WESTWOOD, N.J. — Caregivers and community members battling illnesses are earning their stripes in the form of haute yoga apparel produced in Westwood.
K-DEER's striped pants serve as conversation pieces to help raise awareness of topics that owner Kristine Deer feels deserve more attention. She names the stripes after a female she knows and donates a portion of the proceeds to a related cause.
"Hearing a name helps to create a connection," Deer told Daily Voice.
"Once someone hears their name you have their attention, and then you can share something with them."
The former design student took her first hot yoga class when the New York City-based company she was working for closed during the 2010 recession.
She took to the horde of bathing suit fabric her sister — a print designer — kept in the attic to replace her shabby soccer shorts.
"This is supposed to get wet," Deer thought, as she mocked up dozens of shorts for herself, friends and yoga instructors.
She sewed 800 pairs in her childhood bedroom in her first year, and later designed "Jody." The grey ombre stripes were named after her yoga instructor who had a non-cancerous brain tumor.
There would be many more stripes like these, including Deer's recent Susanne Stripe . The red, white and blue leggings are dedicated to Lieutenant Colonel Susanne M. Hiscock of the United States Air Force, and honors the active service members, veterans and the military personnel.
K-DEER donated 5 percent of proceeds from the Susanne Stripe to T.A.P.S, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.
Among her most popular designs are the neon green, pink and yellow striped leggings after 7-year-old Josephine Rispoli of Saddle River, who died from a brain tumor.
"It's something that I believe in," Deer said.
"It's kind of on that yoga level where you have to give some sort of service. I can't give my time because I work, but if I can give some profit from selling yoga clothes, then I can make an impact."
"Little by little, we want to make our impact."