We are sisters both aspiring to have a positive effect on the lives of young girls and women. We both graduated in May 2019 with our bachelors in psychology. Noor is the brand owner and creator of the brand and main product, the Grow with Light leggings. Noor focuses on managing the timeline for launches, designing the products/collections, training in bodybuilding, and providing personal training services. Zaina is the brand co-owner who assists with business management roles such as contracting professionals, organization skills, and collaborative strategy.
We came up with the idea together while performing at the gym and have been working side by side since. We started by collaborating together through sketches and followed through with the required legalities which took us approximately three months. Afterward, we started with manufacturing and creating the first prototype which took us until January 2020, and launched the brand a few months later in June 2020.
Things take time, and patience was something that we had to indulge in and learn through the process. All things worthwhile are worth the hard work and wait!
Can you give us an idea of who your clients are?
Our clients are conscious women who prefer more coverage to the average leggings. Grow with Light leggings are for women who desire to excel into their full potential through comfort, coverage, and creativity while performing in confidence! We aspire to connect with individuals who choose to share their inner light with themselves and the world!
What are some of your favorite things about what you do?
Being able to connect the whole brand core and values into our daily lives by tapping into our potential while taking steps in becoming your best self through creativity and confidence in performance.
What made you decide to launch your own brand?
There is nothing more beautiful than representing yourself fully and wholeheartedly. This varies from person to person because everyone has a light to share and shine with. We all have different goals and ambitions that we desire to attain. When one shares their inner light with the world consciously, it helps in making the environment a safer and more comfortable place to be who you truly are while empowering one another to shine!
How do you describe the brand?
Grow with Light stands for doing the inner work to share one’s inner light through the conscious choice of choosing to become the best version of oneself. It is a brand that creates a space for individuals to become better through utilizing their potential through creativity and performance. Grow with Light stands for radiating your passion as you grow and glow! As the sun shows up for us every day, we must do the same to light our own way and vibrate warmth to one another. The present moment is a gift within itself, know you are valuable and full of potential, be creative in lighting your way, and perform in confidence.
Why do you think activewear is so popular at the moment?
Activewear is so popular because fitness and health have never been more prevalent in our society! Being mentally and physically healthy is important for overall development, and moving the body helps with these positive overall effects on the individual. We are connected to ourselves from within and without. Activewear is also worn outside of the gym because of comfort and mobility!
What’s the best business advice you were ever given?
It is the journey that bares the fruit, it is not the end result so harvest well and enjoy the results later.
Tell us something about you not many people know
Many people do not know the background of the name of the Grow with Light brand. The brand owner’s name is Noor which is of Arabic descent and means light from the sun. The logo is of the sun and was sketched and created by Noor also!
What are some challenges in this business?
Some of the challenges of this business executing effectively with the timeline. This does not solely depend on the owners of the brand but on hiring individuals that one works with. With a clothing brand, some individuals that one works with are manufacturers, photographers, videographers, brand ambassadors, an accountant, and possibly lawyers.
We have gone through 3 manufacturers and have built the connection across 4 different content creators. The most important aspect is the manufacturer since this is the clothing and designing provider. If the manufacturer does not take deadlines and timelines seriously, this will hurt launches and release dates with customers. Another big challenge that the company had to overcome was the cancellation of our first product order due to COVID in March 2020. This resulted in us waiting three more months for our first collection. This was difficult for us especially after having announced the launch date to the audience that we had. We apologized to our supports and adjusted to a pre-order method. It was a big challenge to face especially at the start of the company and the goal of building brand awareness. This is why I emphasize working with professionals that understand your goals and approach to the execution of your business!
GET THAT TRACKING NUMBER BEFORE STATING A LAUNCH DATE!
It is important to go through the process of trial and error in creating the brand team as well as having more than one option to rely on, especially when it comes to content creation and manufacturers.
How is Grow with Light different from the other sport clothing companies?
Grow with Light products were designed to be worn with purpose. Specifically, the leggings are different than other sport clothing companies because GWL Leggings provide modesty/coverage with mobility while maintaining physique. The long sleeve shirt is attached at the waistband, providing back and frontal coverage. The skirt coverage is effective when performing squats, deadlifts, and/or lunges. The sleeve coverage is effective when performing bench, hip thrusts, and/or lunges. The shirt attachment is not bulky nor is there the concern of it falling off. Grow with Light leggings were created when thinking of empowering women and providing a solution for conscious and effective performance.
What does it take for someone to get started with their own side hustle in your line of work? How does someone start their own business like yours?
It takes discipline, consistency, and believing in oneself for an individual to start their own side hustle. It takes patience, flexibility, and continuous learning. It takes potential, creativity, and performance.
To start a clothing brand, one should focus initially on the budgeting and legal aspects of the business. Budgeting may be the first aspect to consider in order to create a long-term plan for the process of developing brand products in order to launch the business. A major aspect of starting a clothing brand would be the manufacturing process that the brand owner would decide to go with. Two options of manufacturing are through whole-sellers or contracting with a manufacturer to create one’s very own designs and then produce a manufacturer order. A few legalities to manage would be registering the business name, obtaining a selling permit, and tax identification (EIN).
It is also important to seek knowledge such as connecting with individuals who have managed to scale their own business, watching videos, and reading books.
It is better to go step by step and launch your brand when truly ready!
Do not set launch dates until your shipment is on the way and you have that tracking number — set yourself up for success!
Please tell us about the main product how and why did you come up with the idea of creating a legging with a shirt attached to it?
The main product, the Grow with Light leggings, was created through natural lifestyle and desire to perform through comfort and action. Noor is the creator and brand owner who wore a long sleeve shirt around her waist for 1.5 years before one day while at the gym, the skirt kept falling off and needed to be adjusted and as we worked out side by side, Noor said – “I just wish it [long sleeve shirt] would stop falling off.” We looked at each other, dropped the weights, and ran to the car to collaborate then stayed up all night to create what is currently the Grow with Light brand. Grow with Light leggings solved a problem and created modesty/coverage with mobility while maintaining physique.
What is the best part of your job?
Noor (brand creator and owner): The best part of my job is creating. The process of having a vision and executing that vision through hard work, dedication discipline, and focus. Learning new creations such as leggings, sweaters, t-shirts, sports bras or it may be bodybuilding— the art of designing.
Zaina (co-owner): The best part of my job is executing. The process of taking action through the required steps to bring a vision to life is exceptional. Although the process takes time and mistakes are made through the process, there is a continual learning experience that is all part of the experience. As I learn, I tell myself that if we continue to try and put the effort toward the ultimate goal of success, anything is possible.
At what point did you know it was the right time to work for yourself?
We both knew all along that we desired to work for ourselves and execute independently. Ever since a young age, Noor loved designing and adjusting her style to be more of her own. She loved to wear clothing that was not associated with other brands, she desired to represent herself and her being.
How would you describe your leadership style and what has made it so effective?
Our leadership style is taking action within our full potential and to be creative through performance. Know you are capable of becoming your best self without giving excuses. Also, sharing knowledge whenever effective. It is important to believe in oneself prior to taking on any ventures in life. Once confidence is attained, the steps that follow come much more smoothly than not.
What is your secret to being an effective CEO in terms of building the company culture and values you need to make the company successful?
The secret is to not give up. When an entrepreneur has a strong foundation in themselves and their business, nothing can stop you unless you choose to stop! Continue to be creative, be bold, be true and all else follows. There is no better feeling than choosing to represent yourself and if any risk was worth it — you are the most worth it.
Where do you get your inspiration from daily?
You don’t and that the truth; but you have to be disciplined and passionate enough to work daily for yourself.
Any advice for entrepreneurs on what to include (or not to include) in their pitch deck for investors?
Sell yourself not the product. The product is not for all individuals. There is not one product that everyone loves. It is important to establish oneself and be confident and knowledgeable in the field that one chooses to be a part of. Tell investors WHY they should care. Tell investors your WHY. This is the most essential part of being a business owner because this is what will fuel your passion and entire being into becoming who you are destined to become.
Any advice for entrepreneurs on moving beyond a failure?
In our opinion, there is no such thing as failure because, without the process of experiencing a mistake, one would not be able to attain success. The word failure comes across as heavy and when choosing such words to define the bits and pieces of our overall journey could instill a belief in our execution system — this will not serve greatness. We only fail when we give up so identifying the journey’s more difficult experiences as the growth in itself will create the mindset of acceptance and willingness to learn and overcome an obstacle. There is no route that one goes through without having any experiences with “failure” so remind yourself the following: you are working toward goals and learning as you continue to strive to your success. Anytime you make a mistake, learn from it and adjust — eventually, you will master the necessary milestones in order to continue to get to where you desire to go. Find your passion and BLOOM!