Over the past eighteen months, loungewear has come into its own, with more of us working from home than ever and seeking out the ultimate in comfortable attire. Add to that our growing penchant for exercise-related activities as we fight to regain our pre-lockdown fitness levels, and it seems we’re all but living in leggings of late. But for most of us, that perfect pair still eludes us, and a style that will take us from lunch with friends to the gym and back again remains a mystery.
Even our favourite designer brands have failed to come up with the goods, and style, comfort and functionality have yet to be mixed up into the perfect cocktail we’ve been dreaming of – at least, so we thought until we discovered Baumara Active.
This exciting and up-and-coming new activewear brand is the stuff dreams are made of, ticking all of the right boxes and more. And as well as serving us up the utmost in versatility through its flattering range of leggings, it has somehow managed to create the ultimate fashion statement along the way, too.
Founded in 2020 by husband and wife team Karmen and Michael Chellew, the ultra-luxe activewear brand has been making waves in the health and fitness world over the past year, particularly amidst our renewed collective enthusiasm for running, gym-going and general exercising since the long-awaited end of lockdown.
“What’s unique about our brand is the combination of comfort and durability our garments offer,” says Karmen. “Most importantly, we chose colours that are easily recognisable. We wanted to create something unique, and have taken inspiration from the bright colours of the 80s and early 90s to do just that.”
Being a personal trainer, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Karmen had been mulling over the idea of an activewear brand for years before Baumara was finally born. She had personally tried out many different types of leggings, but had yet to find a pair that impressed her enough to keep buying them. Even designer brands couldn’t seem to tick all of the right boxes, and from lack of compression and unsuitable material to unflattering cuts, the issues just kept on coming.
“I have always felt the need for leggings that fit amazingly, but are also comfortable. Basically gym legging compression, with yoga legging comfort and softness,” Karmen explains.
As time went on, it became apparent to her that there was a gap in the market for the perfect pair, which she deduced would have to combine the comfort of a yoga legging with the high performance of a workout legging – and so, she set about turning her seed of an idea into a reality.
It wasn’t all plain sailing; Karmen admits to searching out and experimenting with hundreds of different material samples from all over the world before she found the perfect solution. Eventually, she and Michael – who was very much on board with the idea from day one – were put into contact with a factory in Portugal, which just so happened to be one of the best manufacturers in Europe and was able to provide them with a winning fabric that met each and every one of their criteria.
After a quick, mid-lockdown jaunt to Portugal to iron out the final details, it was all systems go, and despite the added constraints of Brexit and the ongoing pandemic, Karmen and Michael went full steam ahead with creating their debut line.
“The designs were done, the specifications were sent, the money was paid, and we were off! We were following our dream,” remembers Karmen, with excitement. But the challenges weren’t behind them yet.
“After a trademark complication, and literally the day before we were about to have our first consignment branded, we were informed by our lawyer that we had to change our name from BAUM activewear, to BAUMARA. We managed to contact the factory in time, and everything was sorted in the nick of time.
Nonetheless, Karmen and Micheal refused to let it throw them off track, and the brand finally launched in April of 2021 to much acclaim.
“Finally, after almost a year of back and forth, we managed to get our first consignment of leggings delivered. We went live with the website in April, and sold out of one of our styles overnight. We have since had a steady flow of business, and are currently expanding our collection,” says Karmen
Over the weeks that followed, Baumara Active amassed an impressive customer base that continues to grow today. Amongst them are high-net-worth individuals who value quality over quantity, and who aren’t afraid to pay a little extra in exchange for the very best on the market. In the time the brand has been operating, it has branched out from offering its inspired legging designs alone, adding hoodies and hats to the mix – and we have it on good authority that sports bras are on the way next.
The future certainly looks bright – and we’re not just talking about the colour of Baumara Active’s eye-catching garments. Fitness fanatics, take note – because your favourite new brand has arrived.