Kate Hudson On Why Being Yourself Is Good For Business

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“If you want people to trust your brand and what you are selling, then you can only do that if you are being authentic,” says Kate Hudson, who co-founded Fabletics in 2013 after spotting a gap in the activewear market.

Fabletics is now into its fifth year and has 1.2 million VIP members and 24 retail stores in the United States. Hudson says the keys to success have been the authenticity of the brand and the community of women who support it.

“There are plenty of things I could do, but I never liked doing anything that didn’t feel authentic or that had something behind it that made me feel like it had some sort of real impact because it just felt fake,” she says.

Hudson’s mission is to create a brand that is inclusive and empowering of all women. She says that building self-confidence can be very challenging for women because they are constantly being subjected to images of what beauty is supposed to look like.

“We are starting to celebrate different kinds of beauty but the reality is that we are still bombarded with the Instagram culture and it is a hard thing to take,” Hudson says.

In this interview, Hudson shares how women can lead active lifestyles and build body confidence by simply being themselves.

Michelle King: Why did you decide to start Fabletics?

Kate Hudson: I never wanted to be a model. I am an actress, I enjoy telling stories and I knew if I was going to do anything outside of this then it needed to have meaning and impact. I wanted to get into something in fashion, and I came across my now partner (the founder of TechStyle Fashion Group, parent company to Fabletics) and realized there was this giant white space in athletic wear. When I sat on it for a while it just made so much sense to me - that I would start a company that was about positive, active living. It became so successful so quickly.

King: What have you enjoyed the most about this process?

Hudson: We knew there was a need for it in the market, but we didn’t realize that it would hit the way it did. It just worked. The most rewarding part for me has been the community. I obviously love making the clothes, but the reward for me is getting to know a lot of these women and how committed they are to their goals and healthy lifestyles.

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King: What advice do you have for millennial women who want to start their own business?

Hudson: Number one is authenticity. If you are doing something that is authentic to you and you are passionate about, then you are already successful. Then your drive will be there and no part of it will feel like grunt work. Authenticity is key so take your time with that and don’t get discouraged if something takes time.

King: That is so true, but how do you know when to balance that with moving on?

Hudson: You must know when to give up, or when it doesn’t work. There are certain times when I know in my gut that I need to push through things or when I just need to move on from an idea or product that isn’t working. You do have to know when to let go and switch course.

King: What do you think sets Fabletics apart from other brands? 

Hudson: My guess would be that we really want to be colorful and excite our customers with new patterns and things that are fun. That makes us more playful and as part of that we don’t take ourselves too seriously in this whole wellness craze. I mean could we just put one foot in front of each other and do the best we can? So much of it is unrealistic. I find the wellness world daunting, although important.

I am really into it but I can relate to so many women who do not have the funds to buy organic or workout at that hip place. Or women who just don’t have the time. The reality of living a healthy lifestyle, in the way it is being sold, is so daunting. I just want to make it fun for women who want to get on a fitness path. I mean let’s just have fun doing the best we can.

King: A large part of this though is getting comfortable with yourself. How do can women do this?    

Hudson: When I look at women who are not feeling good about themselves, I feel like it starts internally. At some point, we have to realize that no matter what we do on the outside contentment can only come internally. It is about understanding and feeling good about yourself no matter where you are at. We are all going to get old and change and gain weight at some point. We have to find out what really matters to us and that just can’t be external.