Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mary Brewster and American Flora

Sixteen years ago, at the age of 40, Mary Brewster took up ballet.  She’d taken lessons as a child, but it had been 28 years since she’d regularly done any rond de jambes or pliés. 

Soon, in addition to keeping up with her own lessons, she began teaching ballet and pointe to other adults at Pirouette, Pilates and More in Wilton, CT.  All the while, she kept wishing she could find leotards and other activewear that emphasized women’s “femininity, athleticism and beauty.” 

Unable to locate a manufacturer that satisfied all of her needs, Mary eventually decided to create her own company to fill the void.  A few months ago, her goal was finally realized when she launched American Flora.

The verdict is in.  Not only do Mary's garments perform beautifully and feel great against the skin, but every product she sells is eco-friendly and entirely made in the USA.  

Has it been easy starting a company from scratch?  Of course not.  Choosing a factory to sew the garments, creating a unique look, picking out the best materials, coming up with a logo (artist Leslie Alexander, designed Mary’s hang tags), and promoting the business have involved vast amounts of time and effort.  The learning curve has been enormous.  

But unlike the people profiled in last Sunday's NYT ("Maybe It's Time for Plan C "), Mary doesn't regret starting a small business.  She's exhilarated.  

"Every time I see someone with one of my leotards on," she said to me, "I get such a thrill."

P.S.:  Click here to read a wonderful article about Mary that appeared in the The Reading Pilot on 8/20/11.  --pb


  1. Good for her - on both accounts!
    My husband keeps telling me I should design a line of clothing and call it 'Elfin.' LOL

  2. If you ever do it, Diane, I'll buy one of your pieces! I'm elfin-sized. :-)