December 15, 2018

Why I’m passionate about plus size women’s health, comfort, beauty — CEO, GF Fitness

Why I’m passionate about plus size women’s health, comfort, beauty — CEO, GF Fitness


Riding on the crest of her participation at the recent African Plus Size Fashion Week, Nigerian fashion enthusiast, entrepreneur and CEO of GFfitness clothing line, Martina Ijonah, sure knows her salt as a woman of class and style.

In a chat with Potpourri, the fashion addict who has been a passionate fashion enthusiast since her college days, recounted how she dabbled into the fashion business many years ago, how far she has come, and what the GFfitness brand is all about.

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“Still riding on the wave of being the first fitness line to walk the run way at the just concluded African Plus Size Fashion Week, it’s in line to think back on how it all began and be grateful for how far the brand has come. From inception, the Gffitness brand was designed with the African woman in mind. It was designed to understand the African woman’s fitness journey and lifestyle, to understand our curves and our “shakara” “credibility”, she said.

She explained that the brand’s major vision is to ensure that plus size women feel comfortable in whatever they wear while they go about their daily activities as housewives, mothers, business executives, etc.

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“Our vision is to ensure all women own their journey, feel confident and sexy every step of the way until they reach their ideal weight, we celebrate curves and stretchmarks and all the weight loss badge of honor. Again, our line understands shakara in the true sense of the word, so we have ditched the boring yoga pants that do nothing to your body and replaced them with yummy, bright colored leggings”, she said.

She added; “Our brand understands muffin tops and extra layers (blame it on the small chops). Hence our brand shows only what flatters you. We understand those stares from the skinniest girl at the gym when you, our African girl, is getting her gym fix on. That’s why we have designed our jiggle free tops and stand out leggings to fit your style and get your motivation on. Other products from our design table include the GF fitness Hydrun, jump ropes, sports bra and soon to launch swim wear.”

Speaking on how far the brand has come in spite of the stiff competition in the fashion business, she explained how the brand has been able to rise above the challenges associated with the fashion business.

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“It was when we began that we figured the amount of competition we had and the amount of people shadowing our every move. One thing that has kept us and has positioned us as the brand of choice is staying true to our vision, listening to the pulse of the market and our ideal clients, understanding their wants, desires and struggles, catering to a forgotten but huge potential market and also identifying strategic partners along the way, but in the area of funding and building together a strong board of advisers and directors. We have also positioned ourselves in the upper echelon of the market. We are not nearly where we want to be, but we are ticking the boxes consistently and persistently”, she said.

She concluded with an insight on why she is passionate about the fashion related challenges plus size women have to grapple with.

“Our brand understands mums and their peculiarities; being a mum of three toddlers under 8-years, I can totally relate to school runs, early morning routines, chores and before you know school runs again. I can understand juggling all and not having a life”, she said.