Sportswear for women and girls with the TILLY trademark has been manufactured since 2011 by the family – owned enterprise SIA “Tilly“, which is owned by Baiba Laizāne and Andris Antonovs.
Baiba used to work as a shop manager at “Taste Latvia“, which offered goods by Latvian designers. “I saw how beautifully things can be made and how creative people can be. I enjoyed working at the store, but it was not my real calling in life, and I began thinking about what else I could do,” remembers Baiba.
She wanted to work in the field of clothing design, although she had no clear vision, until her spouse put everything in order. “Andris was an active tennis player. One day he called and said: listen, why not tennis clothing? I was challenged by this idea. Usually sportswear is very expensive and boring. We wanted to make tennis clothing for girls more colourful and attractive. In the beginning we focused more on clothing for children – I thought that tennis dresses with ruches and ruffles would not be interesting to grown-up women, but grown-up girls also liked them very much. Presently, our clients are between 4 to 60 years old!” says Baiba.
In about two months’ time the first preparation works were completed in order to start with the creation of the first models. Baiba left work at the store and devoted herself fully to the new project.
To be able to purchase materials and launch manufacturing, the company SIA “Tilly” was established in March 2011.
Baiba took her first TILLY collection to one of the tennis tournaments – prepared a small sales stand and hung the clothes out. It was an unexpected surprise that the entire collection was sold out in no time at all and consumers expressed their interest in buying more.
Currently, TILLY not only offers clothing for tennis, but also volleyball, running and leisure time activities. Upon the client’s request, sports uniforms and warm-up clothing are also manufactured for other types of sports.
Baiba regards quality as the advantage of TILLY – from the design and right choice of fabrics to the very last sewn seam and client service. A very essential factor is the price that should be available to the average customer. The price of TILLY goods is approximately half the price of internationally recognised brands.
It is interesting to note that the TILLY business project received first place in Latvia in the competition «Mammu bizness» (Mums’ business) organised by the popular magazine for mums “Mans Mazais” (My Little One). TILLY was created at a time when Baiba expected her son, and that made all of the business even more challenging!