AM: Barefoot opened in March last year - congratulations! What inspired you to open the store?
AK: Thank you! I've always wanted to open my own store, I just wasn't sure what kind until a few years ago. I've been in retail my whole life, mostly surf shops, and more recently was managing yoga studios and doing the buying and merchandising for them. I received my 200hr Yoga Teacher Training in 2014 and it all just clicked! I wanted to open a small boutique that offered fashion forward and functional activewear that women could be comfortable in all day long - whether working out, running errands, or grabbing lunch with friends!
AM: How do you select which pieces make the cut for the store?
AK: Fit and function! I wear test all my lines before bringing them into the store. I like to carry something for everyone. So, I have lines that specialize in prints, solids, lifestyle, and just fun graphics.
AM: Beach, gym floor or studio to work out in?
AK: Studio! I love the energy of a class and the motivation and personal attention from an instructor. There are so many awesome studios in the Jersey Shore area - yoga, barre, spin, lagree - I like to hop around and mix it up!
AM: What was the last purchase you made for yourself from the store?
AK: Our "life's better barefoot" tank of course!
AM: What are the top activewear trends right now?
AK: High neck sports bras to wear as is with high waisted leggings, or under cute tanks. Prints are still on trend right now. I'm excited to be seeing some more subtle prints come in for fall. I love pairing printed leggings with chambray button downs or sweaters in the fall.
AM: You are a certified Vinyasa yoga instructor - what inspired you to become a yogi?
AK: It took me years to really enjoy the practice. I started in college, but it wasn't until 2011 when I took a power vinyasa class that bumped load reggae music. That's when I realized yoga wasn't only a physical class, but a mental and spiritual one too. Now, yoga for me is more about clearing my mind, it's a 60-75 minute moving meditation.
AM: What are the benefits to doing Vinyasa yoga compared to other forms of yoga?
AK: Vinyasa yoga is a flowing style of yoga that link breath with movement. It's the perfect combination of a hard workout and a beautiful yoga experience.
AM: We are really excited to collaborate with you on the ‘Life’s Better Barefoot’ tank! Where will you be wearing yours?
AK: Everywhere! It's been to my studios, the beach, and out to dinner.
AM: What would you pair your Barefoot tank with?
AK: I'm pairing it with any legging and a colorful sports bra for workouts, then wearing it with jeans and flip flops!
AM: Where does Barefoot dream of being 10 years from now?
AK: In 10 years from now, I dream of running a full online store, as well as my brick and mortar. I want to work on my photography skills, and hopefully hire some help to focus more on editorial type photo shoots. I would love to take a step back from the day to day and focus on cross promotions with various boutique studios, blogging, and photo shoots! Who knows... I may even dream of a second location at the Jersey Shore!Tweet