Alumnus Katie Hanson Milroy, turned her passion for physical activity, the human body and empowering women into a successful business venture. With a Bachelor of Physical Education degree and a concentration in Sports Management, her degree and her time at university has lent itself to many previous job roles from working Pharmaceutical sales, to helping organize the Torch Relay and bobsled simulator for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.
Of her many jobs, however, none have allowed her to better connect with her passion for health and wellbeing more than her current role as the co-owner of an active wear company, True Activewear. Her company provides athletic apparel to women of all fitness levels and styles to inspire confidence in women of all ages and can be found in fitness boutiques and clothing stores all across Canada.
Throughout university, Katie studied the art and science of human movement with a focus on the business side of how sport organizations are run. Her knowledge of athletic performance and the science of physical movement allowed her to create active wear that was inclusive of a variety of body types and caters to many different forms of physical activity. “Studying in the faculty really catapulted my passion for my company. It improved my knowledge about athletic wear; I know what athletes want and I know what works.”
Inspiring confidence, promoting physical activity while being comfortable in what you are wearing, are not the only goals of True Activewear; it has been a long time priority for Katie to be involved in the community and give back. True Activewear supports several charities including Women Win-a global leader in empowering girls through sport, building leadership skills and developing self-esteem.
Sport was always a positive influence in Katie’s life, giving her confidence and building friendships that last a lifetime. She hopes to pass on that positive influence to others by helping young women everywhere have that same opportunity. “Sport and activity gave me so much, especially at a young age. That is something I really want girls everywhere to be able to experience.”
Co-Owners Jessica Clarke and Katie Hanson Milroy.
Katie teamed up with long-time friend and fellow Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation alumni, Jessica Clarke and together they created True Activewear. The two were involved in organized sports together growing up and their time together while in the faculty furthered their friendship and both cultivated a passion for creating and designing quality athletic wear that are fun and functional.
Katie describes the ability to develop relationships as one of the greatest benefits to being a part of the Faculty. “There were lots of engaging social activities, from Rookie Camp at Pigeon Lake; jumping into the cold water together, to the ski trips they organized, it was really easy to make connections with everyone from the students to the professors.” For Katie, these very connections were instrumental in helping to grow her business. “The relationships I built during my time at the University of Alberta have really remained. These relationships have provided me with ideas and a ton of support in going forward with my business.”
What’s next for True Activewear? Katie’s goal is to expand not only within Canada, but globally. She hopes that True Activewear will continue to grow so that she can continue to give back and support girls in sport. “Our focus is to make supporting women and girls in sport a big part of who we are as a company.” Though her time in the faculty ended back in 2005, Katie feels as though she has never left. “I always continue to check in and reach out to my mentors whenever I’m looking for guidance. The faculty really becomes a life-long family.”