Body Wrappers is a dancewear and dance shoe manufacturer offering an array of dance products for women, girls, men and boys. Based in New York, Body Wrappers has been outfitting dancers in leotards, tights and tutus for ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop, team, gymnastics, ballroom and liturgical dance for more than 30 years. We had a chance to catch up with Marketing & Public Relations Director, Trudy Christ to learn about the dance business and hear how Body Wrappers has been using Hightail to run a successful business.
“We’ve been using Hightail to send large files for more than five years, and we love it. It’s truly a godsend for us.”
What they do:
Dancewear and dance shoe manufacturer for ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop, team, gymnastics, ballroom and liturgical dance.
No. of employees: 125
Alissa Dos Santos: Are you a dancer? Do you have a lot of dancers on staff?
Trudy Christ: I’ve been in the dance world for more than 15 years, though I never danced. My degree was in theater, and I performed, sang and modeled before landing this job. We have several dancers on staff working on design and merchandising, as well as dancer consultants. We even have an in-house choreographer who directs the dancers and models in photo shoots and videos!
AD: Where did the idea for Body Wrappers come from?
TC: Our founder and president, Marie West, started Body Wrappers back in 1980 from her apartment in Queens. Marie studied fashion and had always wanted to be a designer. Her first design was a one-piece, one-size-fits-all leisure wrap called “Le Wrap” – that’s where she got the name, Body Wrappers.
AD: I see that your company is affiliated with several dance schools. How does that work?
TC: We sponsor the NYC Dance Alliance, Boston Ballet School and the Rochester City Ballet Draper School, among others. For example, in Rochester, students are required to wear our tights and shoes. We just finished designing a shoe especially made for students at the Boston Ballet. It’s a small world in dance, and it’s great to work so closely with students. Their feedback helps us continuously improve our products.
AD: Do any famous dancers wear Body Wrappers?
TC: Too many to mention! We get to work with so many talented dancers. Robert Fairchild of the NYC Ballet wears our totalSTRETCH™ Canvas Ballet slippers exclusively. He and the other male dancers at NYC Ballet helped us develop and now wear our men’s dance belt. Billy Bell helped us develop a contemporary/jazz shoe that we named after him. This summer Tiler Peck of the NYC Ballet has a collection coming out called Tiler Peck Designs.
AD: How do use Hightail to help your business?
TC: In 2009, I was looking for a faster way to get our product catalog to our customers. Everyone told me it couldn’t be done because the document was so large—more than 200 pages. Until that point, I had been physically wrapping these CDs in little cardboard envelopes, labeling them by hand, and sending them out in the mail—it took forever and it was expensive. When a friend told me about YouSendIt (at the time), I immediately saw how we could save money and time using it. We’ve been using Hightail to send large files for more than five years, and we love it. It’s truly a godsend for us. We still send the paper catalog, but our customers need the digital version, too. I love telling people we were one of the first and now oldest Hightail customers.
AD: We love to hear that! Two final questions: What are the latest trends in dancewear and what’s your best-selling item?
TC: There are trends that come and go, but the basics never change. For leotards for example, strappy backs used to be popular, but now dancers are into mesh backs. Jazz dancers used to wear pants, but now they wear hot shorts. And as far as our most popular product– that’s a tough one, but I would say it’s our totalSTRETCH® tights.
AD: Thank you, Trudy! Dance on.