Dreams do come true. Former Atlanta attorney Karen Fultz-Robinson is living proof that your passion can become a reality.
Robinson has always been into fashion, clothing design and how it makes you feel as a woman. And according to her, as a lawyer, the clothing people wear is pivotal in how serious others take them. Her legal career in Atlanta began in the mid-’90s. She was a legal partner who practiced commercial, business, subrogation, recovery litigation, as well as family law. In 2016, she started her clothing line ObservaMe, a brand that focuses on designs for sports, athleisure, and healthcare professionals.
The idea was born out of necessity while she and a friend were on a 15-mile run. Fultz-Robinson is also an athlete and wanted clothing for runners that had a hole in the sleeve to check their fitness tracker. There was nothing in the market like it. She found the courage to patten the idea and that is when the journey to start her design company began.
“I never thought taking my passion for clothing and creating my own company would become a reality,” Fultz-Robinson said. “It was exciting for me. You have to be specific in what you want. I narrowed my focus on what I wanted to achieve.”
Fultz-Robinson went from practicing law full time to running her design company full time. She still has her practice, but her focus now is her new company. It has been a full-time commitment that has paid off for her. Her designs are created 100 percent in-house, the designs, the manufacturing, and the distribution in her Tampa, Florida plant. She also has full control over each design, the fabric selection, and the consumer experience.
“When they open the box, (speaking of consumers), they are receiving a high-quality garment that they can use over and over,” Fultz-Robinson said. “I am a full-time designer now and have expanded my product line for men and women. The brand is popular among cancer patients, healthcare professionals, and athletes.”
When she first started her company, she would attend conventions and expos to market her brand. Since Covid-19 began she says everything is done virtually as far as marketing and selling. Designs include capris pants and leggings. There are also crew neck tops for men and V-neck tops for women. The name of her company Observame’ is a play on words that means “watch me” in Spanish. According to Fultz-Robinson, people are always looking at their watches or fitness trackers to look at their speed, metrics, and heart rate for example. Her favorite pieces in her collection are the capri pants, the hi-low jacket, and the half zip shirt.
“My designs are made with amazing fabric that pulls sweat from the body. You can wear it all day. There is a lot of versatility. My brand is perfect for any sport, fishing, boating, golfing,” said Fultz-Robinson. “When the designs were created, I had all of this in mind. This is not about running, but about healthy living and 10 percent of the funds go to the Fannie Mae Fultz Foundation in honor of my mother. Customers say the product feels amazing.”
Fultz-Robinson says her brand is competitive and unique because the garments are handmade in the United States and her product has what her competitors do not have, a product where you are not tugging on your sleeve to look at your watch.