Karen D. Fultz is the designer and founder of ObservaMé®, LLC which manufactures and sells athletic apparel from its facility located in Tampa, Florida (the company is registered as a Women Business Enterprise (WBE) by the Women Business Enterprise National Council and with the United States Department of Commerce Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) Made in USA).
ObservaMé® has designed and submitted for patent registration, a dry-fit active apparel line with a wrist opening for performance devices and watches. After a year of research and development, in 2016, Karen D. Fultz-Robinson, who was born and raised on the west side of Detroit, Michigan, launched ObservaMé®, a one of a kind line of athletic and athleisure professional apparel. Although located in Tampa, Florida, the company serves consumers nationally and internationally through an e-commerce distribution system.
Fultz-Robinson, an attorney and former Thomas M. Cooley law school assistant dean now fashion designer, earned her bachelor’s degree in International Relations at Michigan State University and juris doctor from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. As a marathon runner, Fultz-Robinson knows that training happens under many weather conditions (especially fall and winter temperatures) and access to fitness tracking devices should not be a distraction.
The ObservaMé® design concept was born during a 15-mile run. Fultz-Robinson developed sketches and assembled a team to help her put together the mock-ups and final patterns. Today, through Fultz-Robinson’s innovation and leadership, the product line has grown to include the signature shirts along with vests and performance pants and a variety of accessories.
The ObservaMé® apparel line for men includes half-zip and crewneck shirts, hoodies, vests, full-zip jackets with hoods and performance pants. Women’s athletic/athleisure wear includes half-zip and V-neck shirts, full-zip jackets with hoods (with a collar and/or high/low option), vests, hoodies, and long and capris style pants. The designs include high quality sustainable fabrics which include dry wick properties to prevent chaffing but maintain the soft and supple feel expected by high energy exertion performers. ObservaMé®’s brand name was also chosen by Fultz-Robinson to explain the company’s purpose for its customers. ObservaMé® means “watch me” in Spanish. Through social media, print, trade shows, and television marketing, ObservaMé® reaches its targeted audiences. ObservaMé® has successfully implemented several initiatives to push its products to the mainstream consumer markets through its publication in British Vogue, Michigan Chronicle, Atlanta Voice, Women’s Running Magazine, Hustle Mama Magazine, Tatler Magazine and multiple television appearances.
The company has also partnered with a social media influencer to advertise its brand and products. To match its international marketing, ObservaMé® refuses to be limited by local brick and mortar. The company’s reach to the buying public has been achieved by on-line marketing and sales.
All apparel is available for purchase at www.observame.net, www.wolfandbadger.com, and during various athletic events nationally.
ObservaMé® previously appeared at the Boston Marathon Expo, Detroit Marathon Expo, Hot Chocolate Run in Atlanta Georgia, and the Gasparilla Distance Classic in Tampa, Florida, to name a few. Fultz-Robinson’s mission to brand ObservaMé® as a household clothing companion has been pursued with confidence, aggression and consistency which has yielded positive results. Additionally, to support the goal of giving back to the world and contributing to healthy lifestyle changes, Fultz-Robinson developed the FMF Foundation, Inc. in honor of her mother to support efforts to properly treat and care for those who suffer from mental illness and disease.
ObservaMé® donates a percentage of its net proceeds to the FMF Foundation. ObservaMé®’s commitment to the mental health community runs alongside its company’s motto that the apparel help promote healthy living for the mind, body and soul.
Karen says, I am most proud of my design of our patent watch opening design. There was nothing in the apparel ecosystem to serve the need to monitor your active living performance without interruption until ObservaMé®. I am proud of my courage and sacrifice to develop a business from the ground up and stand in a class of an extremely few (black female designer AND manufacturer of my own clothing designs) to drive it to the mainstream marketplace around the world.