May 20, 2022 6 min read
At first this felt like it came out of nowhere.
And then, as Kelsey says, it was a “Hell yes with my whole heart”.
What a way to live life, right?
Here at Albion, we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary this year. We’ve always been all about working with women who are positive, uplifting, supportive, smart, and go-getters. We love building these relationships…and sharing awesome products, obviously!
After hearing amazing things about Kelsey in 2015, we were so excited to reach out to her. Albion was actually one of the first three brands to start working with Kelsey! What can we say, we know an amazing woman when we see one. Kelsey’s first giveaway ever was with us! Kelsey remembers the start of this relationship as a “dream come true” to be working with someone creating things that she felt so confident and beautiful in.
That was just the start! We’ve been working with Kelsey for years now at different events, just falling in love with her and her community. We came up with a great idea to ask Kelsey to travel with us to work together and promote Albion. Dreamy, right?
But as amazing as it all sounded, Kelsey determined that it wasn’t quite the right time. Yet. Kelsey remembers just bawling when she realized that it wasn’t the right option. But she shared her feelings so kindly, we knew that our relationship with Kelsey was far from over.
In the next few months, Kelsey started with Sweat…which kept her from being able to publicly support brands as part of her fitness work. But she kept watching us at Albion, and we kept watching her. We loved watching her rock it! We reconnected through a mutual friend and had SUCH an easy reunion. We had a lot to congratulate each other on, with so many big changes for both of us.
You can cheer for your girls from anywhere. And you should!
Opening our new store in Austin this year, in our 10th year, we were ready to embrace all the excitement we’ve been feeling. We knew we needed someone amazing to join us! It had been a hot minute, but Kelsey answered us right away when we wanted to host a live event in Austin.
At that moment, Kelsey had been having a rough year. After an injury that required surgery and rehab, Kelsey had another huge blow when an opportunity that she had been majorly planning on didn’t just shut the door. “It got slammed in my face when I was halfway through it.” Trying to process that experience, feeling heavy and discouraged, just after finishing physical therapy (which is HARD), Kelsey got the text from Liz.
“It was this huge, beautiful, full-circle opportunity out of nowhere. I had just decided that I was going to trust that everything was going to be ok, and five minutes later…there was Liz’s text.”
It’s scary to send messages like that, to reach out and invite people to be part of things that are really important to you. But once we connected, we knew so fast that everything was going to be great. We planned the event, no problem, good to go. But then someone on the Albion team mentioned to Liz that she should ask Kelsey about doing a collaboration.
Liz’s response: “Um, that’s crazy. We haven’t done a collaboration in almost 10 years.”
We kind of felt like we were past collabs. But the idea was certainly interesting…so we brought it up with Kelsey. At first, it was a polite “no” from Kelsey. But we couldn’t stop thinking about it! We decided we wanted to put our fitness line back in the spotlight, and Kelsey was so clearly the perfect person to help with that. When we provided a little more info behind our thoughts, Kelsey was ready to get on board.
Kelsey came in to “meet” our existing athletic collection and started to get really excited. We knew we could build something really cool together, combining Kelsey’s style with the fit and function that we already built into all of our Albion pieces.
Kelsey literally tried on every single one of our swim tops and sports bras, shorts, everything. She immediately adored our skirts (“They’re not just for tennis!”) and Rise Bralette. One swim top Kelsey made some edits and turned it into a bra AND swim top. In one afternoon, we found things we loved, things we were going to level up, and things we were going to create together as brand new pieces. A very true collaboration!
While we were in this process, Kelsey sent Liz a mysterious text asking for songs that had inspired Albion over the years. The reason was beautiful: Kelsey was ready to paint! She freehanded our logos, with a beautiful butterfly, showing bold growth and vibrant celebration. True colors. So much love.
When Kelsey brought that piece into our office we knew we were heading toward something awesome, including a sweatshirt that features that beautiful piece of art. Initially, we planned for 3-5 pieces. An outfit and a jacket, somewhere along those lines. Kelsey wanted any bra that we made to double as a swim top (we’ve kind of got a thing for swimsuits), so there was going to be a lot of versatility even with a small number of pieces. And then…well…things expanded just a bit.
No complaints here!
Q: What is in the Kelsey Wells x Albion Collection?
A: Kelsey said “I want this collection to have all the clothes that I need to live.” We love it! We’ve got 14 pieces: three bras (also swim tops!), two swim bottoms, two athletic skirts, one spectacular legging, one sweatshirt, one hoodie with matching joggers, one tank, one wide-leg trouser, and one totally amazing jacket.
Q: Where are the clothes made?
A: The short answer is “Guatemala” but you guys, our factory is SO near and dear to us. It’s a family business that Liz grew up with. We’ve had so many highs and lows in our lives as we kept this factory going, long before Albion was born. Dave saw opportunity within HUGE challenges and we are so amazed at where we are today. We sew in Guatemala because that’s where our heart is. They are so talented, their craftsmanship is amazing, and they’re the best people in the whole world. Those people are the reason we were able to bring this collection to life!
Q: Is the pricing different for Kelsey Wells x Albion pieces?
A: Our collab pieces are priced the same way as all our other swim, leisure, and fitness apparel. We are super passionate about high quality fabrics, which is why we buy and make all of our fabric in the U.S. before sending it to our own factory in Guatemala to be sewn. Our clothes will last you for YEARS—we still own favorites that look like new!
Q: How is the sizing?
A: Athlesiure is so flexible! Kelsey says that she could wear multiple sizes in the line comfortably, it’s just about how you want it to fit. The sweatshirt, hoodie, and joggers are a more loose, oversized fit. For bras and bottoms, we recommend your regular size. Feel free to use the size charts or chat with our stylists to help you!
Q: Are the Kelsey Wells x Albion pieces in all stores?
A: City Creek will have them as long as they last! If inventory allows us to, we will add them to other stores.
Q: Are the bras good for high impact workouts?
A: We have three bras in this collection that we are completely in love with! Kelsey wears the Rise Bralette to work out, but recommends that if you have a larger chest you might prefer the Uplift Bra or the Inspire Bra. Both of those bras have a feminine cut, but they’re both super secure and functional. We designed them to workout in all the ways!
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