A three-hour drive with lacrosse gloves—that’s what it took for Krista Wood to begin her mission to cleanse the world of stinky sports equipment, a world she had inhabited for years with three athletics-loving children. Their son asleep, Krista and her husband Chris were left to suffer the consequences of glove-sweat all the way home from the tournament.
It seemed hopeless: A lot of sports gear is not washable. It’s certainly too expensive to replace when the inevitable odor develops. And, really, try to wrest sports equipment from your athlete’s clutch once it’s been broken in! Krista sprayed and sprayed and sprayed—every new product that appeared on the shelves, none in the least bit effective.
Krista was determined to conquer the stink. First, find out what causes the odor. Bacteria. Find out what causes the bacteria. Moisture. So dry up the moisture, kill the bacteria, eradicate the odor? Essentially, but how? Krista found the answers she needed, Chris built the prototype in the garage, and in less than a year, they had the award-winning, patented GloveStix. Originally designed for lacrosse and hockey gloves, GloveStix employ a three-prong approach: kill the bacteria present, deodorize, eliminate the moisture that will breed future bacteria. Place the Stix into the gloves immediately after use for best results. It’s easy enough for even the youngest child to get into the habit.
Each set of GloveStix is made up of two perforated plastic tubes joined by paracord. During the manufacturing process, liquid plastic is infused with non-toxic Silver Seal technology that uses the natural antimicrobial properties of silver ions to destroy the cell walls of bacteria. The tubes prohibit 99.9% of harmful bacteria for 10 years. Each tube contains a deodorizing and moisture-absorbing bag that is replaced every three to four months.
Krista marketed GloveStix on Facebook and Instagram and made cold calls to stores that specialize in lacrosse and hockey equipment. She and Chris packed up the GloveStix and the kids in the family SUV and went on adventures/selling trips to sporting events.
They developed a large following of customers who were thrilled with GloveStix and who found additional uses for them, including deodorizing boxing gloves, baseball mitts, sports shoes and boots, skates, helmets and knee pads, as well as driving and gardening gloves; work boots; military, police and fire gear; even ballet slippers and UGGs. There was more stink around than Krista imagined!
Thus, ShoeStix were born—same innovative design and unique technology but with a removable handle, making the Stix fit any size shoe no matter how small and any boot no matter how tall. Also, with the handle removed, there are two single Stix to use for helmets and knee pads.
In April 2016, Krista appeared on NBC’s Today. The show invites “MomEntrepreneurs” to compete in the “Next Big Thing.” Krista entered GloveStix and, out of thousands of entries, was selected as one of eight finalists to appear on the show. She won, and the prize was an appearance on QVC, the cable shopping network. In her eight-minute segment, Krista sold out her inventory and took orders for 5,000 units. And her goal for that year was to sell 3000!
Krista and Chris are humbled by and grateful for all the support that they have received from family, friends, former-strangers and customers, and they want to give back. In 2016, they donated $7,000 to fundraisers, sports teams and nonprofits across the nation. And as they grow, so will their contributions.
They are now working on new varieties of the GloveStix—different shapes and sizes will be appearing soon.