Smooth Stride, a Kennewick-based designer and manufacturer of comfortable blue jeans cut specifically for equestrian women, announced the launch of a Kickstarter campaign (http://tinyurl.com/kazdf6q). The company is owned by Désirée Johnson, a well-known horsewoman with decades of experience competing, teaching and training, and her husband, Eric, an accomplished product development and operations executive.
“Riding breeches perform very well,” said Désirée, “but you can’t do chores or go to the store in them--they’re not durable, they’re too expensive, and they look inappropriate. We all love our jeans for everyday wear, but the inseams and lump in the crotch make them impossible for any serious riding. I was sure there was a way to develop jeans that eliminated this problem, that fit well while in the saddle and that look good in everyday use. I finally found Smooth Stride, the original inside seamless jeans. But the company had fallen on hard times and their jeans were not available. So Eric and I bought the company and began the process of bringing production back to the U.S. and reviving the original design features and quality, and adding a touch or two of our own."
Eric Johnson, who oversees production and fulfillment for the new venture, added, "We have been working hard to re-develop Smooth Stride's products and are ready to launch production. The products are very innovative and have strong support from the equestrian community. Kickstarter provides us an opportunity to tap into this support by raising the capital we need in order to launch the U.S. production. We benefit by being able to move faster than we could on our own. And our supporters benefit by receiving innovative products at a lower price and by knowing that they've helped us bring production back into the U.S."
Smooth Stride will re-launch with three versions of the company's classic, inside seamless Western jean. The U.S.-grown and milled stretch denim with a slightly flared boot-cut leg are offered in three styles, sizes 2 through 16, and three leg lengths:
- Just Jeans, all denim, retail $115
- Full Seat Jeans, combining the best features of a high-end riding breech with your everyday working jeans, retail $145
- Knee Patch Jeans with patches of the Full Seat microsuede from above the knee to hem, retail $125
Until Feb. 14, Smooth Stride Jeans may be pre-ordered at a significant discount (and help the company to re-launch) via their Kickstarter campaign at http://tinyurl.com/kazdf6q. The company will market on-line at www.smoothstride.com, will support trunk sales at horse events and venues, and is planning retail channels for the Fall season.
"If we significantly exceed our Kickstarter goals," added Eric, "then we can accelerate follow-on products like an English leg and other colors and materials, all built on the superior fit that we've developed over the past nine months."