Mana Whole Athlete Blog

Q&A with Mana Threads Owner Amelia

Posted by

Tell me about the moment you knew you wanted to start this company. 

It actually happened a while ago... I have to tell you who I am first for you to understand why I am doing this today. Back in Brazil I was family of four kids, and when there’s too many kids, you’re on your own. Nobody is holding your hand, you learn that by figuring things out yourself. I wanted to do things that not everyone else was doing but that cost money. If I wanted to raise money in Brazil I was picking up cow poop to sell to the neighbor to use as fertilizer. So I did that!

Eventually I had to decide, "what am I going to go for?" I landed on computer science because it was a booming technology, but still green and black screens at that time. But as soon as I got a job I realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do. My boss and I were bumping heads because that is who I am. If I disagree with something I say it. One day she came up to me and yelled, “YOU ARE UNMANAGEABLE!” And you know what? I thought ‘she is right. I am unmanageable. I am going to have to manage my own thing.”

I tried a few things; I love animals so I thought I might buy a pet shop. But I also really wanted to travel. Should I go see the world? See snow? YES I should, so I packed my stuff and moved to the US.

If you look at my past, you’ll see I had to figure it out on my own, which is what starting a business is. You have to figure it out on your own.

I’ve just been connecting dots until now. Traveling, computer science, business school, having my boss yelling at me, picking up poop… It all came together to run my own business.

But why a clothing company?

Clothing is a way for me to connect everything. Colors, the outdoors, women, it’s everything I want to be involved in. I wanted to make a product that combines all of that, with what is missing out there. But it’s not just the clothing. I hope Mana Threads opens doors to more ideas: women supporting women, helping refugees, the planet. Anywhere I can tap into doing good for the long run, I am pretty much going to get involved. Not every opportunity is a good opportunity unless it aligns with what you believe. I think we’re doing good but we can do even better.

What is one thing you regularly do as business owner that we probably wouldn’t guess is part of the job?

I take photos of all the clothing myself, down in my basement. I take selfies for the website! You have to! Web design, customer service, emails, designing the clothes- you name it I do it.

What’s one thing you struggle with?

You know how some people can’t see blood? I can’t answer the phone. I can’t do it! I used to hand the phone to my husband and say “what’s this?” Then he tells me and I say “have them send me an email” When I had a store, I was terrified of someone calling! Now, our events lady Milissa does the phone calls.

What’s your favorite MT piece of clothing you’ve ever designed?

As simple as it is, it’s the Hana Hou, ‘cause I see how happy ladies are when they put it on. It checks so many boxes: good fit, not too tight to your tummy, great neckline. It's simple now but it went through a ton of changes. I was saying to the seamstress “you gotta go shorter there, looser here.” I love the reaction of people when they put that one on.

Your schedule must be crazy between designing clothing, updating the web, outreach, customer service, the list clearly goes on and on... What is a typical “day in the life” for you?

Morning: I’m answering emails, getting back to customers, packing for shipments, hand wrapping and writing notes to customers. Then I make a drop off at the postoffice, check in with Milissa on events, eat, workout, try to get an hour on the phone with my sister in Brazil, look at upcoming media posts, pack for upcoming events, drop off bins with reps, check on inventory and products, write new descriptions, do post trunk show reordering. Oh, that takes my whole day!

What do you do to stay sane through all of this?

Go outside. I need to see sunsets, it makes my day end on a good note. There is a huge missing part of my day if i didn’t see it. I’ll be really pissed if I missed a good one. If I have to drive as fast as I can to see it, I’ll do that.

I also have to move my body. It’s a must, otherwise I just go crazy. If I have the choice between the leaf blower or the rake, I’ll take the rake.

View Comments

Lessons in Adventure

"The word adventure has gotten overused. For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts." -Yvon Chouinard My last enduro race of the summer was truly an adventure. My boyfriend and I showed up in Big Sky, Montana late at night Friday and were ready to pre-ride the course early the next morning. What we had heard [...]

Read More »

Keeping the Streak Alive

Ever since she was twelve years old, running has been a critical habit for our ambassador Bethany. Twenty years of running both on teams and simply for her love of the activity has made her intimately aware of how her body responds to the demands of her passion-- and it has shaped the lifestyle she [...]

Read More »

Ambassador Spotlight: Amanda Mahony

By the number of stamps in her passport and the variety of jobs she’s held over the last few years, you’d wonder what exactly Mana Threads ambassador Amanda Mahony does for a living. A long-time yogi and public health volunteer with degrees in public relations and marketing, I was dying to know just how Amanda [...]

Read More »

Q&A with Bikram Yoga Instructor Alex Sturges

In October of 2016 Mana Threads Ambassador and Queen City Bikram Yoga Instructor Alex Sturges completed her 500 hour certification, and in August she'll be representing Vermont at the 2017 National Yoga Asana Championships, in Grand Rapids, MI. Here, Alex tells me about what life is really like for a hot yoga junkie and her path to become [...]

Read More »

Fueling through 26.2: Q&A with Marathoner Linsey Pimentel

When Linsey Pimentel crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon on Monday she had a huge smile on her face- not because she'd run her fastest Boston, but because she felt amazing the entire day. A veteran marathoner, she swears it was the result of proper training and nutrition leading up to race day. Linsey's [...]

Read More »

Three videos I can't stop thinking about...

Over the last few weeks it seems like my feed is a steady stream of videos and images that celebrate the strength and persistence of women in the outdoors. Women who are pushing their bodies to the limits, defying cultural and social norms with every step, kick and turn. I can't shake the narration and [...]

Read More »


When was the last time you entered into something without first doubting yourself? I'm not talking about the crippling kind of fear that keeps you locked in the comfort of your own living room (though that certainly is prevalent amongst many of us women as well). But rather the more subtle voices in your head that [...]

Read More »

Do it for the LOVE

As athletes we have a certain love affair with sport. We pour our energy, our time, our money, and our emotions into athletic pursuits. We commit ourselves to training, often enduring through failures and disappointment for moments of intense pleasure. But we always-- ALWAYS come back for more. Here’s what a few women we admire have [...]

Read More »

Our January Mana Whole Athlete... Leigh Rooney!Leigh’s sister Kate nominated her because “Leigh seeks an active lifestyle on a daily basis for her own health and well being. She wakes up every morning to go out for a run so that she can be the best person she can be for her patients. Working on an oncology floor, Leigh has witnessed [...]

Read More »