Meet the family making these colourful leggings with unique local designs
- Credit: NEIL DIDSBURY
A sports-mad family from Needham Market have started making funky leggings in locally designed patterns after spotting a gap in the market.
Ali Wilson found herself getting frustrated with her clothing options when she was in the late stages of pregnancy, often finding she wanted to be in comfy clothes but only being able to find leggings in grey and black for her size.
“All I seemed to wear was leggings as I just wanted to be comfy, except being a bigger woman all I could find was black and grey boring leggings,” she explained.
“They always went see through and I just hated the cheap generic leggings. A lot of bigger women struggle to find nice clothing in big sizes with fun patterns and good quality – they’re often left with boring choices.”
Gym bunny Ali has always been into fitness and loves lifting weights, but she couldn’t find companies to cater for her needs so took it into her own hands.
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She and her husband Ryan, a former pro basketball player from America, started up Novara Clothing in July 2019 – a combination of their names and that of their baby daughter Nova.
Working with Ipswich textiles designer Amy Orchard-King, the family specialise in bright, colourful leggings in a thick fabric which is still breathable without going see through.
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The husband and wife both work day jobs alongside the start up, Ali as a counsellor for Suffolk Rape Crisis and Ryan as an ethical hacker, so they juggle their childcare and business between the two of them.
Ali added: “we both have a really strong work ethic. We are creating a legacy for our daughter to follow and we want this company to be something we can pass on to her – Nova already helps us with the packing and delivery and loves getting involved.”
At 6ft 5in tall Ryan draws attention when he goes out wearing Novara leggings and often gets complimented on the look. He’s been wearing them ever since he tried on the first pair.
Novara leggings are available in sizes 8 to 26 and Ali said their goal is “that everyone feels comfortable in our leggings” both in the gym or on the school run.
With Nova turning two next week, Ali and Ryan have several more designs in the works and hope to release them soon.