everyone worked – and trained – at home, they decided to create items that would suit both.

“I wanted to do something pretty cool for a Zoom call,” Huff said.

They use a soft bamboo blend made in the USA. After some trial and error, Huff created two tops. Then she added leggings and a longer round neck t-shirt for the women, as well as a t-shirt for the men.

The concept works, says Huff. She often pairs the tops of her line with a pair of dress pants for a meeting. When it’s time to work out, she pulls on the leggings and off you go.

“It’s done, literally, right here in Houston,” she said. “And that’s important to me.”

The collection is available on his Save Your Own Life website, syolife.com/store.

Sportswear pioneer

Before companies like Fabletics made “athleisure” trending, Houston had its own mecca for trendy workout outfits.

Valerie Horwitz started Mighty Aphrodity 15 years ago.

“He really landed on my knees,” she said. “It was a fluke. It just happened. “

She had a career as an artistic fashion director, working for large retail companies and producing catalogs. Her background in management, marketing, product research and personal shopping came to fruition when a friend who owned a gym asked Horwitz if she wanted to open a store inside. Back then, finding sportswear was a challenge.

“There was only one store in town and it was going bankrupt,” she says.

Horwitz dug about 500 square feet in the gymnasium. She filled the store with hard-to-find fitness clothing. Then, as sportswear became more popular, she looked for more exclusive options.

“I’m trying to find lines that people don’t see a lot here,” says Horwitz.

Mighty Aphrodity has been at its current location near the Galleria for two years.

The store offers a wide variety of styles and sizes. Horwitz likes to find the right item for his clients.

“I want everyone to feel good and like what they bought,” she says.

As a boutique, Mighty Aphrodity has limited supplies to make sure shoppers aren’t on a spinning course and look up to see someone wearing the same thing.

It also offers accessories, shoes, bags and gifts.

“Everything here corresponds to the theme of training or sport,” says Horwitz. “I don’t bring jeans or ordinary clothes. It would be a shift. “

The store is located at 3005 W. Loop South; powerfulyaphrodity.com.

If the shirt stinks. . .

For Megan Eddings, it all started with smelly shirts her husband threw in the wash.

“The smell of those stinky workout clothes was driving me crazy,” she says.

At the time, Eddings was in medical sales. She had a background in chemistry.

“I thought I would dedicate my life to science,” she says.

Instead, Eddings ended up using science to combat the stench of sportswear.

“I put on my science hat and started splashing around,” she says.

First, she asked, why do our clothes stink in the first place? She bought tons of fitness clothes, wondering what materials, styles, fits and fits the big brands were showcasing.

“Most of our workout clothes are 100 percent polyester,” she says. “The problem is, it traps bacteria. “

This results in an odor that does not always come out in the wash.

She wanted to find sportswear made of natural fiber, which was also ethically made. “There was literally nothing, so I decided to make something up,” she says.

Eddings founded Accel Lifestyle with its Prema branded fabric in August 2019.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she shifted gears and started using her fabric to make face masks.

“You have to go where the need is,” Eddings said. “We pivoted so quickly. The city closed its doors and a few days later we found a model for the masks. “

Now she is working on designs for isolation gowns, a garment that healthcare professionals wear to create an additional barrier between themselves and patients.

“I love the fashion, the science, the people and the community,” says Eddings.

The Eddings brand is available at accellifestyle.com.

Motivation for all

The pandemic gloom prompted Dawn Callahan to step out of her funk and start her own online active leisure store, Bags + Some.

At first, Callahan did not recognize the signs of depression. “It took me by surprise,” she said.

After seeing a therapist, Callahan came up with a plan.

“I like having a busy schedule,” she says. “And I thought maybe it was a good time to start a new business.”

Starting a new business might give her the stimulation she needed. “I did a lot of research,” she says. “It was completely new. I started my business in six weeks. It was like my therapy program. I wanted to accomplish something. “

Its t-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, hoodies and tote bags feature motivational slogans. The first to launch in April was “Resilient AF,” a nod to Houstonians who have again and again risen to COVID-19, hurricanes and the winter storm.

“There is no other place like Houston,” she said. “We meet like nowhere else. “

His next shirt was “Karma”, then “Count Your Wins”. She then created “No Limits” and “Pivot and Pray”. A shirt simply has the word “Try” on it.

“Trying is a lot,” Callahan says. “It’s hard. It’s huge.

She hopes wearing the slogans will help ease the mood. She hopes to bring a smile to buyers who browse her site.

“All of these messages were important to me,” she says.

“And it’s something that can promote conversation and reflection.”

The launch of the online store also resulted in the creation of a virtual support group for entrepreneurs. Callahan was getting a lot of questions about her business and decided to create a way to share what she had learned.

“I love it, and the point is, anyone can do it,” she says. “It’s just a learning process.

Sometimes when Callahan wears one of her shirts around town, like the one that says “Above Average,” she notices a passerby lights up at the message.

“I believe it is everyone’s responsibility to spread love and hope,” she says.

To shop, visit bagsplussome.com.

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