About Us - LaaTeeDa Sports’ Journey From Sportswear To Sun Protection
Sometimes You Need To Pivot In Another Direction to Succeed: Sharing Our Challenges and Strategies for Success
LaaTeeDa Sports started out committed to fighting the women’s golf wear FRUMP by making classic, stylish sportswear and casual wear targeted towards the more petite woman. They wanted to create country club approved golf wear for women that would help them feel beautiful and confident while playing a sport they love.
After breaking into the women’s golf apparel market right around the time COVID took over the world, LaaTeeDa Sports quickly realized that they would need to pivot to focus on online sales channels to survive during the pandemic. Some of the biggest challenges they faced was that every other major brand was now competing in this space as well; and the cost of digital advertising sky rocketed, shipping and returns for online apparel is also extremely high. Once things settled a bit they began to get listings at various pro-shops and smaller boutiques where the line was very well received.
With so many people pushed to purchase everything online during COVID, there was a new found convenience of having products delivered to your door and the opportunity to try clothes on in the comfort of your own home. It is understandable why this is so appealing to buyers, however it has created a huge cost for manufacturers and apparel designers. “If you ever wonder why clothing has become so expensive, much of the cost is to cover all of these extra layers of expenses that we have added to our distribution chain.” Says Shelley Farro, CEO/Founder of LaaTeeDa Sports. She goes on to say that companies like amazon offer free returns to all customers and it is not amazon that absorbs those shipping and restocking costs, it is the small businesses that chose to do business on that online channel.
Women come in many shapes and sizes and ask any apparel company big or small - they will tell you that it is near impossible to make a clothing line that will fit the masses, at least not in a more tailored way. Apparel manufacturers are also faced with convoluted women’s sizing ~ particularly vanity sizes have pushed the size chart down to make ladies feel better about their actual size - this is often why women struggle to find consistent size labels from one brand to the next. Shelley also reinforces her opinion that, “The most ideal situation is to have your clothing line available at retail locations where customers can touch and try on the clothing to ensure the fit is right for them before purchasing.” And adds that “another big challenge in the apparel world is that retailers expect a new line of products every Spring/Summer and Fall/ Winter, so the investment and risk is extremely high for new comers within this industry if they chose to follow the trends.”
Facing Challenges Head On
Opportunities often arrive when a business and/or owners are faced with great challenges. LaaTeeDa Sports launched during a difficult time in this world when many companies were forced to shut down. Then in the middle of the madness, their Founder was diagnosed with a rare form of infiltrative skin cancer, which left her disfigured and questioning whether it was worth fighting to keep the business running while she endeared 6 surgeries to reconstruct the left side of her face, nose and upper lip area over the last year and a half. Her journey was featured on Botched Season 8 - Episode 10 ~ Doctor Nose Best. Stream or watch on demand to find out how Dr. Nassif and his team were able to finish rebuilding her nose and give her another lease on life.
As an outdoor sports enthusiast and natural born entrepreneur, she knew this was time to pivot and follow her purpose in life no matter how difficult it might be. Sun Protection is a big part of outdoor sports and it goes beyond protective clothing, sun- sleeves and hats. Knowing that it is recommended to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, she begin thinking about a better way to apply sunscreen on the go, without getting it all over your hands and in your eyes. As a new ‘young’ grand mother, she also recognized how hard it was to get kids to put on sunscreen. So she set out to develop and create a unique new sunscreen applicator brush with a protective cover as an accessory to compliment her LaaTeeDa Sports line.
What started out as a complimentary product to the original clothing line, has turned out to be their top selling item, that didn’t pose the same challenges of keeping up in the competitive apparel industry. The strategy and industry focus of LaaTeeDa Sports is changing these days, to focus more on Sun Protection products for active outdoor people and they couldn’t be more excited to continue their journey in a space that could help so many people enjoy the outdoors without as much worry and fear about over exposure to the sun and potential skin cancer as we age.
Find Joy and Purpose
“Every business comes to a cross-roads where they must decide the long term fate and true purpose behind their dreams and goals for their brand and company. Finding joy and purpose in your business strategy is key to success. When you face big challenges, it is a time to set aside your fears and worries about the future and forge forward, backed by the purpose in your life, that has likely always been there but often times, it takes a big shake up to make you realize, what you were meant to be doing all along.” Says Shelley Farro, CEO, Founder of LaaTeeDa Sports.