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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
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.