Company Spotlight: Stickyseat
Decidedly Equestrian loves Stickyseat so much, we couldn’t just do a re review. We needed to share more about this awesome company and those fantastically comfortable breeches. Please enjoy our interview with San Anderson, the owner and founder of Stickyseat. If you are looking for a comfortable pair of riding tights that will take a beating, but still stay in great shape try Stickyseat! If black, navy, brown and tan aren’t your thing…keep an eye out. They release limited editions in other colors as well (we recently got our hands on some luscious burgundy ones)!
Tell me a little bit about Stickyseat and its beginning. What was your inspiration? What year did you open the company?
Stickyseat was born out of frustration. I had been developing high performance athletic apparel for years in my job, and yet, all of the choices for breeches and tights in my chosen sport were outdated and cheap fabrications that were ill fitting and uncomfortable. I also loved the ride feel of a leather seat, but hated the care it needed, the lack of comfort it provided and the cost to procure it. I needed to come up with a better solution.
I was also encouraged to develop the Stickyseat after watching my daughter’s riding lessons. My daughter’s first lessons were with my dressage instructor. To be honest, she didn’t like children and my daughter learned very quickly to have quiet hands and legs and to use her seat aid to communicate. When my daughter was old enough to join group lessons, she was a far better rider than the other kids. I would watch in horror as the other kids would simultaneously kick their mount while yanking on its’ face – then, if the horse moved out, the kid would be bouncing around crazily. The other Moms would ask how Alia rode so beautifully and I would joke we used Velcro to keep her seated, but I knew that if these kids learned what it felt like to move with the horse, they would be better riders with happier horses.
What makes Stickyseat different than other products on the market?
Stickyseat breeches are finely tailored and use high end athletic fabrics that I develop. We originated the idea of adhering the sticky seat to the outside of the fabric so that you wouldn’t be irritated by it against your skin. I also wanted the silicone to stretch and have not be a solid plate of stick so that the fabrics could continue to do their magic and breathe and wick away moisture.
Which product is your personal favorite?
For year round the Cargo Pocket Euroseat with Muffin Top Minimizer Waistband, pockets (since I won’t have a jacket or vest) and PerformSport Fabric that keeps me cool and dry.
For Winter I like the Extended Grip Leg Tight in the Polartec WindPro Fleece. I like the full on leg grip in Winter since I often ride horses that like to go sideways when the wind blows. The Polartec WindPro utilizes Hard Face technology to block wind and rain. The dense fleece interior is low pile (so not bulky) which circulates your body heat, keeping you warm, not sweaty.
Do you have plans for new products or changes to old ones in the future?
I am always tweaking the patterns and grip material to continuously improve. We have also gone back to offering some additional colors in small batches which is fun. We just launched a non-stick pant for all of our fans who love to wear our pants when not at the barn. We will have more of that to come!
How do you design your breeches? Are you the pattern maker? How do you decide on fabrics?
I spend a lot of time on the road and at Expos. I meet tons of our customers face to face and fit hundreds of bodies at each expo. This helps me really hone in on what is wanted in the market. I am not the pattern-maker nor do I sew! I have an excellent team of industry professionals from years in the business. I do develop the fabrics or source existing fabulous ones.
What is your background?
I have a degree in Business and minor in Industrial Engineering. I love factories and running businesses! I have been in the Apparel Industry for over 25 years as a Director of Operations and Manufacturing. My companies have developed and produced Athletic Apparel for major brands, but the story was always the same; we would launch new products for these companies and once their business took off they would be enticed to take manufacturing off shore to save money.
I decided I needed my own brand committed to manufacturing in the USA that believed in the Triple Net Bottom Line. That is we make a profit, we pay fair wages here in the USA, and we give back to Horses in Need.
What is your equine story ?
I bought my first pony at the age of 9 for $75.00. I brought the little devil home to my non-horse parents who freaked out. But they had always told me that if I saved my money I could buy whatever I wanted…so Popcorn was here to stay! He started out super naughty, biting, bucking and scraping you off on the low hanging branches, but became my trusty side-kick. We rode for many miles and I taught him tricks. When I got too big for him, I taught him to drive and then I would drive him to the stable where I had my next horse.
Do you still ride/show?
I do not show. That torch was passed to my daughter. Now that my daughter is in college I am no longer a show Mom either!
I do still ride as much as I can – now that my daughter and I no longer “share” a horse I am looking forward to my next forever friend….
Describe a typical day running Stickyseat.
It is often 24/7 – the double edge sword of technology! This week I am focusing on production and quality control of our Winter Wear while projecting fabric needs for Spring, monitoring cash flow for upcoming manufacturing expenses and costing out shipping options for our next big show – the Equine Affaire in Massachusetts in November.
What parts of running Stickyseat do you find challenging? Rewarding?
There are a lot of challenges in running a business: Making sure you work with partners who care as much as you do, always being on the lookout for the next improvement, and being careful to not over extend myself.
But there are also many rewards. My #1 FAVORITE is helping women feel confident in their riding clothes.
We are so very hard on ourselves. I meet women all over the country who have great careers, have raised families, are wonderful friends and members of their community and yet they talk down about themselves and belittle their beauty.
Often we see women come out of the dressing room, looking better in her Stickyseat Riding Pants or tights than she does in her street clothes with her friends oohing and ahhing – I LOVE That! We get so many notes and messages from women thanking us for the super comfortable, flattering pants that even help them ride better (plus they love that everything is machine wash and machine dry!)