By Chris Bavender
Three Carmel High School alumni have been named to the 2022 Forbes 30 under 30 list, which annually recognizes some of the nation’s top young entrepreneurs and businesspeople.
Steve Dilk, 29, his wife (former high school sweetheart) Taylor (Chamberlain) Dilk, 29, and her sister, Chloe Chamberlain, 26, co-founded Balance Athletica in 2018. In three years, sales have gone from zero to $36 million.
“It is an honor to be on the list,” said Steve, Balance Athletica chief operating officer and a 2011 CHS grad. “It feels like validation that what we are doing is special.”
Taylor, the company’s CEO and a 2011 CHS grad, said being named to the list “symbolizes all of the extreme lows and extreme highs we have had these past three years.”
“We are self-made and self-taught. We trusted our gut with every decision we have made thus far and learned by trial and error,” Taylor said. “Being a woman in business comes with its challenges, so I hope to inspire all young women that anything is possible as long as you keep pushing to be the best you can possibly be each day.”
Balance Athletica, headquartered in Denver, Colo., was founded after the trio noted a lack of inclusivity in the apparel industry. They began making leggings, sports bras and other clothing designed to flatter and empower all bodies.
“As a curvy woman, I experienced firsthand a lack of representation in the fitness apparel market for all women, finding it difficult to acquire pieces that fit me well and that I could wear with confidence,” said Chloe, Balance Athletica’s chief of design and a 2013 CHS graduate.
The business owners said Balance Athletica’s rapid growth can be attributed to its design philosophy, a mission of empowerment magnified in 2020, and industry-defying design components – notably, an expanded size range from XXS-4XL.
“We keep our ‘why’ at the forefront of everything we do, which helps cultivate the strong community and culture we have today,” Taylor said. “We also have an incredible team who believes in this company just as much as we do, and when we all combine heads, magic happens.”
Being named to the list does add some pressure to continue to succeed, Steve said.
“Being someone without any prior experience or education in entrepreneurship/business there is a pressure associated with being named to the list,” he said. “But with that pressure there is also a motivating factor that drives me to get better every day to help the company to scale.”
The goal of the company is to become a household name in the U.S. and expand into the into the international market.
“A little over three years ago, Balance launched from a garage. With all the growth that has occurred, that feels like a lifetime ago,” Chloe said. “It’s hard to say exactly what the next three (years) might look like, but I know that if we continue this exponential trend of development, our growth and aspirations are limitless.”