Expecting mom expands smash-hit Jiu Jitsu line with maternity spats

Collaborator: Brittany Harlow
Published: 07/13/2021, 3:54 PM
Edited: 07/13/2021, 6:04 PM

(TULSA, Okla.) Kendall Vernon started training Jiu Jitsu five and a half years ago, while working on her master’s degree. 

“My dad had trained judo and Jiu Jitsu for nearly his whole life and was always in incredible shape, so I decided to give the sport a shot,” Vernon said. “I was looking for a social sport to do to make friends and get exercise.” 

After coming across Primate Jiu Jitsu on the internet, Vernon says, she immediately fell in love with the sport. 

But that wasn’t all. 

“Dad warned me as soon as I started training not to fall for the first stud I rolled with,” Vernon said.

Vernon and Primate Jiu Jitsu academy owner Professor Matthew Vernon were married seven months later. 

She became an active competitor and assistant coach, then an assistant coach to all levels. After investing countless hours and thousands of dollars into Primate, Vernon was officially instated as 50 percent company owner last year. 

During her training, she came across a problem. 

“There were no quality grappling clothes available for female Jiu Jitsu players,” Vernon said. “Even the ‘best’ brands were all using the same flimsy, see-through fabrics accompanied by waistbands that wouldn't stay put during training. No one had ever put any consideration into the function or design of women's grappling clothes.” 

Vernon wanted something more fitted and far more functional for women.

“Since it didn't exist, I made it myself,” Vernon said. 

And Gaidama was born. 

Leaning on her sewing experience from childhood and Cosplay hobby as a young adult, Vernon launched in June 2020 with one style of one product: Avant Garde Spats. She grossed $3,000 that first month. By the end of the summer, she was sold out. 

Vernon added six more products and styles to the line by the end of that year. After discovering her family was adding another addition to their own line, she realized a different kind of need. 

“The hardest part of the maternity spats was collecting and integrating feedback, since I wasn't pregnant enough to test them myself during most of their design phase,” Vernon said. 

She borrowed their design for the original spats (compression pants) and spent months prototyping the belly panel and how it would attach. 

Gaidama’s maternity line launched in Spring 2021. 

Vernon told VNN they have shipped their products to 13 countries and every U.S. state except Alaska. 

“At the 2021 IBJJF Pan NoGi Championships (one of the most prestigious grappling tournaments in the world), there was one bracket of women in which every single woman was wearing Gaidama, and Gaidama showed up on just about every single female podium picture,” Vernon said. 

“It has completely saturated the women's grappling community and I have every expectation that as we design and develop new and innovative products which continue to solve the everyday grievances of female grapplers, Gaidama will only continue to grow."

Find the full Gaidama line at https://gaidama.com


Ann Marie Worthley
07/15/2021, 5:10 PM

Great story!