Some little girls dream of becoming clothing designers, but I never did. Yeah, I know. Probably not the thing you want to hear from the owner of an established clothing line, but I believe the best designers are born with their talents and it only takes one experience to make them realize they were meant to do it.
For me, it was having a baby. I’m super athletic and didn’t need maternity clothing when I was pregnant. I continued running and swimming thru both my pregnancies, but after having my babies, well, that’s where I felt lost.
Nothing existed for fashionable women who were heading off to sales meetings and doing their best to continue breastfeeding their babies even after going back to work. The clothes were hideous and screamed “I’m nursing” with their apron-front-access and none of it was appropriate for business wear.
My Italian grandfather was a clothing designer and I’m convinced he channeled my powers to help me design a line of first-ever patented tanks and basics I could wear to work and even to bed.
I created clothing so beautiful that I felt compelled to show my line to Nordstrom’s. They bought it on the spot, throwing me into the garment business, and before I knew it I was creating sustainable seasonal collections for hundreds of small boutiques and major catalog companies.
Then 2008 hit and the maternity market took a major hit too, so I applied my talents to making eco-friendly ethical loungewear, athleisure and lingerie.
We continued making cute comfortable nursing/maternity clothing, but the maternity wholesale business never fully recovered. Our niche started to shrink and with the onset of Amazon, our designs were being knocked off by companies that could make similar styles irresponsibly from lower quality fabrics and sell them for a lot less. Lifestyles changed too. Business wear became a lot more casual and working moms started having more options to work remotely after delivering their babies making discreet nursing clothes less necessary.
I saw the slow down of nursing/maternity happening a few years ago when three of my biggest clients closed their doors. We lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in business and found ourselves holding onto inventory longer than usual. I knew we’d have to re-focus our talents on another category, so MAJAMAS EARTH was born. I have applied my love of prints and soft silhouettes to creating stylish affordable fashion all women can enjoy and with the introduction of our Men’s line, guys can too.
So what about our nursing/maternity biz? Well, as a business owner, the right move is to move out of it. Don’t get me wrong! I will always make sure we have our Original Nursing Top (the first-ever patented nursing tank that doesn’t look like one) and other must-haves for new mom in stock, but the rest of our mama and baby designs will have to go.
Part of being a smart business owner is to accept change, and our focus and money is best spent on what sells… our silky Polsino Pants, Picolli Shorts and soft Cotton Modal tops. Even the new Men’s collection is overtaking our nursing/maternity sales.
I still plan on continuing to make unique fashion that is versatile and ethically made with a smaller impact on the planet, but our nursing/maternity and baby will become small capsule collections. I’m not saying you should run out and get pregnant so you can rock our soon-to-be-gone nursing/maternity clothes, but you may want to stock up for the future cause we’re putting this baby to bed. As Grandpa might say, “Ciao Bella”!
– Germaine Caprio, Company Owner & Designer
TO HEAR FROM YOU
What are your favorite MAJAMAS EARTH maternity styles?
Please share your own thoughts with us – let’s get a conversation started in the comments below! Your comment may even win you a free MAJAMAS garment this week!