Sunsé Apparel | Annmarie Peros | www.sunseapparel.com
Tell me a bit about yourself & how and when everything started.
In 2009, after spending many years in the corporate world I was looking to open up a yoga studio. I wanted my next career to focus on helping people. Finding studio space proved to be impossible.
In 2010, while surfing the web looking for yoga studios I could possibly buy I found a listing for a t-shirt company. I was immediately drawn to it! The shirts were eco-friendly with inspiring designs. I felt I would be helping people in a way I never imagined; by spreading positive thoughts and messages.
Since the shirts were popular among the yoga community, I felt I would still be closely aligned with yoga while not directly owning a studio. I took ownership in early 2011. After taking ownership, I redesigned the production and operations. It became a whole new company and as such needed to be rebranded. Sunsé Apparel launched in June 2013.
When did you first know that you wanted to be a business owner?
In the corporate world I worked upwards of 12 hour days. A 10 hour day was considered a short day. I often thought if I could take all that time and energy and put it into my own business I would definitely succeed. And, of course, I wanted my new career to be more focused on helping people; I just was never sure what exactly that was.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everywhere! I get inspiration for my shirt designs from clients, friends and of course my own ideas. You can walk down the street and see positive actions everywhere; a person helping someone get across a busy street, a few people laughing together, children running and playing freely, a cat snoozing in the sun. It’s all there.
What advice would you give someone considering a similar path?
You need a substantial financial and resource support structure. If you have partners or friends who can help with the marketing, technology, or operations engage them to help as much as possible. You can’t do it all alone!
What makes your business unique?
Several things make Sunsé Apparel unique. Many T-shirt companies out there, even the eco-friendly ones are buying premade blank shirts and just printing them. We design our shirts and have them produced to our specs and colors. Sunsé Apparel designs are also original in that they are positive and focused towards yoga-wear, but easily transition to cool street wear. In fact, these days I think it might be the opposite, in that they are cool street wear, that transition easily to yoga-wear. And, of course, we take pride in that our shirts are Made in the USA and use only sustainable fabrics and printing methods.
How would you describe your personal style?
Classic- A nice T-shirt (preferably a Sunsé Apparel shirt) and a pair of jeans are my go to clothes for working in the office during the week. Being a native New Yorker, I wear a lot of black. I find our T-shirts dress up and down very well.
What’s next for your company?
Expanding the Sunsé Apparel collection beyond T-shirts! We have plans to include dresses, tank tops and eventually yoga pants. All of them will have a positive design with an uplifting message. Our clothes are designed to make you feel good.