An Interview with Erin Budd, owner of, distributors of fashionable activewear

By Donna Marrin

Tell us about your business and how you started it.
In January 2006, I traveled to Israel with my nephew. On our last day, we had some time to kill before going to the airport for the long flight home. As we were walking along a street, I spotted some pieces of the Margarita activewear line through a store doorway. 

I instantly noticed the vibrant colours. I'd never seen another activewear clothing line with such an energetic design. I felt the material and could tell right away that it was very good quality. I spent the afternoon studying the company website and decided right then that I would try to bring this line to Canada. I had no experience in retail – I just enjoy exercise. So I went back to Israel that summer to visit the company and secure Canadian distribution rights. Using my own money, I made an initial purchase, came back to Canada and started to sell.

What was your early vision for your business, and has it changed over time?
Originally, the business was simply retailing the Margarita activewear line locally. We are now distributing the brand across North America. As well, we have added a few more product lines to our website, and that has been going well for us.

Your biggest learning curve?
Starting my own business, I had to learn how to do the bookkeeping/paperwork, manage the business financially, and deal with the daily business itself. At the time, I was not married yet, so I had the extra time!

Describe a day in the life…
A typical day goes like this: First I make my morning green smoothie and I share it with my 2.5-year-old son. While he is busy eating breakfast, I answer the urgent emails.

I spend mornings with my son and I work in the afternoons, while he naps. After his nap, I prepare dinner for the family (sometimes my son helps:). After he’s in bed, I continue working into the night. On a good day, I will stop working and have an evening with my husband; watch a movie or read a book until I fall asleep.

What makes your business stand out?
Our main product line, Margarita activewear, itself is a unique brand. There are other websites selling it, but we are the only one (as far as I've seen) that allows customers to customize their order: customers can choose the colours they want, however they want them, with any Margarita item.

How do you find balance between your business and home life?
It can be tough to find balance at times. The problem with having your own business is that it never stops. You set the schedule and that schedule can run around the clock if you let it. I spend weekday mornings with my son, and I work in the afternoon while he naps, as well as after he goes to sleep at night. I schedule days so that meetings and other business activities are on certain days and during particular hours, so I can get what I need done and have time for my family. Spending time with them and taking a break makes me more productive and inspired. We all have a healthy dinner together each night, and spend time together on weekends. When it's time to focus on the family, it's time to turn the phone off and shut down the computer.

What’s the best part of running your own business? The most challenging?
I like keeping my own hours and being my own boss. I love the clothing and still get excited when the new styles come out. I also enjoy the letters I get from customers saying how much they love our products and our exceptional customer service; it is very rewarding. I still can't believe they are talking about the company I started.

The challenging part is that because I do my own bookkeeping, I spend so much time on that it can be hard to focus on the business; I often find myself spending more time on bookkeeping than actually thinking of new ways to increase revenues.

What business tool or resource could you not live without?
I really benefit from having contacts and a mentor that I am able to call on when I need guidance or assistance.

What is the key to your success?
Positive thinking and a passion for what I am doing!

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about starting a business?
Be positive, dream big, work hard and enjoy it! You can accomplish a lot with a "can-do" attitude. Know and love your business, know your market. Research, research, research! Have a clear vision about where you want your business to go, and find a mentor who can help guide you, especially when you hit a brick wall. Be prepared for changes; things usually don't go exactly as planned.

ERIN BUDD owns, a website that carries yoga and fitness clothing. She is also mom to an adorable 28-month-old boy, and wife to a wonderful husband. When she's not having fun with the family, or working on the business, she's busy creating in the kitchen: since she became a new mother, she's been engrossed in how she can help her family be as healthy as possible. And she's doing something right because they never get sick. She also enjoys drinking a green smoothie every day. Look the part, live the part! For more information, visit or send an email to: [email protected]

By Adam

January 23, 2012