Have you ever been absolutely disgusted with a flaw in a certain product? Lisa Rudes-Sandel (seen to the right in the above photo) felt the same way. Try as she might, she simply could not find a pair of jeans to fit her body type. Like many successful small business owners, she turned her insider knowledge of a product’s flaws and drawbacks into a booming enterprise while not committing Top 5 Branding Mistakes that Female Entrepreneurs Commit.
Jeans have traditionally been considered a youth product. They are generally made with stylish cuts that compliment a toned and youthful figure and details that attract a barely post-adolescent age group. However, middle aged women also wear jeans, and often find that there are few choices that fit a womanly figure. Lisa Rudes-Sandel was one of these women. She was tired of choosing between jeans that were either uncomfortable or buying ones that were several sizes too large and unflattering. She tried working out, but was unable to get down to the tiny figure that most jeans were made for. She knew from looking around her that many women, especially women who had several children, shared her unfortunate plight. With shopping for jeans a complete nightmare, Rudes-Sandel knew she had a market for a new type of blue jeans.
As the daughter of the owner of St. Germain, a women’s denim design company, Lisa had a solid awareness of what it takes to run a clothing business. She spoke to her father and several other family members about how to open a clothing company in this underserved niche. With her sister Leslie, she founded Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, a company specializing in denim products made especially for women over age forty. Rather than skinny jeans made to compliment youthful figures, these jeans are realistic and made to flatter a fuller figure.
One way of doing this was by adding Lycra to the denim for a little stretch. This allowed women of different shapes to fit comfortably in the same styles. Her Tummy Tuck Jeans also feature a panel that flattens the stomach without constricting it. All models are cut to flatter the curvier figure while maintaining maximum comfort. While older women might once have balked at leaving the house in jeans, these are attractive and fit well enough to be worn almost anywhere.
While Not Your Daughter’s Jeans began as a small business, they have found quite a following among women tired of pouch-like stomachs and muffin tops. The company offers a variety of styles from classic to ultra-stylish, all cut to flatter a middle aged figure. The jeans are being sold by a variety of stores, including retail giants such as Macy’s and Nordstrom. The company recently hit $50 million in sales, making it a true success.
What does this mean for the average business owner? First, finding a niche is crucial to success. Second, knowing your target market is crucial. Rudes-Sandel could have expanded her jeans enterprise to other markets, but she knew that this would compromise the viability of her core brand. With these two elements, there is no reason your own small business can’t be another small business success.