Join Katie of Katie K Active at Bldg. 7 Yoga! Browse our inclusive active wear collection sizes Small to 3X. Sip some wine and have a snack break with us! Special discount for attendees! Bldg. 7 Yoga is located at 220 N Park Rd, Bldg 7, Reading, Pennsylvania 19610. See you there!
Join us for an exclusive trunk show. Katie K Activewear will be available at z.bella boutique for 3 days only! July 10-12th!
Z.Bella Boutique 1903 Cayuga Street, Suite 101, Middleton, Wisconsin 53562
We are excited to share a brand with you designed with the belief that all women should have the opportunity to look good and feel good about themselves no matter what the activity in which they were participating.
Katie K Active offers tops, bottoms and everything in between ideal for your active lifestyle in sizes Small to 3X!
Please bring a Yoga Mat
R.S.V.P. on the Z Bella Facebook Event Page
It can be difficult as the weather gets colder and winter approaches to continue being your fabulous, fashionable self. Staying warm this winter, does not mean your fashion sense has to go out the window too. While sweats are certainly a comfortable and often affordable option, they aren’t always the best option. I have listed 5 tips that I believe with still keep you warm and fashionable in the winter.
Layer, layers, layers. They might be my best tip for you as layers allow us keep warm without having to resort to bulky sweaters. You can even work your summer wardrobe into the mix by layering tanks with your winter ensemble such as cardigans and lighter sweaters. Leggings are also not only extremely stylish but they will keep you incredibly warm.
2. Hats, gloves, + scarves
Luckily, the fashion industry has helped us out a bit in this department by making these necessities more fashionable then ever. Beanies are a favorite of mine but there are those days when I can’t risk a head full of static, or I decide to wear my hair up, in these cases I resort to earmuffs, which are actually quite fun to wear. Scarves of course are the ultimate accessory- no matter who you are. Invest in one- invest in several. The chunkier the scarf, the warmer you’ll stay.
3. Statement Coat
The winter is almost always going to require a coat, and yes a pea coat is classic but if you don’t want to look like everyone else you come across, invest in a statement jacket. Chances are many items in your winter wardrobe are pretty drab so a colorful, somewhat loud coat will really brighten you up.
4. Statement Sweaters
Well, you won’t be wearing your coat everywhere you go. Winter can be very long and dull, help give people something to talk about that doesn’t involve all the snow we’re getting or how badly they wish summer was here. Having a few statement sweaters will set you apart and keep the winter blues far from you and probably those around you too.
Those boots are made for making winter bearable, and are the ultimate accessory- not to mention totally practical. I recommend basic black and brown, but don’t be afraid to go out of the box by adding some contrast. There are many boot styles out there, you should pick what works best for you. Not all boots are made for activity but you can certainly still find fashionable ones that are.
Wishing you all a warm, safe and fashionable winter season!
I was so excited to hear about the panel discussion “Fashion Without Limits: Changing the Face of Fashion”. As an inclusive brand, catering to women sizes 2 to 3X, we know all too well the frustrations of the plus woman. The panel hit on so many points that we at Katie K Active agree with!
- Full figured women crave fashionable clothes, just as much as the straight size women! Just because a woman is a size 12 of higher, doesn’t mean she wants to hide her body or not enjoy the current trends. She is a fashionable and stylish woman who wants to have the same great wardrobe options as the straight size women.
- There are not enough designers and retailers addressing the needs of full figured women. Fashionable and stylish clothing for women size 12 and above is difficult to find. Retailers don’t seem to want to include the full figured women in their offering, especially in their physical locations. Designers seem to be less interested in making product that seems less glamorous. We know it takes more effort to design for the fuller figure, but the market is there and demanding great clothing. Things do seem to be moving in the right direction recently, but we have much further to go.
- It’s a mistake to not want to market to the plus size customer. The plus size market is a $17.7 billion dollar industry, 37% of U.S. women wear at least 1 plus size item, and 68% of the U.S. female population is size 12 and above. The opportunity to serve the most underserved fashion category in the fashion industry is huge. By not offering plus size products, you’re telling her she is unimportant.
- The plus size market is not only an age issue. It’s the millennials and boomers who mostly comprise this category, not just the older woman. The common mistake is that plus size clothing is designed for the very mature woman in mind. She is young, hip, and trendy. She cares about being stylish and fashion forward.
- Plus clothing shouldn’t only be offered online. There is something to shopping, trying clothes on and having the instant gratification of taking your purchase with you. Online shopping means you have to wait, pay shipping, and hope the item looks and fits well. Women want to be able to shop in physical retail locations in addition to online stores.
We feel so passionately about treating the plus size woman as an equal and important customer that we launched Katie K Active as a fully inclusive activewear brand. Every style is offered in every color in every size. Through the use of our Double Fit Technology, we ensure the proper fit across the size range.
Katie K Active is proud to be an inclusive brand. We think its important not to separate the plus woman and put her off to the side. Katie K Active embraces women and their desire to have activewear that blends style, quality and performance so they can confidently live a healthy, active life.
As a local business owner, I constantly think about how I can support other local businesses. I have a few favorites that I definitely use to help me personally, and for my company.
- Chamber of Commerce – Women2Women: I have enjoyed being a member of Women2Women. The organization hosts monthly events that I’ve participated in, which have been great for personal and career development. I also participated in their Lean In circle. Through it, I not only met a great group of women, but I learned and thought about things I never would have before. It was an experience that has proven to be invaluable.
- Jump Start Incubator – I wrote a BCL article (now on my blog) about why I think the incubator is fabulous! It’s a great place for anyone looking to take his or her business idea to the next level. Through mentorship, guidance and getting a built-in team, it’s a great way to launch your business idea.
- Jersey Ink – I have been using Jersey Ink for about three years now. I met the mother and daughter team, Sue and Christina, through a friend of mine. They have been a wonderful help to my business. I use them for promotional products, but love their willingness to work with me on anything. They put up with me when I give short deadlines. Jersey Ink has also been able to design items from concept to product. I love their excitement and desire to work with local businesses. They want to make sure I get the best product at a great price that meets my needs.
- Bell Tower – I have loved the Bell Tower boutique for years. But the reason I love it goes beyond the clothing they offer. Samara and Dara are great stylists! I have visited before different meetings, not knowing what to wear or how to put myself together. They’ve helped select the perfect outfit, so I could feel confident and ready to rock my meeting. Samara and Dara know and understand my style and always choose great items. They have helped me create a wardrobe so that I can just grab and go. I’m prepared for any event. I never have to think about what I’m going to wear, because I know I’m going to feel confident and look great!
- A Running Start – I was introduced to A Running Start a few years ago when I moved back to Reading. Sorita, the owner, has a friendly and knowledgeable team ready to help. I visited looking to find running shoes and they were very thorough, which I really appreciated since I was dealing with bunion issues. Now that I’ve had surgery, they’ve been equally as helpful getting me back in to the swing of things. I found a pair of running shoes that helped me not hate running! Their friendly staff, weekly runs and sponsored events definitely bring the community together to live healthy, active lives!
- Corpsfitness – Along the line of fitness, I’ve loved having a place like Corpsfitness at my disposal. Chris Kaag has developed a great workout program and provides a great experience, all the while developing a sense of community. I know that when I go to a class, I’m greeted by smiling faces, all welcoming, even though we are about to be put through a tough workout! There’s a social piece to Corpsfitness that I’ve really enjoyed. Everyone is there to work out together, but also to connect. It’s a great place for when I need to release some stress.
- Café Bold – I work from home or the incubator for the most part, but sometimes I need something different. I love stopping in at Café Bold for a change of scenery. It’s a lovely place to meet with people and with off street parking in the back, it’s super easy. They have great food, so I definitely don’t mind scheduling a lunch meeting there.
With these places in mind, take a few minutes to reflect on those local businesses that help with your everyday. Consider sharing your favorites and frequenting them over the holiday season with friends and family. One thing I’ve learned is the importance of small business and local organizations and the hardworking people that are keeping them going.
This article appears in the December 2014 issue of Berks County Living
If someone (my husband or parent) gave me a fitness related gift, it may make me second-guess his or her intention. I’d wonder: Are they saying I’m overweight? Do they want me to be more active? If so, why?
Then I take a minute and think about it. Is his or her intention to mean, or are they trying to support me? Have I been talking about trying out new classes or workout routines? Have I shared my desires to become more fit and active, and to shed some weight? Was I complaining about my workout gear not fitting well or being old, dingy and stretched out? Maybe they’re actually trying to do something nice for me. Could they be supporting my health and fitness goals by helping me achieve them?
I think this is a common thought process when it comes to fitness related gifts – and a big reason why people shy away from it. A husband could get his wife a treadmill after hearing her complain about how she doesn’t enjoy running in the cold weather and the snow. She gets the gift and thinks, “Does my husband think I’m fat?” Really, he was trying to give her a thoughtful gift so she could continue enjoying her workouts, even in bad weather. He knows how much she enjoys being active and that being healthy and fit is important to her. It shouldn’t be thought of as a negative, rather, a positive. He was supporting her desire to be active and healthy.
To that end, here are some great fitness gift ideas as we near the holiday season:
- Gym Membership – A traditional gym gives access to multiple activities: a weight training area, a cardio area and one or two studios. You can do a little bit of everything all under one roof. It is a great gift for someone just getting started or someone looking to try something new. I know I love spin class, but I like to try other classes like Zumba, too. I enjoy strength training, but sometimes it’s fun to take a total body conditioning class to switch things up.
- Punch Card – In additional to the tradition gyms, there are a variety of “studio gyms.” These usually come with a higher monthly fee, but also offer punch cards to participate in classes as you wish. Pilates and yoga studios are like this, as are many cross fit-type gyms. A punch card is a great gift for someone who enjoys these activities or wants to try them out. They can participate when they want or try something new without committing to a monthly fee.
- Personal Training – Since having a personal trainer is definitely more of a splurge, this can be a great gift. Getting a trainer is a great way to kick-start any fitness goal with the help of a professional. He or she can give you nutritional input as well. Maybe a loved one has been complaining that he or she feels stuck or in a rut, or that they don’t know what they’re doing. A trainer will help teach him or her new fitness ideas and work with them to accomplish their goal.
- Equipment – depending on who you’re buying for, there are a ton of equipment options that make great gifts. Maybe the person you’re buying for has been talking about a treadmill or stationary bike. Or he or she has a few free weights but would really like to create a workout space in their house. Free weights, kettle bells, bosu, a stability ball and/or a bench would all be great additions to any home gym.
- New Workout Clothes – A new item or outfit creates excitement! Everyone wants to use their new clothes and when it’s activewear, that means a little extra motivation to get that workout in. A new workout can even create inspiration to start that fitness goal or give a push to keep going. Having the right gear for an activity helps to be able to accomplish a goal. It’s amazing how an outfit can change your outlook and get you excited to be active.
I understand giving a fitness-related gift can be tricky. But giving the gift of fitness is truly a wonderful gesture. You’re saying, “I support your goals and I want to help you achieve them.” Just be tactful with your delivery. If you’re worried about the recipient’s reaction, you can remind him or her how they’ve been talking about wanting the equipment or to try out that new gym or class. See, you were paying attention.
This article appears in the November 2014 issue of Berks County Living.
As the weather turns cooler and the leaves begin to change, most of us begin to hear ‘the call of the pumpkin.’ From our lattes to our pastries, we are perfectly happy to have this tasty (and healthy) treat in EVERYTHING. Here is a simple and healthier version of pumpkin pie syrup that you can add to just about anything.
2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 c. sugar
1 c. water
- Simmer the sugar in the water until it dissolves, stir frequently
- Add the spice and puree to the pot and continue to simmer for about ten minutes
It’s that simple.
Now add about 2 oz. of your syrup to two shots of espresso and 8 oz. of the milk of your choosing and you have a yummy pumpkin pie latte. No espresso machine, no problem. You can add 1oz. of the syrup to 6 oz. of drip coffee and 2oz. of milk. Experiment and find a pumpkin pie coffee beverage that works for you.
You can also add the syrup to:
Oatmeal, cream cheese to top your morning bagel, hot or cold tea, vodka (a one to one ratio) and whatever else you think would be made better with a little shot of pumpkin goodness. Don’t worry, we won’t judge!
Want more pumpkin? Check out this article called 100 ways to cook a pumpkin.
Recently I was contact by Leah, after she discovered Katie K Active. She was so excited to find our inclusive brand and loved that we promote health at every size. I looked her up and immediately knew she had her own inspirational story to tell. Read Leah’s empowering #DefineBrave journey:
I am 35 and a mum to a 2 1/2 year old Miss named Sachi. I have struggled with my weight since I was very young and remember seeing my first dietician at around the age of 4. I began what I now know was disordered eating at around the age of 7 years and subsequently suffered from binge-eating disorder up until around 2 years ago.
Shortly after my daughter Sachi was born I was diagnosed with Degenerative Joint Disease. I felt stiff, old, and questioned what sort of mum I was going to be for this beautiful little child. Despite all of the causes for this condition, I could not escape the notion that it had come from a lifetime of excess weight on young joints. I knew that the only way I could get quality of life and be able to play with my daughter was to get moving. Having been that person who paid 3 different gym memberships at once and used none, I decided that if I was going to do this, it had to be for life and it had to be my way. I knew my background with food meant that I could not diet, so I simply started moving every day. First it was walking, then I taught myself to run up and down the side of our house and yard whilst my daughter slept.
Once I felt confident, I hit the pavement and just started running and walking intervals. One day something just clicked and I promised myself that whatever happened I would not stop running – I was no longer that person who gave up. I ran 6.0km pushing Sachi in her jogging trailer through these crazy winds and up a long, gradual hill, and although it bloody hurt after, I knew that the ‘old Leah’ who gave up when things got tough no longer existed.
Running has always been a dream of mine. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who just ‘goes out for a run.’ Completing a triathlon had always been a dream too that I had never expressed just due to the sheer absurdity if the concept of ME doing it, but I knew the game had changed and if I could run, then what was stopping me now? What I have since discovered is that nothing stops us except the limits we place on ourselves. We really, truly are capable of anything we put our mind to, you just have to be willing to work hard along the way. Know that it’s going to hurt but know that it’s going to be worth it.
After my first triathlon I was hooked, so I joined a specialist training squad and decided to get my own qualifications in fitness. I felt really passionate about becoming a trainer because I know that for some people weight loss isn’t as simple as calories in vs. calories out. I believe that many people require a ‘big picture’ approach to their health and well being and this approach is the difference between a trainer who works you hard and a trainer who helps you change your life.
In June this year I ticked another goal off my list and finished my first half marathon. A week later I fell pregnant with my second child and despite the old hack of morning sickness, thanks to my life change I am experiencing a whole different pregnancy. During my first pregnancy I stopped weighing myself at 140kg – and sadly I have weighed this at other times without being pregnant. Now, four months into this one I am 92kg, which means I am no longer classed an ‘at risk’ pregnancy. To me this is ultimate pay-off for all of my hard work. Yes it’s great to go for a size 22-24 to 12-14, but better health and well being is my big ‘win’.
If I could sum up my greatest tips to better health it would be these:
1) Think ‘sustainable’: good health and fitness is a life long journey, so every time you are tempted to try a certain diet or exercise regime ask yourself ‘am I going to be able to do this for the rest of my life?’
2) Do today what you can do tomorrow – Don’t work so hard one day that you can’t do anything for the rest of the week. Find something you enjoy and just do it.
3) Observe your food habits and don’t fight them – imagine you’re following yourself around like a science experiment and observe your behaviours. Ask yourself why you have suddenly arrived at the pantry? Are you really hungry? Or are you stressed, bored, or happy?
4) Learn about nutrition and then think about the energy value you are getting out of your food choices – for example, if you have an option of white bread or grain bread, think about what is going to give you better energy – you’ll soon realise that if you choose the white bread you may as well eat a piece of cardboard ;)
5) Be prepared – carry fruit or nuts with you and try not to put yourself in a situation where you are hungry and don’t have any healthy options. Eat before you go out if need be and always carry water on you.
6) Never ever fear someone judging you for having a go – by getting up, getting out and having a go you will be surprised by the amount of people you will be inspiring!
Follow Leah here on instagram for inspiration and motivation!
Have your own #DefineBrave story to share? Email Blogs@KatieKActive.com for a chance to be featured!
Leah was recently featured in an article by Born to Reign Athletics about plus size sponsored athletes.
While we may have collected a few great ideas about the colors and cuts to wear next spring and summer from the designers showing at this fall’s Fashion Week in New York, how to dress to be on trend was not our favorite takeaway. What we did enjoy most was seeing that the demand for fashion’s inclusion of all women, regardless of their shape, size or abilities, is finally being heard.
Last fall, Eden Miller’s CAMPO DEI FIORI collection from her Cabiria line became the first plus-size collection to ever show at Fashion Week. That breakthrough was followed up this spring by Carrie Hammer’s Role Models, Not Runway Models featuring the first ever disabled model, wheel chair-bound Danielle Sheypuk.
Image via Gwen @tattoosgirl311
Both shows paved the way for a lineup this fall that was more inclusive than ever. Hammer showed Role Models again, this time with quadruple amputee, Karen Crespo, and plus-size line Betty Jean Couture by Kenneth Doswell created some buzz.
Perhaps the biggest sign of progress, though, was the inclusion by two designers, Zana Bayne and Becca McCharen, of plus-size models in their straight-size shows. The addition of these models, a beautiful group that included Denise Bidot and Gia Geneiveve, represents the direction so many of us would like the fashion industry to take, a path that ultimately results in an industry where size labels no longer matter.
Just imagine it, no more plus-size or straight-size models, just models. Sounds great to us. Of course inclusion is what we do at Katie K Active, we work hard to bring you on fashion styles that work for every women.
Comment below to tell us more about what you think the fashion industry can do to be more inclusive.
I don’t know about you, but I always like to hear what my friends do to live healthy, active lives. Sarah is a friend of mine from college. She has an amazing job and career. However, for her that also means heavy travel and sometimes long hours. I asked her to fill me in on what she does to stay healthy and active.
1. Morning Workouts are a must: I always try and wake up in the morning to workout. I hate life at 5am when the alarm goes off, but working out in the morning means I can complete the rest of my day without worrying. If I don’t, work always runs late, my couch is calling my name when I get home, someone wants to go to dinner – I can find every excuse in the book to not work out. Plus, I can gauge what I eat based on if I worked out or not and adjust accordingly.
2. Visualize: It’s definitely hard to stay motivated and focused. But I want to like putting on cute clothes and feel good – that is what drives me.
3. Always Be Prepared: I have snacks everywhere – in my laptop bag, my purse, my car. I can’t think properly when I’m hungry – so even having the extra calories of a snack will help me from making a bad decision later. Note: Order oatmeal from Starbucks as a healthy breakfast options and then save the packs of dried berries and nuts in your purse for when you need a munchie!
4. Keep eating enjoyable: I do “swaps”. I love French fries. I can’t help it. So I get a turkey burger and don’t eat the bun. I don’t eat all the fries on my plate, but I feel better that I’ve made a swap versus eating both delicious options.
5. Every bit counts: In the office, I always take the stairs to my floor and get up and walk to talk to my co-workers – it makes a difference.
6. A long and healthy life: I look at older generations who may not have had the information and education we currently do about our health and exercise. I do not want to grow old painfully and sickly – I want to take care of my body so it takes care of me for a long time.
“I work so hard at my career – why wouldn’t I work as hard at my health and fitness? The whole package is a 360 degree approach – my body has to be held to the same standards I hold my mind” – I think that pretty much sums it up! We give our all to so many things, why wouldn’t you do the same for your health?
I just recently learned about the business incubators springing up in big cities around the country. This concept has actually been around for years, and I had no idea that one exists here in Reading! I met with Jump Start Incubator in the fall and was invited to apply and was accepted in January. Here’s why I think every start-up business should spend some time in a business incubator:
- Mentors. I am a big believer in mentors. They have encountered things in their careers and lives that have imparted valuable lessons that can only be learned through experience. Having them share their knowledge and life lessons is not only interesting, but a great way to learn. I’ve learned how to handle certain situations and look at issues differently as well as get new ideas.
- Community Connections. Through the incubator, I’ve had the opportunity to be introduced to and to connect with individuals in our community that may be able to provide help and insight into my business. I’ve also been introduced to local companies that provide services that may help grow my business. When I have expressed an issue that I’m facing, the incubator’s staff has been able to introduce me to local businesses or people in the community who have the expertise in those areas that I’m struggling in. I have talked with people in positions at companies that I would not have had the opportunity to meet with at this point in my career. It’s amazing to be able to meet with successful people who are willing to help me.
- Finance. As a member of the Incubator, I have the opportunity to work closely with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). They have someone there to answer any accounting questions I may have, to make sure I know how to use QuickBooks, and to help me make sure my business is financially healthy. They can help when you are ready to talk to the bank about a loan or when you’re looking to take on investors. Overall, it’s great to have a group of financial experts at your fingertips.
- Expanded Team. I’m not sure about all incubators, but the Berks Jump Start Incubator has employees and interns. Immediately, my team was expanded without me having to actually hire anyone. I’ve used the Incubator’s staff for a variety of tasks such as creating marketing pieces, compiling targeted media lists and researching industry topics. As a small business owner, I wear many hats, and it’s great when there is help to complete all the tasks that need to be done so I can feel less overwhelmed and actually get to everything I want to and need to accomplish to keep growing my business.
- Goal Setting/Accountability. As with anything, planning and staying focused is important. As a member of the Incubator, I have signed on to be a part of their program for two years. At the end of the two years I graduate, but I am responsible for deciding what that means. I must create my two-year goal for what I want to get out of the Incubator, what I want to accomplish and where I want to be. This is the point at which I “graduate” and would consider the program a success. I must lie out my goals, break them down into smaller goals, and create deadlines in order to figure out how to complete my overall larger goals. I meet with Ray Melcher to measure where I am and to discuss how it’s going and to make sure I stay on track. Being accountable to someone more than myself as well as having some input on how to accomplish my goals has been a great way to stay focused on the big picture while working on the steps to get there.
For more info on the Jump Start Incubator, visit jumpstartberks.org.