Dunlap woman develops new liner for protection with Moxie
As the co-owner of Crossfit 309 gym in Peoria Heights for six years, Holly Mosack of Dunlap was able to observe a common but embarrassing problem that active women can encounter.
“I realized how common stress incontinence for women is, especially with high-intensity activities like crossfit,” said Mosack. “Then, I realized it’s not just crossfit, it’s any kind of activity that puts pressure on the bladder.”
Mosack’s research on stress-related leaking revealed that one out of three women has experienced it, she said. She also noticed that there seemed to be no leak-proof fitness apparel options that she considered ideal for active women.
“Active women don’t really want to wear something thick that would show underneath leggings,” said Mosack. “So, what would happen is that women would just kind of give up. They would stop doing the activity.”
Mosack’s solution was to develop a liner for fitness apparel that wicks moisture toward an absorbent center layer. Lacking any experience in the apparel industry, she teamed up with Annie Miller, the co-founder of the Collective Thread, a St. Louis-based non-profit organization that trains and employs female refugees from around the world, to help bring her idea into production. Mosack has a provisional patent on the liner, and did not wish to divulge the design or the liner’s components.
“It was a great story because, not only was (The Collective Thread) making a product that helps women, they were helping the women who made the product,” said Mosack.
Unfortunately, Mosack added, the perfect circle of benefits she described did not last. The COVID-19 pandemic forced The Collective Thread to suspend some of its operations, including the production of Moxie Fitness Apparel. Mosack then turned to the Morton-based fabric printing and stamping business Super Sublimations to handle production.
“The product was developed in central Illinois, is sold out of central Illinois, and now is made in central Illinois” she said.
Mosack launched Moxie Fitness Apparel in July 2019, months before the COVID-19 pandemic began. In spite of the pandemic, she has had an encouraging first year in business and confirmation that there is a flourishing market for her product. In the past year, she spent $12,000 to meet operating costs and made $14,000 in sales.
“I’ve had customers from Australia and (South) Korea,” Mosack said. At first when I launched, (the customers were) local people or my friends. Now, it’s neat to see orders come in from all over the country, and having them come in from overseas has been pretty exciting. There have been a lot of things happen that have basically wiped 2020 out, but I’m still selling and I’m still not in any kind of debt whatsoever. So, I feel good.”
Moxie Fitness Apparel is available on line at gowithmoxie.com. Mosack opted to restrict sales to online orders partly because of the ongoing pandemic and partly because she believes customers who might be reluctant to make in-person purchases of incontinence apparel feel more comfortable with the relative anonymity that online shopping offers.
“It’s not something that women want to go into a store, walk up to … say, a 17-year-old male cashier … and buy,” Mosack explained. “It’s more of a discreet thing.”