The Topnotch Athleisure Tycoon
We met Megan at Spark Cycle Zurich where we got our derrieres kicked by Coach Danni. Megan runs her own online business of Women’s activewear. We teamed up for a photoshoot last summer and have new projects coming up so we figured it was about time for you to meet the incredible boss lady behind SPORT.LES
For our readers who don’t know you yet, tell us a little bit about yourself, where you’re from and what got you here?
I moved to Switzerland 5 years ago from NYC thinking that we would stay for 2 years only and we fell in love with Zurich and Switzerland as a whole. I am originally from Ohio, lived abroad as a child, and was in Atlanta before moving to NYC for 10 years. I have been working in Fashion since 2001 and found myself in activewear as the retail director at Physique 57 in 2013. This is where my love for working in an entrepreneurial space took form. Activewear was a natural transition from RTW since I have been an athlete my entire life and love looking stylish at the same time.
How did you come up with the name? When did you first start putting the wheels into motion for your online business?
Sport. (LES) stands for Lower East Side. It is the edge and inspiration for our brand, we have a downtown vibe with an uptown sensibility. After a year of wrapping up my previous business in NY designing private label activewear collections for fitness brands and studios, I saw a gap in the market in Switzerland. The feminine, elegant, and less sporty options were not accessible. As a consumer, I knew that activewear designed by women-lead brands would resonate here. We started at a luxury boutique and studio as market research, without a business plan, and it has developed naturally since 2016. We have grown slow and steady, are self-funded, and are now looking to take S.L to the next level and scale the business!
You’re originally from the States. What do you think is the biggest difference between fitness communities here in Switzerland and overseas?
There wasn’t much here other than the membership gyms. There are a lot of Yoga and Pilates studios in Zurich but the NY style “fitness scene” was limited. There was Balboa, Velocity, and Atomix that were the boutique studio models from the beginning. Now a lot of new concepts and great entrepreneurs are taking the leap and it is great to partner and share the journey with such an inspiring community.
Covid-19 hit really hard, a lot of fitness studios had to close and coaches started offering home workouts via zoom or Instagram and youtube live. How did that affect your business?
At first we were overwhelmed with the uncertainty and concerned about the team, a similar feeling faced by everyone during the Pandemic. We were not as concerned with the online orders, which we knew could go either way, so we shifted to how we could support the community using our platform. After switching our focus to e-commerce in 2018, our reach and customer base has expanded incredibly. It allowed us to offer our clients options for at-home workouts and health food delivery since everything was closed for two months.
What do you think the future of fitness will look like? What are your plans?
We hope the current global situation will improve which will allow all of the businesses to survive and flourish. Fitness and wellness is a lifestyle. My personal take on going to class is a getaway, if the music and energy are amazing then it is like being at a club. You are doing something healthy and also hanging with your friends after class. The new generation is looking to connect with a community and experiences and it is a welcomed shift.
What’s one thing you’ve done in your career that helped you succeed, and that very few other people do?
The list is long but I have taken risks my entire life. If I am not uncomfortable then it’s hard for me to stay motivated. It is the slight feeling of fear and the unknown which is a blessing and a curse. You have to have GRIT, work hard, be determined, show up, be consistent, and never give up. Rest if you’re tired, but never quit.
Zodiac sign: Aquarius
Favorite quote: You can never be Overdressed or Overeducated
Currently listening to: Tilly's playlist
How often do you work out? 4-5 times a week
How to unwind after a long day at work: Wine and Netflix
Most used emojis: 💡💪🏽
Ultimate happy fix: Traveling
Jeans or leggings? Did you have to ask? Hahaha, I have worn jeans ONCE in the last 3 years.
Can’t live without: My kitty, Perla