Behind the Scenes of GranlundDancewear with Abby Granlund
“I am so happy to be in my fifth season at TWB and enjoying this odd time in the world by continuing to explore other hobbies –one of which is GranlundDancewear (GD). I think it’s only fair that I introduce my beautiful and talented mother, Laurie Granlund, the woman who makes this dream of ours possible. Four years ago, we decided to start our own dancewear company. Today we are going to share a little bit about our progress with you.” -Abby Granlund
Q&A WITH LAURIE GRANLUND
What is your job title at GD?
I’m the CEO, Purchasing Rep, Seamstress, Secretary, Mail Person, and Janitor.
Why did you start GranlundDancewear and what makes your product special?
GranlundDancewear started itself. I always helped with costumes when my daughters were training. With three dancing daughters’ expenses, I started making their character skirts to help with expenses. Others began asking me to make some they could purchase. A lot of time and detail go into each project because I’m kind of a perfectionist.
How have your products evolved or changed throughout the years with gaining more experience?
GranlundDancewear started with one horrible serger at the kitchen table with fabric morphing into every room. When we were having to remove bolts of fabric from the bed each night, we decided to enclose our back porch. We were given the windows, and my husband, the architect, built the room. I couldn’t be more pleased. Now that we have better machines and more room we are expanding our line to include men’s tights and ladies’ leotards. We might have to take over another room!
Is GD your full-time job and do you have any help?
I am a professional singer by trade and have been teaching private voice lessons for 35 years. I sew and teach.
How long does it take to make one item?
Skirts take about 40 minutes to make. Whereas the leotards can take me an entire day.
Q&A WITH ABBY
What is your job at GranlundDancewear?
I take care of all the social media marketing, website management, and photoshoots. I am also a Sales Assistant, Model, Advisor, and Designer.
What are you looking forward to doing with GD in the future?
My hope for GD is to continue to grow and share our business around the world. Since we started four years ago, we have partnered up with a couple of charities. With each purchase of the “Mercy” skirt 10% of the proceeds goes to Team Mercy: a 501c3 non-profit foundation providing connections to resources for families facing the death of a child. With a purchase of the “Hope” skirt, 10% of proceeds are appropriated for Rexanna’s Foundation benefiting cancer patients and their families.
What have you learned from starting a small business with your mom at 18 years old?
One of the biggest things I’ve learned is the importance of online marketing and management.
As someone who entered the workforce at 16, I am learning the business of marketing without a formal business education. I had to do a lot of research and watch countless amounts of YouTube videos.
What is the newest thing happening at GD?
There are a couple of exciting things happening right now. We just introduced our first line of leotards and men’s tights and are hoping to partner with a production house in the U.S. that can make them “ready to wear” soon.
Our most recent offering to the public is our Fundraiser: the “STAYIN/TURNOUT“ t-shirts. These shirts were designed and drawn by my twin sister, Breanne Granlund Frisan, who is also a professional ballerina with American Ballet Theater. Our heart’s desire behind the shirt is to enable dance schools and companies to sell the shirts and earn desperately needed funds to keep them afloat. The inspiration for the design came from the many online classes that in some areas around the world dancers are still taking.
You may purchase the t-shirts directly from our website. If you choose to use it as a fundraiser for your ballet school/company please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase in bulk at a 40% discount.
We want to thank everyone who has supported our little business throughout these years and especially during this unfortunate time with COVID-19. Without you, GranlundDancewear would not be. Thank you so much and feel free to check out our website and social media platforms.