Whether you have just discovered Dona Jo, or you are familiar with the company but want to know more, I'm here to shed some light into our Brazilian-inspired company. Of course, if you've read the About Us page then you have gained some insight into how Ashley and Rapha started the business. But Brazil is a huge influence and inspiration for Dona Jo's Activewear, and with our owners traveling to Brazil this month, we thought this would be a great time to show you some behind-the-scenes looks of the manufacturer, fabric selection and the Brazilian culture.
When I first joined the Dona Jo team, I thought it was very cool and unique that the manufacturing is all done in Brazil and that Ashley & Rapha design all of the pieces and are very involved in the process. The manufacturer is located in Guara, Brasilia at the Polo de Modas ("Center of Fashion Manufacturers"). There, a small team of one pattern maker, three seamstresses, one assistant seamstress, and one manufacturing manager work together to create your favorite Dona Jo gear. (Check out these shots of them in action!! How cool?) The vibrant prints and unique fabrics are sourced from two places in Sao Paulo. Ashley and Rapha have found these great fabric manufacturers that allow us to create and release new printed and solid leggings each month.
(TEASER: The fabric here will be carefully crafted into leggings for the next collection!)
I have never been to Brazil, but I love traveling and definitely want to go someday. When I asked Ashley what is was that she loved about the country she praised many cultural aspects. The people there are wonderfully welcoming. The food is mouth-watering--churrascaria (steak) and pizza; plus, the bakeries are top-notch. As to be expected, it is often sunny and warm. Plus, going to the gym is more of a fun activity with friends than it is here in the US (where it is often more of a chore).
This fun spirit--as well as bright prints worn by fitness-lovers in Brazil--have been some of the inspiration for Dona Jo's Activewear. Because the American culture is quite different, I think one of the biggest challenges for Ashley and Rapha has been creating fitness clothes that are inspired by Brazil, but that Americans will not be too shocked to wear. Our JoJos here in the US have embraced the company so far, and I think the best is yet to come!
If you have any questions about the creation process, feel free to leave them in the comments section below!