I sat down with Laura and Jason, co-founders/wife-husband of Hipstik, over a yummy blueberry pancake breakfast to find out more about how Hipstik has bloomed into a statement of change. It was neat to see them interact with one another as they finish each other’s sentences! Follow us along in part one of our three part mini-series:
How did you become interested in hosiery?
Laura – In life, there are a lot of things you can pay attention to that come to fruition later on. During childhood, I remember my mom buying Silkies by mail order. Silkies had what was called an ‘ultra-control top.’ She would get these in the mail for herself and my sisters and me, put them on, and hate how they squeezed so tight on her stomach. I would hate that, too. I got the impression of what hosiery was from her experience of not liking it.
Laura – Fast forward to college: I had a job at Dillard’s in the jewelry, handbag, hosiery sections. Because we were commission based, most employees would gravitate towards the handbag section and there would be no one in hosiery. No one wanted to work in hosiery because it would take like 20 minutes per customer to find the right size and product for them. By challenging myself in hosiery, I got a good idea of what the brands were and I started understanding how the product selection was sizing itself. For most women, buying hosiery seemed like buying cough drops: something they didn’t necessarily want to have to buy.
Laura – After college, I started a career in marketing. Jason in design. The office space we both worked in was located at the Design Center of the Carolinas, an old hosiery mill in Charlotte.
So all these experiences start merging together.
Laura – While on the Carolinian train from my hometown of Burlington back to Charlotte, I am sitting there in my so squeezing yet scissor-cut control top tights feeling very uncomfortable. While looking out the window, I pass all these old hosiery mills and factories that are no longer in existence. Seeing these made me go, ‘You know what? I have the experience to be able to make tights that are comfortable. Tights that women actually want to wear.’
Laura – My dad came up with the name Hipstik based on the product attributes and it just fits so well and my sister sketched out her happy vision for the Hipstik logo on a yellow post-it note.
Coming up with a great idea is the first step in building a company, but to become a successful entrepreneur, you have to be able to put your ideas into action. In part two of our mini-series, Laura and Jason talk about how to go from idea to tangible product and some of the challenges faced along the way.