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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Creating Sweet Spot™ Skirts: Our Story

Early September of 2009, I was riding my bike to photograph one of my higher-end real-estate listings. This home was a beauty, and to properly capture its elegance I knew it would require many shots from many angles. The last thing I needed was my clients coming home in the middle of my photography shoot, catching me in my padded bike shorts with my back-side in the air trying to capture the perfect shot. I threw on a little disco skirt I had which provided some cover. After the last picture was taken, I met my friend David and continued on a 25 mile ride. During the ride we got a call to meet our friends for dinner near the Columbia River Front. With sweat trickling down my face, infamous helmet head, jersey billowing with colors distinctly different from the wild pattern of the disco skirt, I “clomped, clomped clomped” to my seat. Just then one of the husbands, James, (age 29) said to his wife, “Katie, you should get a sexy little skirt like that.”


My head spun to see if he was making fun or saying the truth? I could see by his look he was serious. Not bad I thought to myself (age 44) that an age 29 would think I was sexy… didn’t he see the fat bulging out from beneath my grabby bike shorts? Interesting…..seems like all he saw was” skirt.”

Two days later, we rode to a little local airport to see some friends off as they were flying their plane back to California. I wore the same disco skirt, again to provide just a bit of coverage. As the pilot (age 50ish) stepped off the plane he smiled and with an approving nod said, “nice skirt.” Let me remind you…same helmet hair, jersey billowing, fat bulging out from the elastic leg band cruncher and non-matching disco skirt. Hmmm..... both ages 29 and 50ish, noticed my sexy “skirt.”

I looked at my reflection in the glass door of the small airport… it was pretty cute even though I wasn’t “matchy matchy” or at all glamorous. My friends and I said our goodbyes and by the time we reached our next stop, I blurted out “Sweet Spot™ Skirts.” I was going to create a better skirts than the one I was wearing, and that is what I would call them. My friend David, laughed at the name said it was cute but I don’t think he believed me to be serious. I am not even sure I thought I was serious.

Evidently I was serious! The rest of the story has become my life’s most favorite era. I drew my design out on tracing paper on the island in my kitchen. Had a friend from high school draw up a “don’t steal my idea” release form, bought fabric, hired a seamstress and enrolled in the full time school of “Trial and Error” before I graduated with this perfect little Sweet Spot™ Skirt.

February 27, 2010, we (friends, seamstresses, family et al, thanks for the support!) did our first show at the Seattle Bike Swap! WE SOLD OUT! I applied the next day for my LLC and tax documents, got a website, hired a bookkeeper and went to town designing and testing my products. Today I invite you to join the excitement, the fun, and the challenge of being just a little bit better every day.

My business goals are very simple.

1. Have Fun

2. When goal #1 is done….Have just a little bit more fun!

3. Say out of debt.

We hope to saturate the biking community and continue to reach into all women’s sports areas: yoga, running, rowing, tennis, roller derby, volleyball… this list just keeps going. Watch for the “Softer Side of Sweet Spot™ Skirts.

Sweet Spot™ Skirts made the commitment to have all our skirts made in the USA. I support the great red white and blue. With over 100 applicants to my craigslist ad, I chose three wonderful women to sew for Sweet Spot™ Skirts. My attempt in helping to reduce the unemployment numbers!

I am humbled by the feedback, the help and the overwhelming success we have had since our inception! Lots of room to grow, don’t worry we will get there!

I love all those women who wear my skirt and feel good about themselves and the way they look!
You make me smile!

“Changing the world ONE skirt at a time” with Sweet Spot™ Skirts

Stephanie



Those I need to thank in no particular order: James, for his 29 year old ‘sexy’ comment; Pilot Bob, for his 50ish ‘nice skirt’ comment; Lisa, for her amazing ability to read my mind; Dave B, for encouragement, taking care of the rest of my life while I did double duty in RE and Skirts; Dave C, for always being there for me, rocking me when I cry and laughing at me when I do silly stuff; Dave B and Dave C for being the best 6’4” and 6’9” Sweet Spot™ Skirt billboards!; Lynnell, my gorgeous model, friend, salesperson, and genuinely in love and addicted to the skirts; Greg, for introducing me to Lynnell, his wife!; Marni, for just being Marni, beautiful and Fun; Evelyn, my first model and business consultant with her husband Scott; Brandee, Katie, Dayna, Darrin, Melanie, Rick Cyndy, Ed, John my tester crew and critics; Ursula, for mom support; Valerie, for sister support; Jim, for advice, excitement and trust; Louise, lets just say she is the wind beneath my wings!; Tanna, my booking nightmare fixer; Haley, model and first teen to wear the skirts; Larry and Katie, for supporting just about everything I do (crazy or not), and my newest sewing team of Dianna and Kaye.  I love you all!!!!!

2 comments:

  1. What a great story! I do love your skirts and hope to own one some day when the wallet allows. Will you possibly make them in non-cotton fabrics to dry more quickly after those wet rides?

    All the best to you and your wonderful product.

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  2. It was quite a memorable experience creating this perfect little skirt. All the long hours of brainstorming, designing, sewing, redesigning, and fabric therapy will not easily be forgotten.

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