In case you didn't know, barre3 is a leading upscale fitness franchise based in Portland, Oregon that offers their signature barre3 full body workout and a range of strength, cardio, and mindfulness classes. You can work up a sweat at one of their 170+ locations across the U.S., as well as at-home through the barre3 app (available on iOS, Amazon, and Roku).
Of course, what we find most impressive about barre3 is their retail program. Every month their merchandising team launches a brand new assortment to refresh the racks at all of their studio locations, plus their e-commerce store.
To successfully execute such an operation requires a full-scale, centralized approach, which includes coordinating pre-orders with their franchise owners, designing color stories months in advance to knit custom fabrics, custom manufacturing and logistics to all of their retail locations, plus photo shoots for their e-commerce store and social media platforms, and so much more.
It's the kind of operation that requires the collaboration of trusted partners, and we strive everyday to meet and exceed barre3's expectations.
But it didn't happen overnight.
It all started with a scouting trip
We first met B3's VP of retail in 2018 at a trade show in California. She already had a solid resource for her private label tank top program, and a very successful co-branding partnership with Lululemon and Beyond Yoga. What she didn't have was her perfect private label legging. Her mission for this particular trip was to source barre3's Signature Legging.
Good, not great
Up to this point in Tokalon's history, we had focused predominantly on activewear fabrics sourced from Colombia to take advantage of a free-trade agreement between Colombia and the U.S.
Only the best
In our experience, the best performance fabrics in the world come from two places: Italy and Taiwan. So, we dove into our fabric sourcing archives and started ordering some of the most beautiful performance fabrics in the world.
After developing multiple rounds of samples for B3's merchant team to put through rigorous wear-testing to find the perfect fabric, shaped and sewn in the perfect fit, the barre3 Signature Legging was born.
Failure to launch?
After months of development, the first order of Signature Leggings was initially set to launch in March of 2020 - just as COVID-19 was sending the world into lockdown. (Not a great time to launch a new retail program that relies on the foot traffic of boutique fitness studios).
Miraculously, despite the lockdowns, the Signature Legging program was a huge success. Franchise owners took to social media to promote the new program, and product flew off the racks. In fact, we spent the rest of 2020 chasing orders, seemingly limited only by the amount of fabric we could get our hands on.
Since that initial launch, we've developed a full assortment of leggings, bras, tanks, tees, joggers, pullovers, and accessories to round out the private label assortment.
It's been a great adventure and an honor to work with barre3, and we continue to reference them as the gold standard in fitness retail.
A bit more
You can read more about the launch of the Signature Legging on the B3 Magazine.
If you want to know more about barre3's origin story and business philosophy, we encourage you to check out the interview with B3 founder, Sadie Lincoln, on NPR's podcast, How I Built This.
Most importantly, don't forget to check out the latest releases on the B3 Shop.