Breaking into Women’s Golf Apparel with Style

Heart Disease and Lifestyle Improvement For Women

A recent strategy to membership apparel

Jennifer Glaspie launched Chicago-based Aphira golfware to create attire for the social golfer who desires to face out on the inexperienced, not match into the membership.

by Carolyn Schwaar

When novice golfer Jennifer Glaspie was kicked off the inexperienced at a Florida golf membership for sporting a sleeveless, collarless sweater, she did not know then that girls’s golf attire would turn into her life’s ardour.

From the runway to the green

In 2000, Glaspie, a profitable company enterprise guide on the prestigious Chicago-based agency of Baine & Co, began studying golf on the request of her boyfriend (now husband). But as her golf swing improved, this petite and style-savvy urbanite discovered her clothes choices did not.

«Golf attire is up to now behind the curve fashion-wise and the choices for the fashion-conscious golfer are restricted,» she says. But it took a cool October morning with a tee time looming and «nothing to put on» that lastly pressed Glaspie to motion.

Convinced that there was nice potential in a high-end line of girls’s golf clothes that was stylish and comfy but subtle, Glaspie put her profession on maintain, and put her Kellogg MBA to make use of creating a marketing strategy to launch a classy line of girls’s golf attire.

«I’ve at all times had a love of style, however I believed coming into the aggressive attire trade can be simply loopy,» remembers the 32-year-old Michigan native. However, analysis confirmed that, though the attire trade is cut-throat, high-end niches corresponding to resort ware and specialised sports activities attire, have their very own, extra accessible and fewer aggressive market. «I discovered some fashion-forward strains that had been doing nicely, however the market actually wasn’t saturated, so all the things pointed to ‘go,’ » she says.

Glaspie and her tradition-bucking designer, Cassy Clark, got down to create golf attire that was enjoyable to put on, hip, and slightly bit attractive, hoping towards hope that they’d have a success. And they did.

Aphira debuted on the 2005 PGA Merchandise present in Florida. «There we had been strolling virtually three miles again to our little sales space previous these big company cubicles,» remembers Glaspie. «We felt completely overwhelmed, however from the start, folks began saying nice issues. One ladies mentioned ‘I like this line, that is my favourite line right here out of 1,000 exhibitors. It felt promising. We felt actually, actually good.»

The duo wrote dozens of orders on the present for his or her first line. And when their preliminary clients acquired their cargo and cherished it, they started to assume that they may simply have one thing. «One shopper mentioned folks the place shopping for it proper out of the field earlier than she might get it on the rack,» says Glaspie.

Now in it is third 12 months, Aphira is established in practically 150 golf retailers within the United States, Europe, and Asia. But success did not come with out some missteps.

«I believed we needed to be actually totally different after we first launched,» remembers Glaspie. The debut line was attractive and edgy with closefitting tops and tennis-length skorts. «But we have toned that down a bit as we have gone on.» The shift in model displays the corporate’s analysis into simply who’s shopping for their fashionable line, which in lots of markets is definitely retirees in there 50s and 60s.

«Nike and Addidas design sportswear for the athletic golfer,» says Glaspie. «Our buyer is extra socialite than athlete. She would not play four-times every week, she performs with her girlfriends on the weekends, and he or she’s somebody who’s at all times put collectively.»

Like numerous entrepreneurs, Glaspie is proprietor, marketer, gross sales rep and even mannequin. «One time at a gathering with the proshop proprietor on the Ravinia Green Country Club I ran and placed on a pair of shorts to indicate the shopper how they match,» says Glaspie. Every piece within the line is made in her dimension for product testing. «I have to strive all of it on. I swing a membership and I stroll round it in. I’m a golfer and I do know the performance that the garment must have.»

The Aphira line is made completely in America. The material is customized dyed and shipped to a manufacturing unit on Chicago’s north aspect for meeting.

For now, Aphira attire is simply accessible in golf shops, and that is simply advantageous with Glaspie. «We want to remain targeted on the golf market. We know each greenback invested will likely be just a few {dollars} return within the golf market however it will take an excessive amount of capitol to interrupt into the bigger attire retail market.»

Although you will not see Aphira in malls, you may get a glimpse of it on the favored Golf Channel actuality present The Big Break: Ladies Only, which can function Aphira attire on golfer Valeria Ochoa this spring. And the brand new Hollywood movie «Who’s Your Caddy?,» billed as «an city tackle the comedy golf film» contains a attractive character sporting Aphira all through the movie.

The chancy profession hop from guiding the strategic development of Fortune-500 corporations to creating golf skorts has positively paid off, says Glaspie. «It has simply been a whirlwind however I’m positively having enjoyable. In consulting I had peeks and valley and good weeks and dangerous weeks, however when it is your personal firm your highs are actually excessive and lows are actually low. Everything takes on a lot extra significance when it is your personal.»


Callout or boxed merchandise:

Aphira: a-fear-ah. A phrase invented by golfwear entrepreneur Jennifer Glaspie taken from the Latin phrase ephiro, which means to exult.


Can style appeal to extra ladies to golf?

Although it could sound shallow to say extra modern golfware will get extra ladies to play golf, Jennifer Glaspie, proprietor of Aphira ladies’s golf attire in Chicago, says it is completely true. «I’ve a buddy who I requested to take some golf classes with me however she mentioned ‘I play tennis as a result of the cloths are cuter.’ Having extra style on this sport does change its picture.»

Just check out internationally televised ladies’s golf tournaments just like the Lexus Cup the place groups lead by Annika Sorenstam and Grace Park ditched the masculine polo high for stylish designer golfwear to undertaking a enjoyable and trendy picture for girls’s golf.

And youthful gamers, corresponding to tank-top sporting Michelle Wie, are bringing their younger attitudes and free spirit with them to the inexperienced — and this contains their style statements.

«There’s much more youthful folks taking part in the game,» says Glaspie. And with youth, she says, comes new concepts that buck the traditions and set a brand new model.