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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

We Have Things to SAY! #perfectionisoverrated

Perfection is Overrated…
Be who you were created to be, for there is no perfect person.  Each of us has our own unique beauty and it comes from within. Peace happens when you don’t have to be perfect and you are free to be you! 

~Dianna Greene, Production Manager Sweet Spot® Skirts













Naturally Imperfect. 
That is what makes us human.  Limiting yourself, not allowing yourself to do something fun or fulfilling because you can’t do it perfectly is taking away the opportunity to be human.  

Life is Meant to be Lived.
You won’t evolve or grow without allowing yourself room to be imperfect.  How can one learn to do something new without trying?  Our first time to try anything will most likely not be perfect. This process leads to enormous personal growth.  

Get your Bucket List Out. 
Each item is carefully listed on paper and evaluated for days or even years.  Most of the time the items on your bucket list are going to be done one time and one time only.  Will you not try, since you won’t be able to do it perfectly the first time?  

Progress Not Perfection
As long as you know you are making progress toward being the best You that you can be, you are living the life you were meant to be. 

~ Mary Meier, Director of Operations

 













Perfection is so overrated.  
Perfect or Perfection has become a word used incorrectly to describe people, places, scenarios and things.  We have no standards by which to accurately measure perfection, except our own experiences, preferences and lifestyle.  In our life, it is the imperfections which make us unique, fun, different, creative and adventurous. We learn from these imperfect lessons about ourselves and the world we live in. 
~Laurie, Event Manager and Run Pretty Far CEO



Our Staff:
“There is no perfect accomplishment, You are always getting better,” ~Ellie

“Focusing on perfection takes your focus away from the things that really matter,” ~Tina

“You can’t be perfect, you always make a mistake,” ~Florica (said in our best Romanian accent!!!!)

We want to hear from you!  Tell us your pefect imperfection story. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Clarity From Webster?

Perfection is "the condition, state, or quality of being free or 
as free as possible from all flaws or defects."

What an oxymoron.  Perfection and being free?  Striving to be the perfect mother, the perfect wife, the perfect partner, the perfect friend is anything but freeing.  I am all for becoming the best YOU you can be, without feeling like perfection is the final destination.  

To FREE yourself is to actively "release from captivity, confinement, or slavery.” Seriously, how captive or confined does the journey to perfection keep you? One more pound, one more raise, one more award.  How about this?  Let’s release from captivity our inner beauty, our funny sense of humor, and our complete love of life?  Let’s open the door of confinement and let the beautiful woman wander with nothing but joy and love for herself.

Thank you Webster for this reminder, to FREE ourselves is to ”release from physical obstruction, restraint, or entanglement.”  The plight of perfection can shackle you to a point that renders you immovable and frozen. As we live our very full lives, pushing to create that next best version of ourselves we can hit a point where fear and insecurities rule our world.  Slow down, breathe, and remember your platoon of warrior women that will help you find again your beautiful wonderful self.

Lastly, to FREE yourself is to ”remove something undesirable or restrictive from.” The month of September is about releasing the pressure of perfection.  It is about loving your flaws and defects and understanding that you are a beautiful and loved person.  Don’t underestimate the power of wander.  Go wander in the hills, the shopping mall, or the beach.  Your imperfect self is perfection enough.  


~Stephanie Lynn, Owner and Designer 
This is the management staff at Sweet Spot® Skirts.  We are far from perfect, which
is in itself....so perfect.  

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Unexpected Benefits!

I bought a T-Shirt company and it did wonders for my posture!

I have always tried to wear my own products, and it makes for a pretty cool wardrobe. We started with the Classic skirts. I wore them diligently, as many days as I could. In the early years, I was still a full time real estate agent, and I even wore a pirate skirt to the closing of a $500,000 house! At the end of the meeting, my clients looked over and chuckled, "Did you really just close a half million dollar house in a pirate skirt?" Why, Yes I did! :-)

We added the Fast 'N Flirty technical running skirt and it's a great compliment to the Classic. I wear it for all the same things, plus it's great for longer runs and then worn around town and for errands.

The selection of functional shorts and leggings on the market was abominable. All of the shorts would ride up and the leggings never quite fit properly. So, we went to town to solve that problem, and even added a phone pocket for convenience. (I must be honest, in my mind the phone pocket was originally for two golf balls and a tee.) The pocket is situated on your left leg, since when you swing your right leg pulls all the movement and power.

When runners ask me why we don't do pockets on both sides, I just tell them because it's for golfers. I also think that it could make us look like oompa loompas, if both pockets are filled with the goo and goodies that runners like to carry. It may also effect the fit and wearability. Breathable, functional and convenient pocketed shorties, capri's and tights are daily wear for me now with my Sweet Spot® Skirts.

Recently, we purchased a NW t-shirt company. When we ordered the first run of t-shirts, I went along to make sure they also fit a slightly larger frame and that they would be appropriate for a 51 year old. The last thing I want to wear a shirt that's designed for an Abercrombie and Fitch teeny bopper. The first round of shirts are printed and came out beautifully! I usually wear an XL, so according to our online description, I grabbed a size up, XXL. The t-shirt looks great, it's cut well and the soft material is pliable and can be stretched in places that may need a little extra room.

Coco Channel, in her book about her career, admitted that at one point she vowed to only wear her own creations. Sweet Spot® Skirts is no where near that haute couture category, and as a designer I pale in comparison. However, in a effort to follow in the footsteps of the greats, I vowed to only wear my creations or products. Since we have never done tops before, I'm very excited to have a line of active, fun and inspirational t-shirts that I can wear daily with my skirts!

It has been years since I've worn t-shirts. When I put on one of our shirts, I looked at my reflection and was horrified to see that my posture was crumpled over! My shoulders were hunched forward and my gut crumpled, which caused the fat to gather and roll over my waistband. I immediately stood straighter, and as soon as I corrected my posture - throwing my shoulders back, straightening my back and pulling my head up - there was no fat, no bulges and I looked strong and confident! Thinking back to my style, I have always worn tops that covered body parts and my stomach, and added a vest to disguise "the girls". That had allowed me to slump into this horrible posture! Good posture = long sleek lines of a 51 year old, 175lb woman, who is able to complete a 13.1, half century bike ride, a 10 mile hike...  Bad Posture = crumpled old woman, whose fat billows out beneath the pressure of ribcage, breasts and shoulders piled upon one another. I'm opting for Good Posture!

Here is what the internet says (and really, we all intuitively know) about posture:
When you practice correct posture, your body is in alignment with itself. This can alleviate common problems such as back or neck pain, headaches, and fatigue. Being in good general health and standing (or sitting) tall will also boost your bearing and self confidence. Good posture is especially important as we grow older - for confidence and to help us to move with authority and strength.

I'm thinking that we should sell the shirts as posture correctors! (Plus the sayings are so inspirational!) The shirts fit just snug enough to keep you aware and upright, while being loose enough to accentuate your womanly curves. Check out our T-shirts and you can improve your posture without buying a t-shirt company!



Friday, April 8, 2016

Fast Fashion is filling our landfills

Numbers don’t lie.  In 1999, Americans produced 18.2 billion pounds of textile waste, and that number is predicted to reach over 35.4 billion pounds by 2019. Only 15%, or 4 billion pound, of unwanted textiles are donated and reused; 5.2% of all of American trash is made up of textiles. Many articles can be found on the web about this issue - I've linked three interesting ones for anyone who wants to learn more: two on Huffington Post 1, Huffington Post 2 and the other on the CBS News website http://www.cbsnews.com/news/is-the-fast-fashion-industry-ready-to-change-its-wasteful-ways/

Being mindful of these statistics, at Sweet Spot ®Skirts we work hard to bring you highest quality, functional products in a variety of colors and sizes. Each product has undergone rigorous testing for both functionality and wearability. We started as, and remain, Made in the USA. This enables us to retain complete control over our products. Our four products are made so well, we hope they last a decade... or more! 

We love happy customers!
Our Classic Sweet Spot® Skirt is made of only the best 100% breathable cottons. We special order and create our own colors and patterns for a majority of our skirts. Because of the reversibility of the skirt, we choose a "solid" color/tone on one side and a bright, noticeable pattern on the other. This gives the wearer flexibility over the years to blend this skirt with fashions and colors as they change. Our colors will fade slightly over time, but for the most part remain quite vivid and crisp with proper washing (wash cold, hang dry).  Cotton is the oldest fabric that is completely breathable, - "good ol' cotton”.  The Classic skirt fits over your favorite pair of tights, shorts or leggings which should wick the moisture away from your skin. Then the cotton will breathe away the moisture. In the picture above you can see three of our customers enjoying their skirts and demonstrating how cute they are on everyone.  #noprofessionalphotographerneeded

Our company has been in business for 6 years and the skirts we have from the start are still beautiful and colorful. And, let’s face it, very few women stay one size their entire life.  Because of our multi-size design, each skirt fits an array of sizes, our skirts continue to ‘cover’ for many years through size fluctuations sizes.

Our Sweet Spot® Panties are thigh-length performance exercise shorts that are guaranteed to stay put! Our shorts won't ride up! No more pulling at your leg like some poorly designed styles as they creep up and up. Our fabric is made from breathable wicking material, and are basically bomb proof. I have slid down rocks on them with barely a scratch. This fabric was also chosen because of it’s compression attribute. We call it cellulite management. :-)

Our line of Calf and Ankle-length Tights are of the same fabric as the Panties. Our goal has been to make a super soft and comfy pair of tights that will stand the test of time when it comes to fit and function. Plus, our unique cell phone pocket on the left thigh is great for phones and for golfers extra tees and balls. Bonus: Our diabetic customers love the pocket for their insulin pumps.  

The Fast N Flirty™ ultra lightweight technical running skirt was created to make a 5’ 9” 180 pound woman feel flirty and fast. Ok, that woman is me. Every lycra skirt I put on in the past to hide my lycra tights made me look matronly. Just because I'm a size 14 doesn’t mean a skirt has to come to my knees.  I also didn’t like the “stuff sausage” look or feel. (Does anyone?!) If you choose to wear something over your workout pants, it should accentuate your features not make them look worse.  

Stephanie, owner and creator of Sweet Spot skirts.
180 pounds - Size 12/14 - Looking flirty & fab on her 
50th birthday hike.  #flattereveryfigure
With all that in mind we created the Fast N Flirty skirt.  The scalloped bottom, combined with an elastic gather in the back of the waistband, allows the skirt to cascade over your bum and float gracefully with every step. And fact that each skirt fits a range of sizes allows this skirt to be worn through any weight fluctuations (up or down). The colors of these skirts are bright and cheery to keep you safe and seen out on the roads and trails. We did come out with a black version of this skirt…. well, everyone needs that “little black athletic skirt” in their collection - let’s just hope you wear it with a really bright top to keep you safe and seen.  

Every company should have a set of Core Values. We put a lot of thought into the Core Values we set for Sweet Spot® Skirts. We refer to these key points with every decision we make as we grow our company. You can find out more about our company story and Core Values on our website. We are happy and proud to post it where all can see. 

Core Purpost of Sweet Spot® Skirts
To provide high quality and practical apparel that enables women to look and feel their best while being active and healthy. We strive to inspire women in their goals and activities, and to help increase every woman's self confidence.

One of our "Sweet Shenna" Cancer Quilts
Core Values for Sweet Spot® Skirts  
  1. Supporting women in their active pursuits through providing functional and flattering clothing that fit all sizes.
  2. Locally made in the USA.
  3. Have fun!
  4. Making a difference in our community through our employment structure and by giving back.
  5. Providing well made, practical products with superior customer service.
Our Core Values haven't and won't change over time. They are strongly held beliefs that remain at the forefront of our business. We will never be "fast fashion" and we will continue to add highly tested products in a variety of colors and sizes to our apparel lines. This year we hope to finalize the testing of a fabulous tank top and a style of cycling panties/performance shorts. When these products are ready to be put on the market, you can be confident that they will be functional, flirty and extremely practical.  

Sharon, one of our favorite quilt recipients, is
living a cancer-free, beautiful life. 
Another thing we do to help reduce the amount of wasted textile is through repurposing.  The scraps from every cut we've made in the bulk fabrics to make our skirts are kept and then given to a special friend and quilter in Deaver, WY.  From the beginning, these scraps have been used to make "cancer quilts", quilts for charities and quilts for our staff as a 1 year anniversary momento. You will find more information about the quilts and the personal reasons behind them in the Quilts for Charity section of our website.

As you look for active wear and other clothing, please support companies like ours that take great care in designing for quality over quantity. You will help to reduce the amount of wasted textiles by investing in pieces that will stand the test of time, while helping you live the best, active, healthy life possible.

Stay strong and be happy, 

Stephanie 

Monday, April 4, 2016

ROAD TRIP!!

Sweet Spot® Skirts is California Dreamin'!

This week it's StephSquared on the Road for big events in the Bay Area. Owner Stephanie and Marketing/Channels Manager Stephanie (aka S2) are road tripping to California!

Last Wednesday, our truck was loaded and the Airstream was stocked - we were ready for an adventure. "AirSSS" is our "home away from home" when traveling for events in other states. Have you seen it? It's decked out with photos and logos of our Sweet Spot® Skirts! We get lots of looks and have some fun comments and conversations when we stop to fill the tank or grab snacks!

We had gorgeous weather and beautiful sights on our first day's drive south. We drove 8 hours south, through Oregon and across the Siskiyous. We had beautiful, sunny weather all the way. We enjoyed mountains, trees in bloom, rivers, rolling hills... spectacular!





And even a technicolor truck sales lot - they look like colorful lego cars!


Thursday we had a few hours more to drive and then we San Fransisco and the iconic Golden Gate bridge were in view. We settled in at an RV park just north of the bridge for the night since it was getting late.


Friday morning we headed over the Golden Gate and into the city. There are so many things to see in SF, even on a drive to the Convention Center. Tromp l'oeil on a building, cable cars (of course), bill boards and the Transamerica Tower to name a few.






Sightseeing would have to wait, since it was time to setup for the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon San Francisco packet pickup. We set up in now time and took a break for lunch before the expo opened at 3pm. Sitting behind the booth, we felt like performers "back stage" before the curtain goes up.



We had a great afternoon meeting RnR runners and helping them to discover the perfect skirts, shorts and capri tights for them. Tasha (below) loved the Fast 'N Flirty K8K plus Plum Tangle, Girlie Swirly Gearhead...


Customers enjoyed talking with Stephanie Lynn - owner and designer! All questions were answered by the source of Sweet Spot® Skirts inspiration!


We met so many fun, interesting, friendly people. Many from other states, but also come from the area. George and Maria were so helpful to give us suggestions for places to go in Napa when we went there next. Thanks George and Maria!


We always love the littlest "Sweeties" and it makes us smile to see their excitement at wearing their first skirt from our Kids Line. This young lady thought she was quite the thing in her new Tweener Sailfish Fast 'N Flirty skirt - after trying it she didn't want to take it off!


All in all it was a fantastic two days meeting Rock 'N' Rollers! Thanks to all for visiting our booth and we hope everyone had fantastic race!


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sweet Spot® Skirts and Run Pretty Far™ = One

March 10, 2016 was a great day.  Sweet Spot® Skirts and Run Pretty Far™ combined forces. These two companies have always gone together, like peanut butter and jelly. Run Pretty Far™ active tops and inspirational stories pair perfectly with our Sweet Spot® Skirts collections of skirts, panties and tights. 
We celebrate the inspirations of my good friend and original creator of RPF Jennifer Hughes. Both of our companies were started around the same time, and over the years, when our paths crossed, we plotted, planned and compared notes.  I  have always looked at Run Pretty Far™ with so much admiration and appreciation.  I will honor Jenn, Greg and their hard work as we strive to  ‘run free’ and ‘begin, begin and begin again.”
Sweet Spot® Skirts has provided high quality and practical apparel that enables women to look and feel their best while being active and adventurous. We strive to inspire women in their goals and help increase their self confidence.  The story of our humble beginnings is here
We are blessed to have Cassidy, the magical, creative graphic designer, joining us as we breathe life and fresh energy into the inspiration, motivation and beauty that Run Pretty Far™ has brought over the years.
We have exciting new things in store.  While we create this new beginning, you can find inspirations and running love in our Facebook posts. We’re excited to soar!
Hugs and Happyness,
Stephanie  Lynn
Owner/Designer
This is Jenn. Here she is in her “I Eat Mountains for Breakfast” shirt.  This has always been  one of my favorite pictures.  She has tackled terrain all over the world and truly personifies Run Pretty Far™. She is simply amazing.  Jenn is a great friend, brilliant, funny and full of passion.  My mission is to honor her in everything we do with RPF.

This is Stephanie (right). Here she is after completing her first 13.1m with Kristina, our ‘at home’ seamer.  Sweet Spot® Skirts hires local women to sew for us and in our local Vancouver, WA production studio.  Stephanie likes to Run Pretty Far™, Bike Pretty Far™ and she covers her sweet spot with a Sweet Spot® Skirt.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Celebrating Four Years


Happy 4th Birthday to our Flagship Store!  Opened March 1, 2012. 


In 2012, I was busy jetting between my wonderful home seamers, gathering skirts and putting them in envelopes to send to our initial customers. And then, with all that running around, we missed an order! I was mad. I hate letting customers down, so I began the hunt for one central location where we could do business, sew our skirts and where, if a customer walked into the store, they could buy their skirt in person. Thanks to many miracles and a great landlord, we found a new home at 6th and Main. in the revitalized Downtown Vancouver. I called all my seamers into the store and asked who wanted to work in the new space. Mary and Dianna both thought it sounded fun and joined in as the first employees at the Flagship store! 

Around the same time, my dear grandfather passed away, and I received $895 from his estate. I used it to buy interior paint and a few items from IKEA to "beautify" then new space, and BOOM we opened for business! With a heartfelt dedication to my sweet grandfather, we began to sew in our brand new store and we waited for people to come inside. If you build it, they will come...?!

Over the last four exciting years, we have learned and grown every day. Today, our Flagship store provides a place where women come to shop. and to tour and enjoy our warm and cozy space. We have been a "downtown destination" from the beginning. Early on, we brought in a bright pink couch and two chairs to use up the huge amount of space in our store and made a "gathering space".


Our heat source and brick wall added warmth and character to this enchanting space. We filled the walls with local artists' works in hopes of bringing in shoppers for the First Friday Art Walk. It worked, and it was so much fun! We highlighted some really amazing and talented local painters, photographers and other artists.


Our building was green and it was the prior home of the Sixth Street Gallery. With enough money for a few gallons of Grey recycled paint ($55), we began to transform the green, helping the building blend in with the surroundings. (The green and purple were very eye catching, but didn't match the playful tone of our skirts.)  The grey became a great backdrop for our colorful skirts and designs.


Our original sign read "Sweet Spot Sports".  We had bike rentals and wanted to be much more than skirts. The sign was made by our good friend Doug. It lit up and looked very cool.  

These were our rental bikes.  They filled out our space, and we helped bring touring bikes to the Downtown area - so fun! Eventually, the bikes were pushed out to male more room for skirts!


My chiropractor moved to a new space just as we were moving in and gave us this beautiful "hand me down" cash wrap.  It took up a good deal of room and gave the space some depth.

The "aftermath" of the cash wrap collapse!
One day that cash wrap collapsed... it was very tired!  :)  We found it a new home with another startup business that needed it for their new space.  **note** the new who was able to reconstruct it with more than just duct tape and a few bricks.  



In the opened space, we added pictures, a mirror and slat board. These upgrades brought our wall to life.  Four years later we continue to use the same displays. Have you been in to the store lately?



We finally had the outside of the building painted, thanks to my amazing cousin Dana. Our sign needed an update and we finally figured out who we truly were... Sweet Spot® Skirts!


Many people helped us become a destination that is sought out by women across the country. Our customers are thrilled when a conference, vacation or unexpected visit brings them into Vancouver, WA. It's always so fun to welcome them to our store... our "Hub of Happyness."

The following photos show our growth and fun times that have been had over the last four years.
We have grown and learned so much about displays and our customers.

One of our most favorite runs of all time:  The Kristina 8K
Please help us celebrate our 4th birthday, with free gifts with "in-store purchases" and "check ins"  no purchase necessary free gift.