From $20,000 in Debt To Building a Brand Loved by Fashion “It Girls”

Do you ever attend an exercise class in the middle of your workday? Maybe go to the grocery store? Head out with colleagues for lunch?

Lindsey Carter wanted her outfits to allow her to do just that. 

In 2018 she launched SET Active, a line of athleisure wear that can transition from workday to workout and everywhere in between.
Two sets of hands reach for the SET Active workout tops laying out on the floor in rows of three.
SET Active clothing is designed to be perfect for every occasion, from your workout class to your errand runs. SET Active

“I wanted to simplify the way that I was getting dressed, and I figured that if I was feeling that way, I’m sure a lot of people were feeling that way too, so I just went for it,” Lindsey says. 

SET Active was born in Lindsey’s kitchen and has grown into the brand worn by “it girls” like Kylie Jenner and Hailey Bieber, and loved by publications like Women’s Wear Daily and Vogue. “I was $20,000 in credit card debt when I started SET Active. It was really scary and I cried hysterically the night before launch day, but giving up was not an option,” Lindsey says. 

At the time, Lindsey began branding and developing SET Active by reaching out to her small following on social media. She would post customer reviews and ask people for their opinions on colors or different styles and cuts. “Your community is always your biggest influencer, because they are the ones who are going to talk about your product, wear your product, and give you feedback,” Lindsey explains. “There’s no better way to hear how your product is than from the people who are testing it in their everyday lives.”

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By leaning on her community, Lindsey has grown SET Active into a brand with almost half a million followers on Instagram.

Three models wear their SET Active sets while laying on the ground with their heads resting on one another.
SET Active creates matching two piece sets perfect for your toughest workout or your most relaxing day at home. SET Active

Today, you can find SET Active on social media, sharing behind-the-scenes clips, insights into its work environment, and even polls for followers to vote on upcoming themes or drops. “The consumer lives and breathes for teasers. They want to get excited about something, so one of our main content buckets is BTS [behind the scenes],” Lindsey says. 

Allowing the SET Active community to take part in the decision-making process and witness first hand how these garments are developed makes them even more invested in the finished product. “They wanna see the work that goes into it, and they wanna see how hard people are working every single day to bring to life a story,” Lindsey says. 

In 2022, Lindsey and her team were so committed to giving their community an in-person experience with their brand that they launched their first retail pop-up location on Melrose Place in Los Angeles.

SET Active CEO and Founder Lindsey Carter sits inside the SET Active dressing room in front of a wall of fabric samples.
Lindsey Carter opened the first retail pop-up location for SET Active so her customers could feel and experience their fabrics first hand before purchasing. SET Active

“It was just time to bring the community together face to face, and for people to learn about our products and understand our fabrics in person,” Lindsey says. 

Tune in to Shopify Masters to hear Lindsay’s social media strategies, her advice on experimenting with retail pop-ups, and how she built a brand—and a community.