Kim Caccavo and Kate Nowlan are Solana Beach Locals Graced by Grit

Written By: Matthew J. Black
Photographed By: Grey Lockwood

Expert: Kimberly Caccavo and Kate Nowlan
Credentials: Founders of GRACEDBYGRIT

Q: How is it that you two met?

Kate Nowlan: I was Kim’s sons’ swim coach at The Boys and Girls Club in Solana Beach. Kim was training for a triathlon, and since I coached women’s running groups for fitness and running goals, she hired me to train her. The triathlon was for Chelsea King, to raise money for the Chelsea Light Foundation. We saw a real lack of performance apparel and we talked a lot about it as we ran. I think it was a diversion tactic for Kim to stop me from thinking about the running.

Q: Where does the name GRACEDBYGRIT come from?

Kimberly Caccavo: Once we decided to launch this business we tested our apparel and it was fantastic. So we thought, ‘How can we come up with a name that tells the story of us and our material?’ We focused on what we had in common, and we were both confronted with a life changing event at some point in our lives. How we make it through these moments is what we are defined by. You need grit to get through those moments, and grace comes afterwards. And since grit and grace were perfect to describe our apparel GRACEDBYGRIT is what we ended up with.

Q: Can you each tell me about a gritty moment of your own?

KN: I found out I was pregnant as a junior in college when I was 20 years old. Now I have a beautiful 16 year old. But it wasn’t the plan, and it was a gritty moment that showed me what I was made of.

KC: My life has been a series of gritty moments and sprinkled by grace. My mom was a single mom, and I ran the house for her and my brother until she met my step dad. I got my chemical engineering degree and met my husband in college. My husband got leukemia and I lost him by the time I was 30. It was really hard. But now I remarried, and I have two teenagers.

Q: How does it make you feel when women share their gritty moments with you?

KN: One time when I was on the 101 between Carson and Solana Beach, I saw a couple of women wearing our clothes. I decided to pull over and I started chatting with them. I asked them about their clothes and they loved GRACEDBYGRIT apparel. One of the women told me I had no idea what gritty was. She had stage four cancer, but she said she loved to stand up paddleboard, and the GRACEDBYGRIT clothes she wore felt like armor. During her chemotherapy she told me that she kept repeating ‘graced by grit.’ She was totally right, I had no idea. One of best gifts we’ve been given in starting this business is the strength behind those stories.

Q: What inspired each of you to create this idea of empowering women through athletic apparel?

KC: When I was training it was a diversion tactic from this really crabby, bossy coach named Kate (laughs). She kept saying ‘faster’ and I got her to slow down, and look at the people around us who were running. The fast ones looked like they had better clothes, but they were 20 years old so of course they looked good. We wanted women who are 30, 40 and 50 to look just as good. We like that spandex, fit style. We design all our clothing to look good so you perform your best.

Q: Your apparel is almost entirely for women, but how can men support GRACEDBYGRIT?

KN: We used Start Engine to open an opportunity for anyone to own some of GRACEDBYGRIT. With investing comes perks. We’ve had a lot of men invest for their daughters and wives, because they want them to enjoy the benefits. We also have our ‘Gritty Girl’ program for tweens and teens, which teaches them to cultivate their grit and find their grace. It equips them with the tools to get through gritty moments. Imperfection is part of life. Our Health and Wellness Coach Sarah Andersen runs the program. A lot of men sign their daughters up.

Q: Opening a store in Solana Beach has proved to be very successful. What’s next for GRACEDBYGRIT?

KC: We’re focusing a lot on growing our online presence. We also do fit shops across the country where we tell our stories and hear other women’s stories. In the last year we travelled all over the continent from St. Louis to Mexico City, and even New York City last month. We’d love for it to become a household name.

KN: We’d also like to offer a special discount for LOCALE readers. Use code xolocale for 20 percent off your next online order. Just plug it in at checkout. We want every woman to be graced by grit.

153 N Hwy 101, Ste 103
Solana Beach, CA 92075
Get 20 Percent Off Your GRACEDBYGRIT Outfit With This Promo Code

Photoshoot Location:
Fletcher Cove Beach Park
111 S Sierra Ave
Solana Beach, CA 92075

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