by Colleen Stinchcombe
“Find your rhythm,” Kimberly Roach told me. It’s the tagline for her clothing company, Stelari, but it’s also a sort of personal mantra for her. “I really believe in the laws of attraction,” Roach went on. “The idea that we create our own fortunes – that I am the fortune teller and I create my own fortune – is really the basis of the collection.”
Roach is no stranger to creating her own fortune. In 2012, after taking a writing course, she wrote and published “The Magical Adventures of Bendy Cindy,” a children’s yoga book. She’s been an active yogi for 15 years, taking two different teacher training courses in both Arizona and California. She was taking classes on fashion and thought the illustrated Cindy character might be a cute children’s clothing piece. She began to experiment with designing clothing. “I started out making everything by hand first. I hand-dyed leggings, I hand-sublimated shirts,” she told me. Since then, “it’s really expanded and grown.”
In 2013, she created Stelari. After producing several children’s pieces and adult kimonos, Roach decided to try something new. Her latest collection, Free Flow, is a series of tank tops made from eco-conscious material. “It seemed like a natural extension…I wanted it to be something that fit my lifestyle and the lifestyles of my peers and the people that I wanted to attract.”
The recycled PET fabric is made from recycled polyester, the same plastic used to make water bottles. The fabric production reduces the amount of plastic waste in landfills and requires significantly less energy to make than that needed to produce new material. The result is a light, soft fabric that wicks away sweat, which is perfect for yoga. But Roach says the tops look great even when you’re not on the mat. “It really looks like silk when you pair it with other things,” she said.
The tops feature images from vintage tarot cards, which Roach said she found really beautiful, but also meaningful. “I wanted to take elements, like the moon, that might represent more of our unconscious thoughts and desires. And the sun represents joy and abundance and success,” she said. “Maybe some people just see it and say, ‘Yeah that’s a pretty picture,’ and that’s great; but maybe somebody that’s a yogi or practitioner [sees it] and it represents something deeper to them…that’s kind of the idea of my whole brand.”
The company is still small, with Roach being the only full-time employee, but it’s growing. Stelari is in 15 YogaWorks studios nationwide and in showrooms in Chicago and Los Angeles. Roach has also expanded to many retailers across the Valley, including the Hyatt Scottsdale, Urban Yoga, Madison Improvement Club, Sumits Biltmore and Lelli Kolibri.
With her growing success, Roach offered some advice for other women looking to start their own businesses. “I just think the biggest thing is you have to be really passionate, and you have to super want it,” she said. “When you’re an entrepreneur, there are so many unknowns ‘cause you’re making it up as you go a lot of the time…you’ve just got to dive in and have faith in yourself and the unknown and in the mystery of it unfolding.”
The Stelari Free Flow tank collection is available at stelari.com starting at $48.00
Colleen Stinchcombe is a full-time editor and freelance writer living in Phoenix. You can follow her on Twitter at @castinchcombe
Read more business profiles at greenlivingaz.com/bizprofile