Jai-Leta Colvard is a fashion entrepreneur and founder of Just Jai Wear, which is best known for its athleisure clothing Sweat Pretty, and its sleepwear line, Sleep Pretty. The fashion line was created to encourage women to look their best in the gym and while they are lounging.
Colvard’s is committed to helping women focus on their fitness and mental health. After battling depression following the loss of loved ones, she found healing in building the business.
The successful entrepreneur shared how she hopes to help other women.
When did you know you wanted to get into fashion?
Well, ever since I was a little girl, my father and my stepfather would dress me up all the time. Even when I was young in high school, everyone asked me what to wear, so I was an image consultant for my family and friends way back. Then when I joined a health and wellness company years ago, I would wear another brand all the time and everybody used to love what I had on and I used to mention that brand. I [eventually] said, “you know what, I want to start my brand and I want to design it for us,” and that’s exactly what I did.
Who do you have in mind when you design?
I had in mind women ages 25 to 60 to be perfectly honest, and women who had issues with their stomachs. I wanted to make sure that my leggings gave tummy control because it’s so important. You want to feel good, you want to look good, and you want to feel confident when you go to the gym, so that is one of my main concentration areas. In addition to that, every year I always have a line to support breast cancer survivors, and this year it’s Loving Arms Cancer Outreach. … Ten percent of proceeds always go to them, but that’s one of the main reasons too that we keep going and we keep growing — because we support a very important cause.
How do you connect mental health with your fashion brand?
Mental health is feeling good about yourself, inside and out. I have to be perfectly honest with you, a year ago I had to take a step back away from my business because of the death of my grandfather, and the tragic death of my best friend and my grandmother at the same time. One thing I can say to people is that it’s OK to be depressed, but don’t stay in that space. Through this whole process, I’m also an advocate for mental health. When you’re working out, you feel good on the outside, but you have to feel good on the inside. So, it’s extremely imperative to do that.