Meet Mary Bemis:
Reprise is leading the clean fashion movement by creating an entirely new category of natural apparel, made from plants, without all of the toxic chemical additives. We create and sell premium activewear.
New York, New York, USA
When did you launch the business?
2018 via Kickstarter
What led you to where you are today?
I had recently left my investment banking job and was lost on what I wanted to do next. I started learning about sustainable fashion and how much of our clothing is made with plastic and I couldn’t get over that fact. I had been investing in eating healthier and transitioning to clean beauty products, yet I was wearing clothing, especially activewear that you sweat in, that was made in a very chemical-intensive way. I felt like there had to be a better solution and so I started researching and taking classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Sustainable Design Entrepreneurship. I began teasing my idea of plant-based activewear and connecting with local NYC pattern makers and with enough courage decided to launch the brand with a Kickstarter campaign in April of 2018! Since then, I’ve been bootstrapping the brand, learning a ton and growing it out of my studio apartment. I’m so excited to say that we just surpassed 5 years in business and can’t wait to keep growing in the next 5 years.
What do you wish you knew before embarking on your entrepreneurial journey?
I was young and relatively naïve when I started Reprise, not realizing how much goes into creating a successful business. I have loved the entire journey, even though it's taken me much longer than I thought it would and I've learned more skills and capabilities than I ever knew existed!
What is the most difficult decision you've had to make regarding your business so far?
As a small bootstrapped company, figuring out what to use your limited funds for is always a challenge. I've taken some risks that haven't worked out and invested in some products that didn't sell well but I try to take each of these experiences as a learning lesson and a way to be more informed next time I have to make this decision!
What can you help the VEGPRENEUR community with?
I love meeting and connecting people. A lot of the most helpful people I've met and worked with have come from warm introductions so I love to offer the same. I am always meeting new people so if there's anyone you're looking to meet in my network please reach out!
How can the VEGPRENEUR community help you?
Join our community! We're looking to build out more of an educational platform to share more about clean, nontoxic fashion and support our customers in their journey to finding more nontoxic products throughout their lives. We share a lot of information right now on our email list and will be announcing more there for now!
Fun fact about you:
I am an amateur boxer with 6 fights!Connect With Mary Apply To Get Featured on Founder Spotlight Join the VEGPRENEUR Facebook Group
We respect your privacy.Thank you!