For this Thanksgiving day, we decided to move our Addicted Inspirations feature to a Sunday, because if there’s one thing we are thankful for at Addicted, it’s the amazing and inspirational people we are lucky to encounter every day. So for this week, we are inspired by Linda Maslechko, entrepeneur and founder of Triple Flip.
When life doesn’t give you options, you create them for yourself, and that’s exactly what Linda did. A mother of three daughters, Linda was frustrated with the a lack of stylish, affordable yet age-appropriate clothing options that catered to her then tween daughters’ active lifestyle. But instead of sitting back, Linda decided to found a new venture, Triple Flip. Linda and her team recognized the gap in the market for great, comfortable clothes for active tweens aged 6 – 14. The brand prides itself on being customer-focused, and helping girls look and feel good while building strength and self-confidence at a time in their lives when everything is changing. Since its inception in 2005, Triple Flip now Canada’s leading brand for tweens, growing from its original Calgary flagship store to multiple channels, including 13 retail stores across the country, operating more than 50 community event-based pop up stores annually and an ecommerce site.
Along with making a fantastic line of clothing for growing girls, Triple Flip is also dedicated to helping these girls develop the strength and confidence they need to navigate their ever changing lives. They’ve partnered with the Canadian Women’s Foundation to offer workshops that empower girls to think critically about gender stereotypes, challenge sexist media messages, identify their own personal strengths, and find their voice. The As We Are workshop offers girls, aged 8-13, the opportunity to consider the messages they receive, and then challenge the stereotypes imposed on them by the media and society by designing their own unique t-shirts with positive, empowering messages. Says Linda ““Empowering girls is central to our mission as a fashion and athletic brand. We started a movement ten years ago to inspire confidence through a healthy relationship with fashion and this workshop provides a hands-on opportunity for girls to express their voice. We are proud to partner with the Canadian Women’s Foundation and believe they are the ideal organization to help us in this effort.” Taking place on October 19th at the Triple Flip Yonge Street location, this event will surely be a great one to help girls become the women they are meant to.
Details for As We Are can be found below. Until then, read and be inspired by the amazing Linda!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always had wanted to be a teacher and was interested in creating fun and unique experiences, “experiential learning”, inspired by grandma, who always had the coolest crafts, games, and mindbenders for us when we visited her house.
How did you get involved with the work you currently do?
So many of the things I’ve done in my life have culminated in this, from studying Family and Consumer Studies, to being a Brownie leader working with girls this age to create unique experiences, to public speaking as a financial advisor, to being part of developing a unique gifted educational program with experiential learning opportunities, and sewing wacky costumes for dance and musical theatre. Being an entrepreneur and doing things I’d never done before was definitely part of my MO, along with making people happy and solving problems.
This was a problem I saw for this age group, when my three daughters were in their tween years. A brand needed to be created that represented a tween girl’s life, fraught with awkwardly changing bodies, and developing self-esteem and identity that was so fragile. Big brands didn’t seem to get it. They didn’t understand this customer, what a girl goes through, and what a parent goes through who is a conscious consumer and trying desperately to guide their daughter safely to be an empowered and confident adult, and how fashion and body image plays such a big part in that.
So when my 9 year old suggested we start our own brand, I totally agreed. We could fill this gap with a vision that had never been done before. I had a fierce passion to serve this age group, and their families, and I had a sounding board at home that wouldn’t hesitate to tell me what they really thought, and keep me honest about what I think I know about tweens.
What is your WHY?
I love to be able to make a difference. That may be in the one girl who finds that these are the only pants that fit her. The mom who emails that our clothing has changed their lives, because she has a daughter with a sensory issue. Or the 17 year old store team member who just intercepted a bullying moment in the change room, and realized that she has the power to impact lives in a meaningful way while working in a store, and can do more, be more, than just a clerk that punches the clock, all by making the choice to engage.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve had to face?
Growing a business that is as capital intensive as a vertical retail chain, has been the biggest challenge. We have always been constrained for working capital to be able to grow the brand and meet the demand.
On a smaller scale, we also don’t have the resources or economies that come with being a larger company, yet we are competing on a global stage with billion dollar corporations. Our customers have high demands and we have high expectations for ourselves, so we always try our best to do more with less to achieve our goals.
What are some of the successes (big or small) you’ve had?
Building an authentic brand with a social mission has been the biggest piece of the success we’ve had, because we believe that companies can do good things, and that doing good and being a profitable, sustainable business, are not mutually exclusive.
What piece of advice would you give to someone trying to do what you do, or trying to follow their own dreams?
Be resourceful, curious, and never stop learning. Find a way to bring value every day to the lives of those around you. Engage with others. Don’t just dance on the surface of your life.
How do you manage to do it all?
I’m not sure I ever do! There’s so much, but that’s what I love about it, is the constant amount of new experiences, challenges, and opportunities.
If you could pick one charitable organization to ask our readers to donate to or volunteer with, which would it be?
As We are Event details
Where: Triple Flip Store- 2599 Yonge Street, Uptown Yonge
When: Wednesday, October 19
Cost: $25/person includes a t-shirt and a portion will be donated to the Canadian Women’s Foundation
Registration: Advanced registration is required in-person or by calling the store at: (416) 481-3547