Dynamic duo Paulette and Louise Egan have founded Ireland’s first yoga sports clothing company. Combining both experience and innovation, this duo are taking Ireland’s sports industry by storm with their stylish and comfortable running and yoga gear made by women, for women.
The idea for the company was born out of personal experiences from both Paulette, a yoga instructor, and her daughter Louise, a camogie player/runner. Paulette has witnessed first-hand the struggles faced by women in her classes from ill-fitting leggings and poor quality sports bras to general discomfort when it comes to inappropriate yoga clothing.
At weekly training sessions, Louise had noticed some of the same problems occurring amongst her teammates. They both knew something needed to be done, so when Louise completed a ‘Start Your Own Business’ course in 2014, the women joined together to start the basis of a women’s sports clothing line focused around providing comfortable and practical clothing for women partaking in sports, leisure, or just for going out and about.
With full support from friends, family and The Local Enterprise office, the two were never short of help. Last October, they attended a marketing course with Marketing and Business Development Consultant, Theresa Mulvihill with nothing but their name and brand. Eight months later, I-SPY is fully up and running with their first sports range. “From the very start it all just seemed as though it was meant to be,” they tell TLM. “We met the right people and everything simply fell into place. On saying that, we couldn’t have done it without the amazing people that we have met and who have helped us along the way.”
After launching their first line in June at the Women’s World show in Dublin, I-SPY has come on leaps and bounds. The sports line is now stocked across Dublin, and as of September, it will serve as the new Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh sports uniform for senior girls. While women in yoga are their main target audience, Paulette and Louise are also reaching out to runners. Over the course of the next five years, the duo hope to expand their range and open up an outlet in Kildare Village along with an outlet in Scandinavia where thermal wear is highly sought after.
While comfortable clothing is their priority, the main goal for the pair is to support all female sports in Ireland and ensure that female athletes get the recognition they deserve.
Recently we’ve seen a huge burst in businesses supporting women in sports, mostly from large supermarket chains. This is another step closer to stamping out sexism in the sports industry and putting women on a level playing field with men when it comes to both national and international competitions. Boxer Katie Taylor is one of the many women breaking down the barriers for women as she took gold in the London 2012 Olympics, inspiring thousands of young women to follow their passion and achieve their goals.
The geometric design on the clothing was created by Limerick designer Anne Marie McCarthy. In just a year, this company has jumped from being just an idea on a page to a successful sports clothing company with an ever-expanding market and clothing range showing that anything can be achieved when you set your mind to it, all you need is the idea.
Quick fire Qs with Paulette and Louise:
What is your number one fitness tip?
Our number one fitness tip would be to try to get outside every day no matter what and just enjoy exercising in the open air!
Favourite song to exercise to?
Paulette’s would be Kygo for her SportsYoga classes and Louise loves ‘Stadium Pow Wow’ by ‘A Tribe Called Red’ because it has a great beat to run to.
What’s a good healthy snack?
A peanut butter and banana or apple sandwich and a glass of milk makes a great post workout snack as it’s full of protein. A fruit smoothie with natural yogurt and peanut butter is also a great healthy option.
Article by: Christine Costello
Photography by: Angela Horsefall
Read more from The Limerick Magazine here.