Krista Woods

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When you’ve got sporty kids, stink is an epidemic… but Krista Woods of Ashburn, Virginia, has the cure! Krista is the “mom-preneur” behind the award-winning Glovestix, a patent-pending odor management system that gets the stink out of sweaty athletic gloves and sports shoes. Glovestix, which took home the grand prize on TODAY’s “Next Big Thing” in April of 2016 and sold out the next morning on QVC before the live show even began, was born on the way home from a weekend-long lacrosse tournament. GloveStix has grown into a phenomenon hailed by fed-up moms and professional lacrosse players. As “Director of Stink Operations” and mom of three, Krista sees GloveStix as a practical, affordable solution to an everyday problem.

WHERE DID THE IDEA FOR GLOVESTIX COME FROM?
From spending many years trying to get rid of the stink in my kids’ athletic gear! Washing ruins the fit and feel [and] I tried every spray, every trick (UV Rays, freezer, etc.), to get rid of the funk. Nothing ever worked. Most of the stuff on the market never even made a dent. I bought some stuff that I actually thought might help, but then I read the back of the package, and it said, “Wash hands immediately after use,” and I got very frustrated. I remember thinking to myself, “Wait, what? I actually use this for his lacrosse gloves and it’s not safe to the touch? How can I put it on his gloves then?!” I started reading all the labels of products I had used, and all of them had TONS of chemicals. I was completely disgusted. I also knew that there was no such thing as “athletic glove holders.” Since [athletic gloves] are sold in pairs, the family is out 200 bucks, even if one glove gets misplaced. That’s when I decided to fix the problem myself!

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A “MOM-PRENEUR”?
Honestly, it’s empowering. I have been self-employed for many years and have my own training and team-building company, but this is different. To actually invent and create a unique and original product with absolutely no experience, [developing the] product design, manufacturing, product, e-commerce, marketing, and branding has been the most incredible experience. You never see behind-the-scenes of someone’s success, and for almost a year I had to rebound from a world of “noes” and manufacturing delays and mistakes. I never knew how strong I really was until I pushed myself completely outside my comfort zone in EVERY aspect and pushed as hard as I could to keep going.
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WHAT ROLE HAS YOUR FAMILY PLAYED IN THE CREATION AND SUCCESS OF GLOVESTIX?
I couldn’t have done it without them. My youngest son, Jackson, is the stinky one. He was the one who wouldn’t let me wash his gloves. He was the tester to make [GloveStix] “boy approved.” I was super nervous about spending the money to get started; it was his encouragement that pushed me to do it. He was the one who said, “DO IT, MOM!”

My husband, Chris, actually built the prototypes Jackson tested in the garage. He thought I was a little “cray cray” in the beginning, but I wouldn’t be here without him. The paracord handle [to connect and keep the gloves together] was completely his idea. I wanted the stix to have a “coolness” factor, and he definitely figured out how to make it cool!

Kelsey, my daughter, was at JMU but spent many weekends helping us sell products under the tent. She sacrificed a lot of fun time to come home and help us out!

My son, CJ, also spent many weekends under the tent selling GloveStix… he also would help with a lot of the technical stuff— the social media aspect and setting up stuff on the computer and even using the Square to accept credit cards.

HOW DID IT FEEL TO WIN TODAY’S “NEXT BIG THING” AND THEN SELL OUT ON QVC BEFORE THE LIVE SHOW EVEN BEGAN?
I have been trying to put my finger on the exact emotions I was feeling, but it’s hard, because it was almost an out-of-body experience. With seven total hours of sleep (over three days), I was running on pure love and adrenaline. It was the support I was getting from my friends, family and even strangers back home that was the most amazing part!

ANY BIG FUTURE PLANS FOR GLOVESTIX?
Tons of them! We have completely stepped up our game. We now know we have a product that’s in high demand, so we’re working diligently to produce more of them—faster—and we have several other ideas that will take us to the next level.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER MOMPRENEURS?
Ask questions… there’s some vulnerability in that, but I think people respect it. Build relationships—real ones. And be yourself, above all else. It’s not about the idea you have, but the willingness to jump in and do the work. Listen, listen, listen…gain an open mind, but ultimately trust your instincts, and do what’s right for you.

It’s hard work. A lot of people think I just tripped over an idea and then magically achieved success. What they didn’t see was my self-doubt, my sleepless nights, my anxiety and worry about failing, the pressure I felt to make it work. It was the hardest work I’ve ever done. You have to dig deep, keep going and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Once that happens … magic happens!