The Story of Rebellia

Women aren’t supposed to lift weights right? It will make you look bulky, manly even.

This is what we are told as women, and what many of us once told ourselves. Even in today’s society, a woman lifting weights or having visible muscle tone is considered in a way...rebellious.

I had always wanted to be skinny. It was the ultimate destination and getting there was exhausting. Keeping it was more exhausting. I tried everything and in the process held a deep hatred for myself. I thought once I got there, I would be happy.

In October 2013, my boyfriend (now husband) dragged me into a Crossfit gym and begged me to commit to a month of the foundational program. I agreed and as soon as the month was done, I was out of there. The following April, that same gym sent out a newsletter announcing their ‘Crossfit Light’ program, promising no barbells. I made the leap and joined the gym. A few months later I decided to do what I swore I never would-- lift weights. This set me on a path: a love affair with fitness, health and myself.

In July 2015, a little over a year into my fitness journey, I went shopping. I had $300 in gift cards to a department store and figured I could get a few tops, sundresses and hopefully a formal dress to wear to a friend’s wedding. I’m not a big fan of the mall but I blocked off 2 hours of time to get this done.

2 hours later I left, empty-handed and in tears.

For the first time in my life I wasn’t upset because I hated my body and nothing looked good. I was upset because I loved my body, worked hard on it–and nothing fit. Tops were too tight on my boobs and too big on my stomach. Dresses gaped in the armpit area. Bottoms were too tight on my butt and legs but huge in the waist. Sure, there were plenty of pieces I could try and make work, but nothing I loved. Nothing that truly fit and looked good.

And I was sick of settling.

I started to think about it. I deserve to feel good in my clothes. I deserve to have clothes that fit me. I deserve to put on something other than yoga pants once in awhile and still feel beautiful. It shouldn’t be this hard. I knew that if I was struggling, other women were probably experiencing the same issues with their newfound athletic physiques, and after our crowdfunding campaign, I knew I was right.

My vision was to create an online fashion clothing destination for the athletic woman. A place where women could shop and know that whatever they purchased would fit their unique body, muscles and all. The only problem was, I had no idea where to begin. I poured myself into research, began educating myself in the fashion industry and started to build a small team around me.

At first, we began by creating our own pieces. This is where I learned that I wasn’t cut out to be a fashion designer. We would design 5 dresses, I would hate 3 and then we were left with two. At that rate, we never would have gotten anywhere. Not to mention the cost of creating each piece to measure would have eliminated the women I wanted to reach. I finally came to the conclusion that we could still accomplish the vision if we purchased the pieces and altered them to fit our customers. We could start small purchasing wholesale, and then later bring on designers.

Much like any fitness journey, Rebellia has evolved and will continue to grow and change, but a few things we stand for never will: The vision that women with athletic bodies deserve clothing that fits them. The idea that pretty and strong aren't mutually exclusive. The unconditional support of other women, self-love, & giving back.

Viva la Rebellia,

Chrystal Rose