If you've ever slipped into a pair of killer heels and experienced the not-so-fashionable moment when your pants get caught between your foot and the shoe, you aren't alone. Enter the genius of Kix By Katie, an intriguing solution to an age-old problem that most women probably thought was inevitable. We spoke with founder Katie Johnson to learn more about her product and how it works.
LoveToKnow: Katie, thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us! What is your professional background? Have you always aspired to work in the fashion industry?
Katie Johnson: I've been a licensed cosmetologist for 23 years. Although I have not worked in that field for quite some time now, I've always loved helping women feel good about themselves. I have done hair and makeup for some fashion shows and have always been intrigued by the whole fashion industry. Although I love clothing and fashion, I never dreamed that I would be a part of it in any way other than the cosmetology end.
About Kix By Katie
LTK: Tell us about the inspiration for Kix by Katie. It's such a unique product! Did you experience a few bunched-up pants snafus yourself?
KJ: Necessity really is the mother of all invention. Being vertically challenged (and, okay, maybe a few pounds over my desired weight), I love to wear long pants with high heel shoes for a long, slimming silhouette (ahh, don't we all!). But when I wore my favorite open-back heels with my long pants, I experienced the dreaded heel wedge! You know, when your pants get bunched up between your foot and shoe? Don't you just hate that?
Frustrated by this problem and a lack of a commercially available solution, I created a prototype by cutting a strip of plastic from discarded packaging and attached it with surgical tape to the inside of my pant leg. Voila - an idea took flight! It wasn't pretty, but it worked, and I knew other women would want it, too. As a wife and mom of two wonderful boys, I understand that a woman's time is valuable. We don't have time to muss and fuss over all these little wardrobe malfunctions that stand in our way of getting the important things in our day done.
It was an Oprah show announcing "QVC/Oprah's Search for the Next Big Idea" event that gave me the kick in the pants I needed to start working on Kix by Katie. Inspired by that show and wanting to help other women feel more confident, I quickly filled out the registration form and sent it off before I had time to change my mind. The next thing I knew I was on my way to the event in Los Angeles! I'd love to say I was one of the eight winners chosen, but I wasn't. That's okay, though, because I learned so much! As Walter Elliot once said, "Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another." That got the ball rolling and it's been such a fun adventure!
LTK: Can they be worn with any type of pant? Does it favor a particular material and stay put longer on anything specific?
KJ: Kix By Katie were designed to be worn with pants made of heavier weight fabrics, like denim, corduroy or cotton twill, although many wear them with other fabrics with fine success. We put a lot of time and effort into choosing the adhesive for Kix By Katie to ensure that they stick securely to most any fabric and will not come off until you remove them. We are proud to say that while the adhesive holds very securely, they can still be easily removed without leaving any sticky residue or harming the fabric in any way.
LTK: You place a strong emphasis on doing good, not just through your product, but also for the community and by supporting women. Why did you feel it was important to combine your business goals with these efforts?
KJ: Studies show that when women feel good about how they look it has a positive effect in all areas of their life. Whether in their personal or professional lives, they tend to be more self-confident. As a result they are willing and able to take on more as well as accomplish more in their day. Who doesn't want that?
LTK: What does the future hold for Kix by Katie?
KJ: We are in the process of making Kix By Katie in a variety of new fun prints. We gave some a test run at a recent trade show and we had an overwhelming good response, so we hope to bring those to the public soon. We are constantly seeking out new opportunities and new retailers to better serve our customers. Please contact us and let us know if you have a favorite boutique or retailer in your area that you would like to carry Kix By Katie. When they become a retailer, I'll personally send you a special gift.
LTK: Any final thoughts you would like to share?
KJ: We live in a time of great opportunity for women in their own businesses. The great positive energy that exists between women in businesses is amazing! Women naturally love to support and help each other. They love to see each other succeed and genuinely take interest in their query. There are several networking groups available to women, like Savor the Success, where everyone is willing to share what they know and help each other out in any way.
Studies show that women are now growing businesses at twice the rate of men, and many are doing it on a shoestring budget and a baby on their hip. With the technology we have today, women have many more opportunities to have their own business and still feel that they can be great wives and mothers. Knowing that there are smart, successful women out there that are willing to lend a hand to help you succeed gives many women the confidence they need to go for it. I'm grateful to be living in this time when women have so many opportunities for business available to them, and I'm especially grateful for the support of my fellow women in business.
By Tanya Sharma