By now, maternity retailers have figured out that being pregnant
in the 21st century is about both comfort and style. Big names like
Old Navy and Gap have entered the growing maternity market, and all
the industry is abuzz over Target and its agreement with Liz Lange
Maternity to sell very affordable and fashionable maternity pieces.
"Value is really important to everybody these days," says
Peg Moline, editor in chief of Fit
Pregnancy. While she predicts activewear to continue to be
a hot maternity area for 2003, Moline also notes that maternity
fashions will move toward a more dressed-up look--especially since
about 75 percent of moms work during their pregnancies.
Dressing up moms is what enéa maternity founder Lea Disney, 32, has
done with her San Diego company, founded in 1999. Disney, who did
two and a half years of research before launching her start-up,
sets herself apart from the competition by playing with different
fabrics, bright colors and a cleaner line. "My styles
emphasize the sexy curves on a pregnant woman," she says.
Disney also promotes the value angle--her prices range from $42 to
Disney, who currently sells via her Web site and in boutiques
nationwide and in Puerto Rico, plans to take her line to her native
Greece as well, thus growing her sales that are already into the
--Nichole L. Torres
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This article was originally published in the January 2003 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: 4th Annual Million-Dollar Ideas.
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