Hi I'm Holly and the mother of two beautiful and talented girls. In the spring of 2008, I bought a pair of yoga type leggings that had a long flip down piece attached from the waist that provided some great extra coverage below. I really loved those leggings! Then I thought wouldn't it be even better to just have a nice fabric band that I could wear with any of my existing leggings and tops? That’s when the idea of creating a special layering accessory first entered my mind. The "Camiband" (my 3rd. child) was officially born!
I shared some details of my idea with a few of my lady friends and family and received great input from each and every one. My older daughter Alexa challenged me by saying "you will never do this" (as she rolled her eyes). That's when I knew I had to set the right example for my teenager and follow through with this. Believe me, I had been very happily retired since 2004 after selling my direct mail advertising business that I ran since 1989. I was committed to never sell anything again after burning myself out! Then I thought that the item would literally have to sell itself and that a little internet business seemed harmless enough. I had one little problem though…I was totally computer challenged. I mean totally! I could email, cut and paste, but not much more than that at the time!
I knew I wanted to manufacture the Camibands totally in the USA. I decided lace was the perfect classic fabric to use and then the search began. It couldn't be just any lace. I did not want it be too sheer and it needed to stretch and have a pretty scalloped double edge, so both the top and bottom looked nice. Not an easy task to find!
Once I achieved that, I proceeded to drive my whole household crazy, especially my husband asking for computer help. Later on, the website guy I hired coincidentally posted on his website that he was closed for a seven day “mental health break” the minute he finished the basic template (I am a bit of a perfectionist). Speaking of the website, my husband manages it and my 15 year old daughter Jackie (although I do have to pay her.. the little business woman) helps create all the graphics and edits my videos since she was 12. She actually put together the highlight video below. Alexa now 20, can be spotted modeling throughout that video too!
Even though Camibands are only sold online, I did test market them locally for a short time in a few boutiques when I first started out. The store owners would say “Hey Holly, the women are buying your Camibands like crazy to use up top! " One of my other friends said she loved wearing hers over her bikini bottom at her beach club! At that point I went back to the drawing board with Jackie and designed new hangtags to show all this. Shooting ahead...I added solid spandex Camibands to my line for those more casual and workout days, along with sexy nude and red lace colors. I am a even much more proficient on the computer now and have been filling orders online to women across the USA and internationally daily. In August of 2011 Camibands made it on the TODAY SHOW where the fabulous Jill Martin demonstrated their use to the audience of Hoda and Kathy Lee. In the same year Avenue X Innovations, LLC was named one of StartupNations 2011 "Most Innovative" national home-based business winners. In March 2012, CBS Morning News included us on a national news segment about how Camibands went viral on Pinterest. Then recently, the Camiband was famous plus size model Lizzie Miller's favorite "secret weapon" for extending shirts and covering excessive cleavage on The DR OZ Show". I am now working harder than ever! So what happened to that retirement?