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As the founder of CALIA and a fitness enthusiast, Carrie Underwood gets to create clothes that she loves and actually wears on a daily basis. But for the country music superstar the most rewarding part of her job is the response from fans.
“I’ve had several occasions where women would come through meet and greet lines and say, ‘You inspired me.’ They’d be wearing Calia head to toe, and they’d be like, ‘You inspired me and I got into the gym. I started walking. I started changing my diet, and I feel so much better. I lost this much weight,'” the singer, 36, told PEOPLE at the CALIA by Carrie Underwood Aspen Getaway, celebrating the label’s new winter collection.
“It’s fun being creative and it’s fun making clothes that I love to wear,” she said. “But then you see how people are using them in lives, and taking ownership over their health and feeling better about themselves.”
CALIA, which offers trendy and affordable pieces in sizes XS-XXXL, can be an activewear option no matter where you are in your fitness journey. The inclusive message and marketing — summed up by the “stay the path” mantra — behind her brand is totally intentional.
“We’re not all size zeros,” Underwood shared. “We’re different shapes, sizes, ages. It’s important to encourage people and be a part of people’s journeys, no matter where they are in those journeys.”
The “Cry Pretty” singer told PEOPLE she had to remind herself of CALIA’s empowering message after the birth of her second son, Jacob Bryan, in January, when she felt the societal pressure to have her body “bounce back” right away.
“After having my first kid [Isaiah, 4], I felt like I bounced back fast. And then with Jake, it was like my body took a minute to get back to me. It was frustrating, because I’m like, ‘Why wasn’t it like the first time?’” Underwood said.
She added: “But I’m four years older. That also helped me shift my mindset — I’m still working hard, wanting to be the best me possible, but cutting myself slack and just thinking, ‘Be kind to yourself.’ It’s amazing what we [women] do to ourselves. We’re probably all our toughest critics.”