If you told Yvonne Hogenes 10 years ago she’d be operating three businesses, designing and manufacturing her own line of bras and health conscious activewear, she would have laughed at the idea. But that’s the life she’s living now.
Hogenes opened her first store, Malary’s Fashion Network, in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland over 17 years ago. Since opening the retail outlet she’s added two health conscious clothing lines, Tab Custom Fitted Bras and Firma Energywear.
When Hogenes is not travelling across North America to meet with retailers and train sales representatives, you’ll find her in her Cloverdale store fitting women in shapewear and sharing the health benefits of her products.
With three companies to operate and an expanding international market through flagship stores and online store Firma Energywear, Hogenes’ introduction to a business mentor group came at the perfect time.
“I was initially resistant (to join),” she said. “But I really liked the straightforward business approach Hanne Madsen (chair of GroYourBiz White Rock) took.”
Hogenes says she’d never stayed part of other networking groups she’d joined in the past.
“I met great people and made good connections, but I never stuck with the other groups.”
She says the reason GroYourBiz sticks for her is because of the groups focus on business growth.
“(Madsen) really stressed that GroYourBiz was about working on our businesses and to share our struggles with other business owners so we could find support in times when needed,” said Hogenes.
If business growth is the indicator for mentoring success, Hogenes seems to have found it.
“I’m still with the group and I can say that my business has grown exponentially over the past two years.”
Hogenes says she never grows tired of what she does because she’s able to help so many women, stating her true passion in the retail industry is bringing health and fashion together.
“If I could help every woman feel more confident, healthier and feel great in her body, I believe we would have a better world.”
Hogenes says the use of smart yarn technology sets her line of Firma Energywear apart.
“It’s a fabric that has a very specific task, it works on the body just by wearing it. So it’s smart!” she says.
And it appears that starting that store 16 years ago was also a smart move in the right business direction for Hogenes.
Hogenes discusses her passion for health and fashion fusion in the videos below: