Hanna Bowden and Laurel Kasel are putting the "her" in empower with their new brand of fitness apparel Mpowher that launched earlier this year.
In a phone interview with A Plus, the co-founders, who met through athletics, said they were inspired to create the brand when they saw two sides to the fitness industry: one which made women feel great about themselves, and another that brought them down.
In response to the latter, Bowden and Kasel decided their brand would not only provide a collection of pants, tops, and other wearable goods, but would help foster a community of women who encourage one another to live happily and healthily in their own bodies.
Women are welcome to share their stories of "mpowherment" on a forum on the website. The stories shared are meant to "reveal the real you, the challenges you have overcome," and to inspire someone else. Their current featured story highlights Jenna Cooke, a woman who, after getting laid off from her finance job, took the opportunity to pursue an entirely new career she now loves — nursing.
Bowden further explained that they appreciate community feedback to help shape their creative process. "We always want feedback from those around us because it is your clothes. And that's something we really like to push. It's about the community and those who are wearing it," she says.
At the end of the day, "We hope that when people put on either a Mpowher top or pants they think of it as putting on their armor," Bowden says.