Even though Sami and Scott Bossert both worked in the healthcare industry – she as a nurse and he as a dentist – the Upper Arlington couple aspired to find a way to make an impact on health. people on a larger scale.
It turns out that this opportunity would come in the form of leggings.
It’s not as big a jump as some might think, they said.
“Clothing is something everyone feels good in,” said Scott Bossert, 40. “Even when you can’t exercise to the fullest or the entire workout.”
The husband and wife duo founded sportswear company P’tula in December 2016 with the launch of around half a dozen pieces that sold out within minutes.
Both believe that if they can promote wellness and prevention within their community, virtual or otherwise, this is where their greatest impact lies.
It also helped that Scott’s undergraduate degree was in product design and he loves to draw. Sami, who also worked as a personal trainer, already had a large and loyal following on Instagram where she posted workout videos and fitness tips.
“Why not make them feel good from the first week?” Said Sami, 32. “We wanted to provide people with sportswear that fits all shapes and sizes and give them something to celebrate before they even transform. It makes this trip possible.
Over the past five years, the company has grown to support 10 full-time employees, including three fashion designers, and they moved most of the business from their garage to a Hilliard warehouse, which they quickly overtook. .
They now send leggings, sports bras and other styles related to fitness and salon to at least 35 countries and have nearly 200,000 followers on Instagram.
The growth of their business and their passion for it prompted them both to retire from their careers in healthcare. They said they were grateful because these jobs funded P’tula without investors.
Helping people remains their vocation.
“I want to help women and men before they get to the point where they are on medication or are hospitalized,” Sami said.
The unusual name of the company means “the passion to unite and live actively”.
Although neither of them have any clothing design experience, Sami said she decided to create what she lacked in sportswear.
She went through a lot of trial and error, with the help of Scott’s designs and tailoring, to perfect her initial styles.
“A lot of athleisure is not very flattering for women,” Sami said. “There are a lot of hard lines. What I have found is that you need a lot of curves like rounded hems and longer tops.
She said it also helps make the pieces more versatile, like a top that can be tied up for a different style.
“It’s not sexy in your face but more everyday,” Scott said.
Also, they created pieces they wanted to wear, like a maternity line – Sami is pregnant with the couple’s second son. P’tula has also just launched its largest men’s collection.
The brand added portable exercise equipment, such as resistance bands, during the pandemic when everyone was stuck at home doing their workouts.
“We have customers who have placed over 100 orders,” Sami said. “We have a lot of P’tula addicts. In fact, most of our customers are P’tula addicts. We have a 94% customer retention rate.
Ada Undis said she buys something almost every release, which usually happens every month.
The 27-year-old from Nashville, Indiana, got to know the brand after seeing a friend wearing it.
“When I ordered my first pair of leggings, the first time I put them on, I was like, ‘OK, they fit exactly how I want them to fit,’” Undis said. “I didn’t have that feeling when I put on other leggings.”
She said that despite her different build – taller, boxier hips and 5ft 10in height – the leggings fit her like a glove.
The Bare line of comfy loungewear has been her favorite collection so far, especially since working from home for the past 18 months. She even has her mother in Poland who regularly wears the clothing line.
But more than that, Undis and other followers appreciate the authenticity they feel that P’tula and her creators are bringing to the world of social media.
“Another thing I love about them is the way they work with real people, real bodies,” Undis said. “It’s not that retouched and catered marketing that shows flawless models, almost like models.”
The community P’tula has built online is one of the main reasons Westerville resident Katherine Heppner keeps coming back as a client.
The price of the leggings, although Heppner said it was much lower than other brands like Lululemon Athletica, initially made him hesitate. The most expensive P’tula leggings are $ 79.
But the single mom is happy she splurged on her first pair three years ago.
“I never bought another brand of leggings again,” said Heppner, 29. “The quality – the leggings I bought three years ago, I can still wear them.”
Not a day goes by without Paula Shotell, who lives near Buffalo, New York, wearing something from P’tula.
Sure, she supports her son and daughter-in-law’s business, but she truly believes they’ve created a great product.
“I have everything, and it’s not just because it’s them,” said Shotell, who wore a lot of Lululemon clothes.
Shotell said it was strange to hear his son was going to give up dentistry – his father was a dentist. But, she said it was fun to watch the company and the community around it grow.
Running a business instead of a 9 to 5 job is not without its challenges, Scott said.
He and Sami do everything from cutting the fabric to calling out manufacturers, dropping off packages at the shipping supplier, plus thinking about general concepts, such as how to stay competitive on a increasingly saturated market while maintaining their quality and their mission.
And he still receives comments from time to time that he left dentistry “to sell t-shirts”.
“We have a lot of employees and they have 401 (k),” he said.
At the end of the day, he and Sami feel that they are really making an impact on people and their journey towards healthier, more active lifestyles.
“Hospital medicine, all medicine, is very responsive,” Scott said. “People don’t want to think about the things they need to do to change their life. They say, “Fix me”. Here we are talking to people who want to listen, and we can have a two-way dialogue. ”