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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day Three: Funny Stuff!

Started in St Regis Montana this morning. Funny beginning to my day! I woke up early and was extremely motivated and creative with the surrounding mountains and gorgeous breeze, so I worked from my loft in the back of the airstream. I say loft because it feels like one of those small northwest Portland type of places. Anway, with my second cup of coffee in hand and two hours of computer work behind me, I rolled out the door and headed towards the bathroom. Across the way was a nice looking man and I greeted him. He responded by saying “my wife really wants to know what a sweet spot is..” I laughed inside as I was torn between starting my sales pitch and running to the bathroom. Ha Ha… I told him I would be right back. When I returned I thought about changing into a skirt combing my hair and being presentable, but decided against it the “bed head and smudged mascara” morning look was working so I just went with it! I grabbed a few skirts, a brochure and a card and headed the 15 feet to his trailer from mine. His wife came out, I gave them the “schpeal” and she immediately grabbed the “hip Hapnyn and went inside to put on her tights. She came out looking adorable. The skirt fit her to a tee. Long story short, she bought three right from the big plastic bins that were strewn about at the rear of the trailer. Mickey and Lou: avid bike riders from Bellingham WA. They are going to host a “flash mob sale” the last weekend in July! New friends and we welcome them to the sweet spot family! My new guideline for intensity… we were so into the skirts I didn’t realize that the mosquitos were eating me alive 14 bites. It wasn’t until one bit me on the corner of my eyelid did I look up and start swatting. We were like ravenous dogs… she trying on skirts and me grabbing the plastic bags and saying “wait look at this one” “wait here is another one” “wait I bet you will like this one” LOL a skirt frenzy and a “14 bite intensity level.”


I chose the “Blue Lagoon” for todays Sweet Spot Attire. I must say my vast collection of skirts is fun to dress up with each day!

Next we drove into Missoula and parked at the KOA. Wow what an operation…I will get back to that in a bit. I had scoped out three bike shops that i wanted to visit and introduce myself and the skirts. I didn’t have time to set an appointment and really that isn’t the “sweet spot” way.

I just showed up and they were so nice. If you are ever visiting Missoula Montana and need a good bike store, these all seemed just great!

Missoula Bicycle Works: www.missoulabicycleworks.com

Big Sky Bikes: www.bigskybike.com

Open Road: www.orbicycleandnordic.com

I hope that they will soon be carrying the Sweet Spot™ Skirt for their female riders.

This day wasn’t over yet. Back at the KOA, I had to learn how to empty the septic tank. I had done it once with just water during my Airstream walk thru with Adam. Only that was just water and now I had the real thing…EWWWWW. I didn’t want to spew sewage through out this beautiful campground, so I jumped on my bike and found the closest man in Yellow. You see they have all these wonderful, what look to be retired KOA helpers, zooming around in yellow golf carts…when I asked they said, “no problem” and when he asked what space we were parked in… I drew a blank. I said it is the little airstream… and before I could finished he smiled nodded and said, “oh I know exactly where you are.” Again, having an airstream made me feel like a rockstar. I would have bought one of these ages ago if I knew I would be so cool by owning one. LOL Sewer dump went well. I had no spills and hazmat was not needed!

Next, dogs to the dog park (inside the KOA how cool is that?) Return some phone calls, dinner at famous daves, and shower, fill on-line orders and now bed. Good Night Sweet spot followers!

from the rear view mirror....yes as i was driving...

Lake Couer D Alene

Sweet Spot Marketing and Sales Day two

The day started out great…first time I re-hooked, clipped, unscrewed, wound, pushed, snapped, twirled, flipped everything on this Sweet Spot™ Skirts trailer! Chose a retired skirt called “Sangria” and a Lucky Lab Jersey for my ride today on the “Trail of the Couer d Alenes,” a 72 mile beautiful path. Begins at the Lake and ends in Mullan. I did about 25 miles from Cataldo to Kellogg. The path winds through the beautiful mountain range and used to be a railroad track…so the grade was a nice slow uphill but easy to pedal. Definite MUST DO!


I met about 10 different women, who loved the Sweet Spot™ Skirts, loved the trailer and took the marketing brochure. It is my favorite thing to stand in the middle of the parking lot and pull the snaps of the skirt….whipping it off and throwing it on other biker chics. Sweet Spot™ Skirts stopped by Excelsior Cycle and spoke to Mike Domy about potentially carrying the skirts in his shop. If you are ever in Kellogg Idaho, please stop by his shop is cute and well stocked with excellent biking utilities. 21 Railroad Ave. The first 3 person bike I have ever seen…on sale for $300.

Sweet Spot™ Skirts was in full tilt today toodling around biking country and passing out information. We ended up pulling into our second RV Park: Campground St. Regis www.campgroundstregis.com ! Price $26.00 amazing! I don’t know what it is but all of the RV campground hosts and owners are soooooo nice. This gal was the happiest person I think I have ever met. She gave us spot 14 a wonderful pull through (as I have not learned how to back this rig yet ha ha) Free WIFI finished a bunch of work, filled two on-line skirt orders, set up my new mobile printer (missing a cord dang it). Hit the pool for a moment of vitamin D, my whole mood elevated! Back to the Bambi: We have air conditioning!!!! It was so very nice to come back and work in the cool of my rolling silver bullet of an office.

Now to post these blogs…I write every night but the WIFI can be sketchy. Tonight it is strong.

Tomorrow Missoula….

Monday, June 27, 2011

Selling Adventure: Day One

First day on the road with Sweet Spot™ Skirts has been a success. We had been looking for a trailer to offset the hotel bills during shows and events. It was last weekend on the drive to the Petal Pedal, that I quickly realized that $135 a night for Sweet Spot™ Skirt events was adding up. After about a year of research and changing my mind… we pulled the trigger on an 2012 Airstream Bambi. It was a short six days and we were pulling out of Airstream Adventures in Portland OR (thank you Adam and crew) and heading to the sign shop for decals and lettering(thank you BOB). When Sweet Spot™ Skirts makes a decision, life happens. Sunday at 8:08 we pulled out of Vancouver, WA for the first marketing & advertising Sweet Spot™ Skirts adventure.


First stop, Umatilla/Hermiston area… saw a good friend (first time in 11 years) and she is going to set up a flash mob sale at her gym after the fourth. It is amazing how many people were staring at the logo’s and smiling. The words Sweet Spot™ Skirts just makes you smile. Of course, the beautiful models glued to the side of my truck represent well!

No action in Spokane this time through… may end up going thru Boise on the way back. After my first 350 miles pulling the new rig, we stopped at a delightful RV park on the East end of the Lake” Couer d Alene lake Resort”, I highly recommend it… the people were so nice and helpful. Great little store with wonderful small gifts and necessities. I had a bit of trouble with leveling out the trailer, without letting it slip down the hill…ha ha ! Big learning curve. The owner of the RV park, was more than happy to check out the new trailer and loved the skirts…she will pass the info along to her friend in Spokane with a wonderful boutique shop. Might be just perfect for the Sweet Spot™ Skirts .

This weekend was the Ironman here in Couer d Alene… Sweet Spot™ Skirts  is so lucky. The campground was chuck full of athletes…luckily I met Jeff and he took an interest in my skirts and walked up to the trailer to check them out. He was impressed and will pass the word around to the “athletic girls” in his family and friends.

Good nights sleep, minus the refrigerator… it is a humming nightmare. Adam, at Portland Airstream, actually returned my Sunday night 9:15 text, with a phone call trying to troubleshoot… now that is what I call service!

Next stop is St. Regis Montana… not sure what we will find there but we can hardly wait. Oh just as a side note my friend is biking across the nation, started in Everett Washington and will finish in DC. (www.facebook.com/BigReunionRide) I picked him up here in Idaho and will SAG (support and gear) him through the lovely state of Montana. I may even get about 30 miles in tomorrow, can hardly wait! Which skirt to wear?

I loveSweet Spot™ Skirts !

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!!!!!