Aug. 14, 2018

EP 145: Developing, Manufacturing, & Marketing An Innovative Product With Têra Kaia Co-Founder Bridget Kilgallon

The Nitty Gritty

* How Bridget’s struggle finding tops that fit her body type encouraged her to make her own — and how that pursuit turned into Têra Kaia’s first top, TOURA
* The six words the Têra Kaia (formerly Aret Basewear) team uses to influence th



The Nitty Gritty

* How Bridget’s struggle finding tops that fit her body type encouraged her to make her own — and how that pursuit turned into Têra Kaia’s first top, TOURA
* The six words the Têra Kaia (formerly Aret Basewear) team uses to influence their branding, whether that’s photo styling or product developing
* Their journey for finding a local athletic wear manufacturer that could make high-quality garments at an affordable price point — and what led Bridget to switch manufacturers
* What their ambassador program looks like and why Instagram is their main marketing channel
* How they ensure that customers find the right fit every time by using a sizing guide and a free exchange program — and how that value drives product design and informs customer service

On today’s episode of What Works, Bridget Kilgallon, co-founder of Têra Kaia (formerly Aret Basewear), a collection of minimal basewear for the outdoorswoman, openly shares her journey bringing a physical product to market. From hand-sewing and testing the first top to partnering with a local manufacturer to marketing the brand, Bridget walks us through her thoughtful approach to product design, branding, and customer satisfaction.
We release new episodes of What Works every week. Subscribe on iTunes so you never miss an episode.
Finding a local manufacturer
“Finding a reliable manufacturer that can create our tops at the quality that we want at a price that works in the marketplace: that was the biggest hurdle we faced as a business. It still continues to be to this day.” — Bridget Kilgallon
Once Bridget nailed down the handmade prototype and tested it for four months with willing participants, she needed to find a manufacturer. As you can imagine, finding one that meets your needs isn’t always easy but Bridget knew what she needed: a local manufacturer that specialized in athletic wear. And she did… but they only worked in standard format, meaning they only produced athletic wear with one-size-fits-all type of sizing like S, M, and L.
“It took a lot of convincing for us to be like: no, we’re doing it differently,” she says. “Our sewing process is different and our fitting process is different.” So, the search continued. They ended up working with multiple different manufacturers in and around San Diego, California, but continuously faced issues with quality control and price point.
As of today, they’re in the process of switching to a new manufacturer that can do everything in one place. Plus, this new partner has a design studio on site to help get their designs ready for production.
Matching your values with your branding
“We’re not just making athleisure: we’re making something that’s functional and technical. A lot of clothing companies for women right now are focused on making something that’s stylish and pretty. We’re not on board that. We think womenswear should be just as functional as menswear.” — Bridget Kilgallon
From the get-go, Bridget defined Têra Kaia’s top as technical gear… and that one key decision influences everything from how they communicate online to how they create imagery for their online shop and on Instagram. “We really go out of our way to make sure that it’s communicated that this is a piece of technical gear,” Bridget says.
Beyond the design, they identified keywords that they use throughout the branding process: contour, strong, dynamic, futuristic, minimal,

★ Support this podcast ★