January 12, 2012
Daughter of legendary Calgary wrestler Bret Hart tackles fashion design
By JENNA MCMURRAY - Calgary Sun
Growing up in one of wrestling’s most famous families, it was impossible for Jade Hart not to consider pursuing the sport herself.
“I definitely contemplated it, but I just didn’t share the same passion,” said the 28-year-old daughter of former wrestling star Bret “Hitman” Hart and granddaughter of late Stampede Wrestling founder Stu Hart.
That’s not to say her father didn’t inspire her most recent career choice.
Bret’s travels to and from Japan during his time as a pro wrestler often saw him return with kimonos for Jade’s mom and aunt.
“I was raised by women wearing kimonos,” she said.
“They did the housework in them.”
During her own pregnancy in 2009-2010, Jade found herself craving the comfort of the kimonos she’d seen worn around her house as a child.
She started looking for one, but found the selection either cheap and cheesy or too expensive.
“I just started sketching,” said Jade.
“All I had was an idea. I drew it on paper and tweaked it ‘til it was perfect.”
Research led her to a woman who could manufacture the design.
Despite her lack of any education in fashion design but serious about the potential for a small business start-up, Jade approached her dad for an investment.
“A lot of my kids come up to me with harebrained ideas, but Jade’s was really good,” said Bret, adding he’s had to shoot down past pipe dreams, but this time his daughter had drawn up an impressive business plan.
“She did her homework,” he said.
“I have a lot of faith in Jade, she’s always had a kooky fashion sense.”
The wrestling legend said his firstborn has always been an “in charge,” and “lead-by-example,” optimist — qualities he thinks will help her new business, Jade Hart Kimonos, succeed.
As for whether he ever hoped Jade would follow in his footsteps, the answer is no, said Bret.
The fact her idea had nothing to do with wrestling was actually one of the reasons he threw his support behind the project, he said, laughing.
“This is the first of the Harts to step out into the fashion world,” said Bret, adding he’d be happy to see his family’s name develop a following for something new.
“I’d be really happy and I’m sure my parents would be really happy to see the Hart name stay alive.
“I’m really happy for her.”