See Norfolk fitness influencer Carly Rowena's first activewear range
- Credit: Contributed
Norfolk-based personal trainer and influencer Carly Rowena’s honesty and confidence has earned her hundreds of thousands of followers on social media who love her vlogs, workouts and frank and fearless discussions of everything from parenting to body image and sex.
Now Carly, who lives in Norwich, has fulfilled a long-held dream and has launched her first activewear range.
She’s teamed up with fellow CrossFit instructor Rhian Pearson, founder of activewear brand Halo to create a capsule collection of 23 pieces including shorts, leggings, sports bras, tank tops, socks and sweatshirts, designed to make the wearer confident and comfortable when they’re working out, whatever their shape and size.
Keen to get her fanbase involved too, four of her followers star in the CR x Halo launch campaign photoshoot.
“I’ve always loved Rhian’s clothes,” says Carly. “And during lockdown she got in touch and asked if I would like to do an activewear line. So we came up with the colours and the shapes and the materials.
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“I’ve tried so many different styles of workouts and training over the years that I know what I want from activewear" she continues.
"It needs to let me move, make me feel confident to work into any workout and support me through whatever I’m about to take on. And I want everyone who wears it to feel like they can take on the world.”
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Carly and Rhian chose a joyful colour palette of sangria red, mojito green and leopard print for the pieces, which are designed to be mixed and matched and look as good out and about running errands as they do in the gym.
“I thought about the [activewear] colours that I never get sent, but I think look beautiful on people, on different skin tones,” says Carly.
And, of course, the pieces have got to perform too.
“It was really important to look at how things sit and how the fabrics feel against the skin – I like them to feel soft, like a second skin. I don’t want things to ride up when I’m doing squats or deadlifting,” says Carly.
On the day of the photoshoot with her followers, Carly also invited a friend who is a model along.
“I wanted to make sure that I got real women involved,” says Carly. “My friend who is a plus-size model I knew just oozed confidence, and I knew that having one model there was going to give the girls confidence because they’d never had their photos taken in that way.
"From the moment she turned up everyone went from just smiling to twerking and dancing and it was just so wonderful to witness the power when women suddenly feel confident, so it worked really well.
“It was really nice to see them in the clothing and see what they honestly through of it, because you just never knew whether people will like it once it’s on, but they really did, so I was really happy,” says Carly.
When the UK went into lockdown last March and gyms shut, Carly’s virtual workouts went viral and she says that she loved being able to bring people together to get moving every day.
But if motivation is low at the moment, she has some refreshingly simple advice.
“For a whole year food was pretty much the only enjoyment that there was for a lot of people. Everything else went and food and drinking and the bit of exercise you could do was the primary focus," she says.
“So we have to be kind of like, okay, we enjoyed that and now we’ve just got to get a little bit more movement into our day and maybe just strip back our food and take a look at the things that we’ve added in that maybe we don’t need to be having so much of now.
“But motivation is something you have to work hard at," she continues.
“Whenever I’m speaking to my clients I try to make it so that movement and food is just as important as sleeping, just as important as chilling out, it becomes part of your day.
"Can it be that you could just go for a walk after you’ve had dinner instead of just sitting down and then being on Netflix? Can it be that you’re going to go for a swim with the kids at the weekend? It’s small things, not huge things.
“Stop taking things away and instead add good things in.”
To see the Halo x CR collection go to halofitness.eu and follow Carly on social media @carlyrowena