November 18, 2015 - 8:00 PM
LAKE COUNTRY - A young Lake Country couple had no idea their idea to start a legging company would grow so fast.
Addie and Chris Pafiolis started SweetLegs in their house in Lake Country just one and a half years ago. In that time they have sold more than half a million pairs of the versatile pants worldwide and have more than 200 distributors.
“It’s been mind boggling,” Addie says. “We were forced into opening it a little earlier than we wanted because people were banging on the door saying they would pay cash.”
They now fill roughly 200 orders a day to customers across Canada and to countries like Switzerland, Australia, the U.S. and many more.
Chris and Addie moved to the Okanagan five years ago from Alberta, where Chris was a successful designer. He has since started working with his wife full time and between them they put in regular 18-hour days, filling orders, designing new patterns and waiting in line at the post office.
“Canada Post really loves us,” she says.
They have 20 employees and a store in Lake Country. A friend of theirs who was selling SweetLegs out of her home was forced to open a store when she started getting 60 people a day coming to her home as well.
All credit for the success of the company goes to Addie and Chris, however. The website, logo and many of their most popular patterns were created in their kitchen and the couple still does much of their own quality control.
Even the name is Addie’s creation.
“I was standing in my kitchen and we were hashing out what we were going to call the company. I said I want something where people look and say 'hey those are sweet legs'.”
They offer more than 500 patterns and Addie describes the fabric they use as 'magical kitten and unicorn hair'. In reality it’s a combination of spandex and polyester that is both comfortable and flattering.
“It’s about comfort and style,” she says. “There's something about when you slide on a pair, it’s a slimming effect. You feel like a million bucks.”
And their clients aren’t just young women either. Men buy them for sports like weight training, running and skiing, and even older people are dropping 'regular' pants for SweetLegs. They even sell kids and plus sizes.
“We have women in their 90s wearing them now,” she says. “They’re a unique product.”
Addie says a key to their success has been their website, which was designed by her husband at their kitchen table.
"Every two weeks we launch four or five new prints in all sizes," she says. "I guess it’s pretty rare. There are other (companies that sell leggings) but we’re one of the only ones with a website. That’s where we lucked out."
The couple are currently expecting their fifth child but say they plan to keep riding the horse that got them this far.
“This is what we wanted to do with this company,” she says. “Create something that benefits our friends and family and makes a difference in peoples’ lives.”
They currently receive around 40 applications a day from people interested in selling SweetLegs, a testament to how Chris and Addie treat their partners.
“This is not a multi-level kind of company where the rich get richer,” she says. “It’s been hugely successful for a lot of our retailers.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015