On November 8, local Ashburn entrepreneur Krista Woods visited Fauquier High School as a guest speaker to talk about her journey in making it in the business world as well as her experience on the national TV show, Shark Tank. Woods is the inventor of a now successful product known as Glove Stix. Woods appeared on “Shark Tank” on November 5, 2017 and won a deal. Her one year “Shark Tankiversary” of when her episode aired recently passed, and she said that she spent a few hours looking back on her Facebook and reliving the moment.
Woods was very excited to come. She said that she loves coming out, talking to students, and being able to share some of the things she has done in the last three and a half years. “I have to say it’s one of the things I enjoy the most,” said Woods.
The business and marketing students were the main audience that came to the event and said they enjoyed it. Junior Kendon Sheppard, who came with his business law class, said that he liked how she refused to use chemicals in her products and stuck to her morals, despite possibly getting more sales or a lower price. At the end of her speech, all of the students and Woods took a group picture together to capture the moment.
Woods’ Glove Stixs are an “award winning and patented odor management system.” The plastic sticks are imbedded with an antimicrobial solution containing silver ions, and are filled with replaceable inserts containing minerals such as silica, as well as plant based essential oils. The inserts absorb moisture from sports gear, stop bacteria growth, and eliminate odor. The whole product is tied together by a paracord handle and removable clip that allows you to hang your gear while the product works.
After telling her story, Woods emphasised that her journey wasn’t easy, although it may look that way from afar. “Just because I’ve done over a million dollars of sales in the last year, doesn’t mean I don’t have issues,” Woods said.She also said that recently her business has been without a factory for five months, because after they found out she was on “Shark Tank,” they raised the price 85 cents a unit. “There are still growing pains. It never gets easier,” said Woods. “But the more you do to challenge yourself and work through that challenge, the more capable you are.”
Woods went on to say that when she was in high school, she wasn’t the best student. “I didn’t care about school, in fact, I had a 2.6 GPA.” said Woods. She said that she had a gift of public speaking and a charismatic demeanor, but she didn’t know this in high school because everything was on report cards. “They did not grade personality; I did not know personality was a gift,” said Woods. Her advice towards kids today is that maybe you’re not the best at school, but whatever way your talented in, that’s what you use to excel and find success.
The origins of her invention began four years ago with one of her sons and his smelly lacrosse gear. The issue was with his gloves, as they would stink up the house, car, and hotel rooms. “Everything stunk. You got in the car and you wanted to die. If you were in a hotel, you woke up feeling sick to your stomach,” said Woods. The inventor decided that this problem had lasted long enough and began researching. She tried every trick in the book, but nothing would work, so she decided to invent something. After doing further research, she came up with a possible solution, and that’s when Glove Stix were created.
At first, she just a made a pair for her son, but then his entire team began to want one. This is when she decided to start selling the sticks. Woods called multiple manufacturers, hearing the word “no” and laughter through every phone call, until finally a company said yes. However, the company’s price point was not what Woods wanted, so she finally found another manufacturer in China. Woods had even more setbacks after this. There were issues with getting the wrong shipment, packaging issues, power outages, weather problems, and tournaments that she planned to sell at being canceled. Through all this, she forged ahead and at a certain point, applied to Shark Tank and got accepted. Woods said that although she got accepted, it did not guarantee she would actually appear on the show. “50,000 people apply to Shark Tank every year. 140-130 get flown to LA for filming, but only 80-90 get aired in a season,” said Woods. She later found out October 30, 2017 that her episode would air in six days. Woods was very nervous about this because she knew she wasn’t perfect and that she made mistakes. She then decided to not worry too much about it, “I’ve come this far, I’m celebrating this feat,” said Woods. With a party of over 100 people, they watched the episode together and it turned out great according to Woods.
by rachel singleton–sports editor