The past number of months have been a whirlwind. Yet, there are some women entrepreneurs that are continuing to break the mold and shine like the stars they are! We're proud to introduce our Squish Stars campaign, highlighting incredible women entrepreneurs!
We were lucky to talk toLisa Mullan, Co-Founder of Uwila Warrior, and ask her some questions.
Tell us about your business? How did you get started? Lisa: Uwila Warrior makes comfortable, functional, beautiful underwear from size XXS to 4X so she has fewer wedgies and more kickin' ass. It all started in an underwear drawer, it really could have been almost any woman’s underwear drawer, but it was ours. It was filled with all kinds of underwear that shared a couple of commonalities: It was beautiful, and it didn’t fit. We asked, why can’t practical, comfortable underwear also be beautiful underwear? We started Uwila Warrior to make underwear that didn’t require tugging at panty lines and suffering through bad underwear days. Underwear that was not about pleasing someone else, but instead celebrated a woman’s body. Underwear so comfortable, you couldn’t even tell it was there. Uwila Warrior was founded on one simple belief: Women shouldn’t have to twist their bodies and lifestyles into underwear that only fits sometimes – they should have unapologetically colorful, beautiful, and comfortable underwear that fits every moment of their lives. Uwila Warrior is for the woman who goes into the world smart and smiling, completely confident in who she is. Our products are an expression of freedom - featuring spirited colors, cheeky sayings, luxurious silk, and ornate lace. Because why does your underwear drawer have to be boring? It’s designed to fit around your body, to hug your every curve and is made with lightweight moisture wicking fabric to keep you cool and dry all day long.
What measures have you been forced to take since COVID started? What is the biggest pivot you had to make with your business?
Lisa: We have leaned heavy into earned media since COVID started to grow our customer base. Our biggest pivot has been the lack of revenue coming from our one retail location in Beacon Hill. We are now using our retail space as a working studio where we are creating customized underwear for our customers. This is catching on and driving customized orders through our website.
What have you learned from this experience thus far? Both on a professional and personal level.
Lisa: Professionally, I am shocked at how much money (and time) it takes to successfully launch a retail apparel company. We have stuck with it and have turned the corner, but it takes years to arrive. Personally, I am humbled by the many egg-in-your-face decisions I have made along the way. Some lessons were more costly than others. All said, the humility of owning our failures in addition to owning our success has lead to tremendous personal growth.
Have any businesses or individuals helped to inspire you through this time? What do you admire most about them?
Lisa: I admire the creativity and community of fellow Tory Burch Fellow, Christina Pardy, from Shit that I knit. She is so darn good where we are weak! I also admire intimates legend, Sarah Blakely, she revolutionized intimates at a point where innovation had run dry for so many brands. She also created a kick ass culture and company at Spanx.
What are the biggest issues for running your company right now? What areas do you need help with?
Lisa: Our biggest challenge is scaling our company. Yes, we have revenue growth, but we need more profitable revenue growth. That and getting the word out there about our brand when communities are isolated at home is challenging.
What's been your biggest win since starting your company?
Lisa: The biggest win was putting our underwear out in the market and receiving feedback that so many of our new customers were wearing Uwila Warrior religiously in their weekly rotation. Uwila Warrior was not resonating with just a few women, but so many women.
Are there any special or new self-care practices that have helped you stay grounded?
Lisa: Exercise! I am running and walking and breathing fresh air every day, no matter what the weather. I am not only physically healthier, but mentally healthier.
Favorite show you've been watching/book you're reading/podcast you're listening to?
Lisa: Scene on Radio - what an eye opening podcast on our media.
If you could be any of our marshmallow flavors, which one would you be?
Lisa: Definitely Birthday Party- marshmallows, like underwear, should be bright and cheerful. Birthday Party marshmallows are so happy.