Entrepreneur Profile: Christina Morrow, founder of Wicked Rose

Staples is proud to support Canadian entrepreneurs with tools and resources to help them build their businesses and turn their dreams into reality. That’s why, together with Ownr (by RBC Ventures), Shopify and Moneris, we joined the Canada Starts initiative to support Canadian entrepreneurs by awarding grants to help them get their big idea off the ground. We caught up with Christina Morrow, founder of Wicked Rose to find out how her business venture is going since being awarded a Canada Starts grant.

Tell us a bit about your business

Wicked Rose creates high quality, environmentally conscious, and ethically made activewear for women who train martial arts. Our activewear is 100% made in Canada and designed to help women feel better represented within the sport, heighten their performance, and increase comfort while training.

How did you get started?

I’ve been training in Muay Thai for the past three years. Since I started, I’ve seen an influx of women getting into the martial arts space. While gyms have welcomed us by creating women-only self defense seminars and classes, the one area that has really lagged behind has been our representation in activewear. Women in Jiu Jitsu are still wearing men’s gear to train, which is uncomfortable, hinders their movement, and distracts them while training. You’re obviously not going to feel as welcome in a space if there isn’t clothing designed for your body. After doing a bit of research, I realized that there weren’t any activewear brands specifically for women in martial arts, and that it was a very real need that I could fill.

How did COVID-19 shape your business idea?

When gyms had to shut down because of the pandemic, I took the time to begin building the brand, and creating a community for Wicked Rose on social media. As I gained followers on Instagram, I also met a bunch of incredible women. With gyms closed, my business has really had to focus on community and brand building online, rather than in person. COVID-19 has helped me realize that gyms don’t make martial artists; every person’s individual practice and dedication, inside and outside of the gym, is what builds the foundation of the community.

What’s your greatest challenge as a business owner right now?

Being a solo founder has its challenges (although I love that I get to be the captain of my own ship). I’ve been very fortunate to build some really great support systems around me, but sometimes it can be a bit of a lonely road. There’s only so much time in the day, and I’m not at the team building stage yet. I look forward to the day when I can bring on a team of incredible people who can push the brand forward and make it their own.

What are your expectations for 2021 as an entrepreneur?

I plan to just continue rolling with the punches. I’m a very go-with-the-flow kind of person, which is kind of ideal for an entrepreneur in a pandemic. I will continue growing the brand and creating a community for women in martial arts. I hope to raise a pre-seed round in the fall, and we are working on our first pair of spats and a rash guard for women in Jiu Jitsu right now. We have some exciting partnerships in the works as well, which will solve some of the biggest problems that women are facing while they train.

Where do you think entrepreneurs should invest their time and money?

My advice would be to invest your time in learning what you can about a variety of topics: marketing, social media management, product development, brand building, simple website design, copywriting, networking. In terms of investing money, go as lean as you can. You need to prove your idea before you spend a lot of money on it, and you’d be surprised at how many things you can do yourself.

What keeps you inspired and working every day?

My absolute love for martial arts and the incredible women within the community. I don’t know if I’ll ever find another venture that I’m so passionate about. I’m excited every day to continue growing the brand and learning everything I can.

What tips do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs in 2021?

Just go for it. It’s going to be a long road filled with unanticipated twists and turns, but it will be the most rewarding thing you’ve ever done. Be sure to build support systems around you, and seek out people in your industry who can offer insight and feedback. And, I cannot stress this enough, go out and ask your potential customers what they’re looking for from the get-go. Validate that there’s a problem, and go out there and be the one to solve it. There’s something special about creating something all by yourself and being able to see the fruits of your labour as you continue building.

How does Staples Canada help your business?

I use Staples for business supplies right now, and I know that they offer other services like shipping materials and electronics. As my business grows, I plan to take advantage of more of their services.

Learn more about Wicked Rose at www.wickedrose.com. Instagram and Facebook: @wickedrose.ca

Check out Small Business & Entrepreneurship on our Working and Learning Blog to learn more about how Staples Canada is supporting Canadian entrepreneurs.

By Staples Canada

July 29, 2021

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