"I’ll go for it, and I did, and It Looks Fit was born."
A Leeds mother launched a luxury activewear business from home during lockdown.
Nina Kohli gave birth to her second child in June 2020 and was stuck at home because of the lockdown. Despite feeling “slobbish”, she found herself “living in activewear”.
In a bid to give herself a boost, Nina decided to buy new activewear.
However, she struggled to find quality, stylish activewear online.
Nina eventually found some brands but she realised that most people do not have the spare time to search extensively for quality garments.
So, she decided to set up her own business, It Looks Fit.
Nina said: “I had two young children at home, and I was working from home and living in activewear.
“I would always hope to find 15 minutes to myself to workout but it didn’t happen. I felt like a bit of a slob.
“I felt slobbish and was trying to squeeze into old activewear – and because I had just had a baby, I needed something good quality that I felt good in.
“So, I started looking on the internet, but I was looking for hours and hours, and I eventually found some amazing brands.
“But I thought, ‘Who has this amount of time to scour the internet for a pair of leggings?’
“And the brands I did find were from all over the world so had duty tax added.
“Then this lightbulb moment suddenly hit me and I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have luxury activewear in one place?’
“I’ve always loved fashion, so I thought, I’ll go for it, and I did, and It Looks Fit was born.
“It’s a website where you can find luxury activewear brands all in one place.”
Before going on maternity leave, Nina worked as an auditor. But fashion was her passion.
She told Leeds Live: “I’ve always loved clothes and shoes, and I remember I watched the nineties film Clueless and loved it – that’s what made me decide I wanted to work in fashion.”
Nina studied fashion at university and when she graduated, she started selling designs from her final collection.
Nina said: “I remember the clothes I made were a carnival theme.
“I sold some of my clothes and the Cheeky Girls even bought a couple of my outfits.
“I thought it was the best thing ever.”
Nina then started selling clothes that she had designed to boutiques and one-off buyers.
Her business knowledge expanded when she went to work for her father’s care home business.
“Working with my dad really taught me how to run a business.
“I learnt all about the financial side of things and how to make a business grow.”
This led Nina to a career as an auditor but her passion for fashion still remained.
“I’ve always had an endless amount of clothes, I’m a bit of a hoarder.
“And up until I had kids, and they take over, I would get fabrics and make clothes myself.
“I also love mix and matching clothes and styling clothes and putting different outfits together.”
So, during the lockdown, she seized the opportunity to set up her own business.
“I just thought, ‘Wow, wouldn’t it be great to achieve this,’ and I started approaching brands to work with.
“At first I kept getting, ‘No, no, no,’ and it wasn’t as easy as I thought.
“But my husband and my dad are both so supportive they encouraged me to keep going and keep on trying.
“I’d talked about having my own fashion business since I’d watched Clueless as a teenager and they encouraged me to follow my dream.”
She has since secured three brands to feature their clothes on her website.
Nina’s fashion brand is also loved by celebrities such as Eva Longoria and Jennifer Lopez.
“Not only is the website a one stop shop for luxury athleisure wear, but I also use my fashion degree and expertise on how to style the activewear.
“I show people how they can wear it day to day or even for a night out.
“I want to help people look great and feel confident while training or relaxing.”
Nina now plans to add more brands to the website in time for Autumn and has plans to expand even further in the future.
“At the moment we’ve got lots for the 18-30 market.
“But I’m expanding so that we’ll offer something for everyone.
“I wanted to do it step-by-step to make sure I got everything right. But we will be expanding, watch this space.”