What: The idea – still in Kickstarter form – is low-rise tights for those who don’t subscribe to the saying “pain is beauty.” The tights use stretchy lace at the top, with a silicone band to keep them from sagging, and are sized according to body shape rather than weight. If the project gets funded, the opaque tights – in navy, black and brown and sized in Triangle, Rectangle, V Shape, Hourglass and O Shape (and height) – will be sold on the website in December. (The backer-discount price is $20 a pair.)
Who: Laura McGuire grew up in Burlington, N.C., and considers herself “a Carolina girl and a Southern lady” frustrated with uncomfortable hosiery for years. “They all seem to be control top and I could never wrap my head around why. Not every woman wants a control top at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning … Women should be able to wear dresses and skirts, and they shouldn’t want to come home after work and rip their tights off like I used to.” McGuire was so fed up with uncomfortable pantyhose that she eventually took matters into her own hands and cut a V down the front of all of her pairs to let her stomach breathe.
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How: Altering her own tights wasn’t a permanent solution. On a train ride from Burlington to Charlotte, McGuire says, she had an “aha moment”: Her career had given her the skills to solve this very problem. She’s worked in advertising and marketing for the past decade helping entrepreneurs develop products and put them on shelves. If she could do that for others’ ideas, why couldn’t she do it for her own?
A family effort: McGuire’s husband, Jason, also works in product development – that’s how they met. He’s a designer, and did all the visuals: logo, website and photos. But the name? “Hipstik” was McGuire’s father’s idea. “He has three daughters, so he hasn’t been able to avoid the woman thing,” she joked. McGuire found a manufacturing company in Asheboro.
Why she wears tights: “I’m just a normal gal who happens to love boots,” McGuire said. Her favorite winter outfit is a sweater and a pencil skirt with tights and boots. McGuire’s husband guessed she had at least 20 pairs of boots, and McGuire agreed, laughing. “I have low boots, knee-high boots and halfway boots, dressy boots, cowboy boots … I have all kinds of boots.”