We caught up with Truli Wetsuit creator and CEO Mia Toose at The Blue Wild Show and got to know her and her wetsuit line a little better.
DeeperBlue.com: Can you tell us a little about why you started the wetsuit line?
Mia Toose: The concept for Truli Wetsuits began when I started working as a Dive Instructor full-time in the Caribbean (2009). I all but lived in my wetsuit and was diving up to 4 times a day. I searched and searched for a wetsuit that could withstand the demands and conditions I was working in, but also that I felt good about being in all day. I wanted the style of a surf suit, but the quality of dive suit. It became obvious that there were so few quality wetsuits specifically for women and that I was not alone in my desire for something better. In 2013, I sat down and began sketching, business planning, and doing formal market research. The name “Truli” comes from the idea that my wetsuits are more True to the women who wear them – bold, charming, and adventurous women who are discerning in the quality of their water sports gear and apparel. A women’s wetsuit that is Truli theirs!
DB: What is your main goal with Truli? What inspires you?
MT: I like this question! My main goal with Truli is to create something that water women actually want and need. I believe that when you are wearing appropriate sports gear, you feel confident which results in better performance, better decisions, and MORE FUN! When I was in the prototype testing phase, I interviewed every woman who tried the Truli-Mi and one particular response stuck with me. A woman told me that she HATED putting on a wetsuit and always felt self-conscious when she was in one. She then told me that she felt amazing in the Truli prototype and because of that she was able to completely enjoy her underwater experience. Still, now, I consistently receive reviews similar to that, which continue to inspire me to create more high-quality watersports gear that allows women to be the best they can be and to enjoy their water sports to the fullest! Putting on a wetsuit should be something you love doing!
DB: Can you tell us a little about the products and their unique features?
MT: I basically put everything that I’d always wanted into the Truli-Mi signature design, which is the same as the Truli-Capri with a few modifications.
- A unique feature of Truli is the fleece lining. The neoprene itself is 3mm, but with the fleece lining, it works out to 3.5mm thickness. The fleece adds warmth even though your arms and legs are not covered and also feels AMAZING to put on. The fleece also makes it easy to put on as it just slides over dry skin or a skin/rashguard/other wetsuits.
- I put the zip in the front b/c the back zip is hard to do up yourself, the long string on back zips would float around and get in my way while diving. Also, you have control to open the wetsuit a little if you’re too hot, or easily wear it half off during a surface interval…Plus, front zips have a little sex appeal!
- I included a little V-neck to prevent the feeling of being strangled.
- I made sure there was NO VELCRO. I can’t tell you how much I hate velcro on a wetsuit. It scratches my skin, tears my hair, ruins my rashguard, bathing suits, and even parts of the wetsuit itself. No way to Velcro lol.
- I added Duraglide lamination to the front and back of the wetsuit (the shiny skin part). This is for those of us who get chilly on the surface interval when there’s a cool breeze. The Duraglide repels water and wind to keep your core warm when you’re out of the water too.
- All the stitching on Truli Wetsuits is Blindstitched. Most wetsuits use Flatlock stitching, which is cheaper to do, but in my experience and in the testing mode, Flatlock always chafes where the gear is and doesn’t last very long. Blind stitching is waterproof and super secure.
- Color-blocking and style. I hate that mainstream wetsuit companies simply add a little feminine color or graphic to their gear and call it a women’s wetsuit. Yes, I love being a woman and being feminine, but there are different ways to do this. I included particular color-blocking to accentuate the female form whether you are voluptuous or slim – Truli Wetsuits look good on all figures!
DB: What’s next?
MT: From a product perspective, I am designing the Truli-Top. Many women have requested more skin coverage and so I am creating a long-sleeve neoprene top that will be fleece-lined. It can be worn underneath any of the Truli-Mis or Truli-Capris for added warmth and skin protection and the style will match the styles of my current designs.
Other items I will be developing are a full 3mm and full 5mm as well as looking at plus sizes and a men’s line. Give your input HERE.
From a business side, i’m looking to expand distribution to the UK, Asia, and Australia as well as starting to hire Inside Sales Reps who can help me get the wetsuits to any woman who wants one!
We also love to give back. For example, collaborative projects with Sharks4Kids and the schools of the Turks & Caicos Islands to help young women gain access to the ocean. While wearing wetsuits, girls who are not confident swimmers will have added buoyancy as well as coverage for anyone who does not have a bathing suit. I hope that with education and appropriate gear young islanders will be inspired to pursue activities that will positively affect the ocean environment and their nation. I’ve long been inspired by the mission of The Mariposa Foundation in The Dominican Republic where I used to live.
“Girls are the most underserved, undervalued population on earth, yet they are the key to breaking the cycle of generational poverty for their families. There are few opportunities for girls outside of the home to gain life-long skills that will help them become independent and successful in their future. If a girl stays in school, remains happy and healthy and gains skills, she will marry later, have fewer, healthier children and earn an income that she will invest back into her family.”
Thanks to Mia for taking the time to share your story with us. Check out Truli Wetsuits at https://www.truliwetsuits.com/