Kelly Dooley, BodyRock
How did you get to where you are professionally today?
I always say that I started BodyRock on the day before my first marathon, which was The Walt Disney Marathon in Orlando. I kept searching for a fun and funky sports bra with a pocket at the expo where I went to pick up my race number. I couldn’t find anything and that led me to my aha moment where I thought, “I should create a line of sports bras that are equally fashionable and functional for women like myself.” I headed back to NYC after the race and began conceptualizing and designing exactly what I believed a sports bra should look and feel like. I knew that I had to make something functional since I am so active but I knew I needed and wanted to create pieces that were still very feminine and stylish. I believe I’m a born entrepreneur. Starting a company would happen once I had the right idea…something that I absolutely couldn’t resist. I knew that my father founded his own company (Dooley Enterprises) with that same enthusiasm towards what he loved; he couldn’t find the right air scope he needed to race boats and from that, he subsequently revolutionized the racing industry. BodyRock was essentially born from me realizing a void in the active wear market and having the determination to be the one to fill it. Though he passed when I was seven, I feel as though that spirit is embedded in me. Thus, BodyRock was born out of a void in the active wear market because I could not find the perfect sports bra for one of my races.
Share with us your biggest challenges as a woman in business and how you overcame them.
A challenge for me is letting go. BodyRock is my baby and just as a mother is with her child, I want to be a part of every aspect of the life that goes into this company. It’s a very personal thing for me and it’s challenging at times to let others take the helm on certain things but I know that it’s a very important part of running a successful company and being a well-rounded and successful businesswoman.
Any advice you may have for other women in pursuit of exceptional professional dreams. What motivated you?
My motivation and inspiration is from all the powerful and inspiring women in my life and in this world. There are so many strong, and incredible women and have beat the odds in many ways. Having them share a part of what I’m passionate about motivates me immensely. For young women, regardless of what field they work in and are passionate about, I would always tell them to follow your instinct, treat others the way you wanted to be treated, always work hard, dream big, never give up and stay true to yourself. It’s also important to surround yourself with positive and inspiring people; don’t burn bridges because you never know who you might need and swallow your pride so you can learn from your mistakes. Remain the unique person that you are; that’s what is going to distinguish you from everyone else. Do you!
How do you support other women?
I have a collection of ‘Empower ‘Em’ bras that are mastectomy bras and are my way of giving my own special something back to the women who are battling and have survived breast cancer. A portion of the proceeds from each bra from the collection that’s sold goes to the American Cancer Society. I am a big believer in charity and this is a part of BodyRock that means so much to me. Also, each BodyRock bra is named after a strong woman— someone I personally know or otherwise. I’m a big girl power advocate and I believe in celebrating the beauty that lies in each and every woman.
You can connect with Kelly on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Also be sure to check out her store BodyRock Sport!
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