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How Art of Athletics Activewear is Helping Women Achieve Their Dreams

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Owner of AOA

Art of Athletics Activewear is a brand focused on helping women enhance their health through comfortable, stylish activewear and accessories. Linda, the founder of AOA takes great pride in her brand and donates a percentage of all proceeds to Global Mamas—a nonprofit that transforms the lives of women in Africa by creating sustainable income opportunities which lead to financial independence. Read our interview with Linda and find out details on her Fall4Fitness campaign and how you can save on AOA fitness apparel and contribute to a great cause.

BFT: What was the inspiration behind creating Art of Athletics? What separates Art of Athletics from others?

AOA: My inspiration was to take what I believe in – which is the strength of a woman – and incorporate that into what was missing in my life, which was fitness and share it.

The designs incorporate important aesthetics of modern day fitness apparel. Not only are they are chic and fashion-forward, but they are breathable, have 4-way stretch, and are super comfy. Our bottoms are all reversible, so you get two for the price of one and our tops come with removable cups for added support and shape.

BFT: Paying it forward seems to be a major part of the AOA brand. Tell us a little about the contributions that you and the AOA brand make to non-profit organizations.

AOA: Our goal is to help encourage capable women who are in great places today, to give back to pay it forward. We choose non-profits that focus on women because we believe that women are the backbone of every family and we want to help bring awareness to their needs and become successful.

BFT: As a woman who promotes inner strength and courage, what advice do you have for the BFT community, women in particular, for overcoming obstacles such as self-doubt, low self-esteem or body image issues?

AOA: There is so much I would like to say but the one thing I have always believed and lived is that “what you think, you become.” I think that sums up our existence; the choices we make and how we impact our lives and others. Never ever let anything or anyone dictate who you are or what you can become. You are beautiful. You are powerful. You are amazing. Period.

BFT: When did fitness become a major part of your life? What is your favorite type of exercise?

AOA: I never knew what fitness and healthy eating was until I migrated to the US. My fitness quest began in 2000 when I realized that I needed an outlet in my life. I was working full-time and going to school at night and felt drained constantly, I needed a way to feel energized and alive and exercising did just that for me.

I enjoy running outdoors with no music; it de-clutters my brain and helps me think things through. I always feel very accomplished after each run.

BFT: For some, fitness is looking like a person on the cover of a magazine. For others, it might be just making smarter choices to achieve a healthier lifestyle. How do you define fitness for yourself?

AOA: Fitness to me is about being a healthier me and making healthy choices. It is always important that I outline my fitness goals and keep the focus but just as in life nothing is perfect, so sometimes I fall and I just need to pick myself back up and refocus.

AOA Breathe Again TankBFT: What is your personal favorite product from the AOA brand and why?

AOA: I love all the pieces because they have great meaning to me. My current favorite is the Breathe Again Tank for two wonderful reasons; first, I love the name I chose for the empire waist design because it allows you to relax your stomach muscles, not be conscious and just breathe again. Secondly, I am expecting my first child and this tank has been my go-to as the baby grows along with my stomach. It allows me to be comfortable and provide enough room for my growing belly without restriction and the length is perfect enough that I am not constantly tagging on the tank top to pull it down. Pair it with the Color Block Pant and you are all set to go.

BFT: How does it feel to own a brand that has helped women around the world gain economic independence?

AOA: It feels amazing. We are still in the initial stages of that journey, but it is refreshing to know that every woman we touch has a domino effect on the people around her and that is what encourages us to want to do more.

AOA pants

BFT: Tell us a little bit more about your Fall4Fitness campaign. what is it about and where can people find out more information?

AOA: Our Fall4Fitness campaign encourages women to not only lead a healthy lifestyle to fit into their summer bikini, but to continue with their fitness activities and healthy eating during the Fall and Winter months. With that in mind, we are offering a promotion to encourage women to get moving and to stock up on new gear to excite them to jump out there and continue or begin a fitness regimen they have been putting off. We’re offering 20% off every purchase when customers use code FALL4FITNESS at checkout.

BFT: What’s next for the AOA brand? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

AOA: The next step for the Art of Athletics brand is to introduce more styles into the mix to give our customers variety. In 5 years, we would like to expand our charitable partnerships, keeping the focus on women and family sustenance and look to become a household name in women’s active wear.

BFT: How can people keep in touch with you?

AOA: We would be thrilled to have you to keep in touch with us through our various social media outlets:

1. Like us on Facebook|www.Facebook.com/ArtofAthletics

2. Follow us on Twitter|@AOAactivewear

3. Visit our website www.AOAactivewear.com and signup for our newsletters

4. Follow us on Pinterest at www.Pinterest.com/AOAactivewear

Ilen & Lauren Bell are the husband and wife team behind Black Fitness Today, born, in 2011, out of their motivation to change culture, build a platform and lead the charge. Their purpose is to help change the culture towards health and fitness in the African-American community, showcase those who are making an impact, and promote healthier living. They also aim to serve as a platform for African-American fitness and health professionals and enthusiasts who are otherwise overlooked in traditional fitness media.

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Recap: 2018 Finding Ashley Stewart Event

Watch our recap of the 2018 Finding Ashley Stewart Finale Pink Carpet at the King’s Theater in Brooklyn, New York.

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Photo: Finding Ashley Stewart

The 2nd annual Finding Ashley Stewart Contest searched around the U.S. in search of a diva who personifies Ashley Stewart and everything she stands for: kindness, resilience, confidence, community and fashion! In the video below, Finding Ashley Stewart host and comedian Loni Love, 2018 Miss Ashley Stewart winner Tiffany Gosa-Flamer, journalist and author Soledad O’Brien, DJ Kid Capri, actress Andrea Rachel-Parker, Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Peter Thomas, Essence Editor-at-Large Mikki Taylor and Naughty by Nature all talk with BFT contributor Ryen Watkins about the importance of this competition and how Ashley Stewart is immersing themselves into the communities that support the brand.

Video: Ryen Watkins
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@ryenwatkins (IG)

Keep up with Black Fitness Today on social media!
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Podcast

Episode 5: The REAL Bow – Dr. Rainbow Barris

On ‘Black-ish’ Success, Marriage, Motherhood and Living Healthy Her Way!

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Rainbow Barris, Blackish, Kenya Barris, Rainbow Barris book, podcast

We had the great pleasure to chat with The REAL Bow – Dr. Rainbow Barris for episode 5! Click on the link in this article to listen! And, read on to see more info on your chance to enter to win a copy of her brand new book!

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In this episode, we get right into our interview with Dr. Rainbow Barris, who is the inspiration behind the character Rainbow Johnson on ABCs hit show ‘Black-ish’ and author of Keeping Up With the Johnson’s – Bow’s Guide to Black-ish Parenting. It’s hard enough to maintain a healthy lifestyle period – let alone as wife of director and writer Kenya Barris, being a medical doctor and raising six children! But Barris has found what works for her and wants to encourage other women balancing family and career to find what works uniquely for them! Plus, we talk about the show, Mr. & Mrs. Barris’ recent $1 million donation to Clark Atlanta University, and what life is like for her now. Don’t miss this!

Beginning Friday, June 29th – you’ll be able to enter to win a copy of Barris’ book! Stay tuned to our website, and Facebook and Instagram pages.

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Podcast

Episode 4: Leah Uko – Journalist on Fox 11 Los Angeles + Bodybuilder

Los Angeles area native Leah Uko is back home working as a nightside reporter, as seen on Fox 11 Los Angeles. But she’s also a bodybuilder preparing to step on stage again this fall. Learn more about her journey, why she loves to bear arms on camera, and why discipline and journaling keep her motivated and determined to reach her goals.

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leah uko, los angeles, fox 11

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