Alumni

 

The Lancer Alumni Newsletter is a quarterly publication. Here is a sample article from our last publication.

Volume VI, Issue 3

Fall 2019

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Alumna designs skirt for athletic apparel brand

It was the outdoors that ultimately pushed Melinda (Kashey) Stefko and her husband to move to Colorado after graduating college.

It makes sense then that Stefko’s love for the outdoors helped lead her to her latest venture – designing a skirt for Skirt Sports, an innovative women’s athletic apparel brand.

“I like to wear shorter-length skirts when I run and hike, similar to running shorts, but I felt self-conscious wearing them out and about to the grocery store or out to eat after a run because they don’t provide much coverage,” said Stefko, a 1995 graduate from General McLane. “There aren’t always places to change at trail heads, and I didn’t want to have to change after a run before going out. That sparked my inner challenge to find a way to fix this problem. There are hiking pants that have zip off legs, turning them into shorts. Why couldn’t we have a skirt that does something like that?”

In August, Stefko’s brainchild, “the Flirty Converty”, hit the market. This zip-away tiered ruffled skirt is multi-functional, offering a layer for more coverage while also giving women the ability to zip off the bottom for freedom during workouts. The skirt also has two pockets, a continuous drawcord and music ports on both sides.

“I didn’t want my skirt to be boxy like the zip-off pants, I wanted the skirt to still look cute. The Flirty Converty marries these concepts: it is cute, flattering, and converts from a longer skirt that is appropriate to wear out to dinner to a shorter skirt you can hike or run in without needing to change,” she said.

Stefko designed this through SkirtSport’s Sewing Room, a project where the company solicits apparel ideas from its customers. Designs are then voted on by fellow consumers.

“I was so excited, and even more excited for it to become a reality,” Stefko said. “Since it came out in August, there has been an overwhelming positive response to the design. I can’t believe there wasn’t something like this out there sooner.”

A plant administrator for Noosa Yoghurt, Stefko enjoys mountain biking, hiking, running, yoga and downhill and back country skiing in her free time. She came across Skirt Sports’ products when she was trying to find something to wear with pockets for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, a two-day fundraising walk.

Shortly after her first purchase, Stefko fell in love with the company and its mission and has since become an ambassador for the program.

“In the world today where there are so many people knocking each other down, and jealousy tearing apart relationships, I found beauty in this company and appreciated their all-inclusive nature,” she said. “I was going through my own health setbacks that had caused me to not be active like I had been. Skirt Sports happened to me at the perfect time.”

Stefko said she was inspired through the women she connected with through social media and gained a much more positive, mental state.

Stefko graduated from Westminster College. She currently resides in Fort Collins with her husband, Steve.

The skirt is officially on the Skirt Sports website and store. The Flirty Converty sells for $78, however, use Stefko’s discount code for 15% off an order: SSA777Mel

Photos Courtesy of Melinda Stefko

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