Yoga studio inspires two young employees to get creative

For three local women, the simple need for a headband has brought them together.

Brittany Garcia and Karah Eaton started jobs the same week at the Madison Improvement Club in Arcadia, training together for weeks before the popular yoga and spin studio would open to the public.

The women were fast friends despite their differences. Brittany was a 22-year-old Arizona native and ASU student, while Karah was a 30-year-old Arizona newbie after spending the last eight years in Los Angeles.

Before long, Brittany and Karah would discover the one thing they definitely had in common. They shared the same birthday on May 23. 

While working at the Madison Improvement Club, the women discovered guests regularly asked them both the same question.

“Guests kept coming out of the yoga or spin rooms and asking if we sold headbands,” said Brittany.

While the Madison does sell clothing, headbands were not originally on the product shelves. The women began discussing ways to solve this sudden demand.

“We bought some fabric,” said Brittany, “and did some sewing by hand.”

For Karah, who had learned to sew at age 9, the process was simple. Brittany decided to take a few sewing classes.

“Karah and I were both using sewing machines. For every five she would make, I would make one.”

Taking classes with an 8-year-old girl at Sewing Nuts in Scottsdale, Brittany’s first class project required her to make a pillowcase.

Soon the women kept up with the demand for headbands, making themselves proud and Madison guests happy.

Their shared birthday inspired their business name. May 23 became 5two3.

Co-owner of the Madison Improvement Club, Mary Swanson was suddenly aware of the small business putting boho-chic headbands on her shelves and on the heads of her clients.

Mary, a social entrepreneur by trade, saw potential not only in the business but also in the women who had so passionately put it together.

The three women talked, learned from each other and began to form plans for the future. Now they are all business partners in a company creating more than just fashionable headbands. They also produce other comfortable, yet hip attire, such as pants, rompers, vests and scarves.

A business completely separate from the Madison Improvement Club, the women have set up shop in a centrally located boutique in Old Town Scottsdale. They’ve started online sales as well as wholesale to area shops, including the Madison. The storefront is currently only open on Saturdays, making it a great destination for weekend shopping.

As for the women who started the small business, their dream is to keep it locally made, continue its growth and to “dress happy.”

“Mary’s motto is think big,” said Brittany.

Together, each with their separate skills, the team develops designs (Karah); establishes the social media, website, online ordering and sales (Brittany); and organizes the business strategies and scaling (Mary).  

“Our roles somehow developed organically,” said Mary.

In 2015, 5two3 hopes to grow the clothing line, with their same mindset of locally made, vibrant, comfortable clothing to fit any body type.

“Recently we styled a friend for a photo shoot and she said, ‘You made me feel so badass,’” said Karah. “That’s exactly what we want.”

For more information on 5two3 go to: 5two3.com.