We had the good fortune of connecting with Alisa Otto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alisa, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I’ve been wanting to start my own business since 2006/7 when I was working as a fit specialist for a foundations company. I worked with women all day long that needed supportive foundation wear and they would tell me how many activities they wanted to participate in but weren’t able to because they didn’t have the right apparel. I really started noticing how sizes beyond a large/xlarge had limited options in most departments, but especially activewear.
I have been an avid hiker for as long as I can remember and after moving to Texas from the west coast, I became very aware that the clothing I hiked in had a huge difference in my outdoor experiences. I knew I wanted to create outdoor apparel specifically for women and finally got fed up enough in 2018 when I was pregnant with my son and struggled finding apparel to keep me comfortable on hikes. I went on a hiking trip to Palo Euro Canyon in October 2018 and decided after that hike that I was going to just go ahead and start this journey.
I was teaching full time as a fashion design instructor at a college and didn’t think I’d be able to do everything myself so I started searching for a sustainable manufacturer to work with. After being told that I knew too much about production, I decided to not renew my multi-year contract and open my own sustainable micro factory instead. I have taught dozens of students how to make patterns, sew, and I have worked in a factory setting before, so I had all the knowledge behind me, I was just lacking the confidence. But once I decided that I knew what to do, I haven’t looked back.
What should our readers know about your business?
Ottomatic Threads is a womens outdoor apparel company specializing in size inclusion; all our activewear styles are available in sizes XS-6X. We produce each piece in our micro-factory in North Texas using sustainable manufacturing processes.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I really love the Basecamp: Outdoor Jobs & More group on Facebook! They have been so incredibly supportive as I grow this brand and I have made a lot of invaluable connections with their members.
Facebook: Ottomatic Threads Community https://www.facebook.com/groups/265972162023534
Sean. Gilder Photography