Vital Stats: Sarah Siegel-Magness, 30, founder of So Low
Company: Los Angeles-based maker of intimate and sportswear apparel
Sales: 2003 projected sales of $3.5 million to $5.5 million
Uprising: The daughter of Celestial Seasonings' founders, Siegel-Magness exhibited a knack for entrepreneurship early on, working by age 13 and operating a successful Celestial Seasonings kiosk in college. Envisioning low-rise underwear that wouldn't show in today's belly-baring, hip-hugging fashions, she asked her atelier to make a sample from her prototype.
Solo Mission: When Siegel-Magness took her creation to the California Market Center, a wholesale buyers' marketplace in Los Angeles, hoping to find representation, she brought one pair of underwear. "Getting picked up with one style was unheard of," she recalls. "My ignorance paid off, because I walked in there like I knew what I was doing." When her new rep asked her to come up with three more styles, she quickly followed with low-rise boxers and tank-top and G-string styles.
"I would always joke, 'I'll make 10,000 pairs, and if I just have to wear them myself, I will.'"
Mirror Image: Sporty, sexy and young is how Siegel-Magness describes the line that's evolved from underwear to a collection of low-rise sportswear spotted on celebs like Lucy Liu and Gwen Stefani. "It's what I saw missing from the marketplace and needed myself," she says.
Public Spectacle: Teen queen Hillary Duff donned a So Low skirt for The Lizzie McGuire Movie poster, displayed in high-traffic areas like Sunset Boulevard and Times Square. The distinctive striped skirt has increased interest in So Low, especially among the younger demographic. Siegel-Magness didn't angle for the placement, but she's not complaining: "Today, celebrities can really make lines."