Putting a “spark” in runwear with Alektra shorts

alektra-running-shorts

Kimberly Powell, Alektra founder Angela Pewitt, Michelle Oliver and Ruth Penton Hayes wear Alektra shorts in Diamond, Pink Block, Lime and Lava Lamp patterns, respectively, on the Jemison Trail. Photo by Madoline Markham.

By JENNIFER GRAY

Running has long been a part of Angela Pewitt’s everyday life.  But she had found over the years that it was difficult to find running shorts that held up over time, much less had a fun, feminine look.  So she decided if she couldn’t find the shorts she wanted in stores, she would just have to create them herself.

Alektra Running Wear launched in February 2011 at the Mercedes Marathon.  Pewitt chose the name of her business from the mythological goddess of energy.

“Every girl has a spark,” said Pewitt.

Pewitt said creating the line was a learning experience.  “I had to figure out each step of the process as I went,” she said.

First, Pewitt set out to design the style of her shorts.  She wanted a short that had a bit of a boxy cut to it, making it more more comfortable and not as short as others on the market.  Secondly, she wanted it to have the Dri-FIT technology that allows athletic wear to dry quickly, keeping sweat and moisture from staying on the skin.

“One of my favorite features of the short is the oversized Velcro interior pocket,” said Pewitt.  This feature allows for ample room for a car key or house key and even an iPod.  The shorts also have the Wikin Dri-FIT liner.

Pewitt first designed a prototype then found fun fabrics to make her shorts unique.  No basic black here.  “My story is really one of six degrees of separation,” she said.  “Each step of the way, a friend would have a connection to someone who was able to help or answer questions.”  Pewitt’s friend Brad Crowe helped put her in touch with someone at Russell Athletics that was able to recommend manufacturers, and her husband, attorney Jim Pewitt, handled the trademarking.

After Southern Living did a story on her product, the business took off.
Alektra shorts are available in nine patterns.  They are carried locally at the Trak Shak in Homewood and the Mountain Brook YWCA.  They can also be ordered online at www.alektrarunwear.com.  The shorts retail for $40.

Alektra shorts have been shipped to as far away as Germany and to states such as Maryland, Texas, Virginia and Massachusetts.  One local pro tri-athlete wears them for every competition, as do many local runners.  Pewitt also works with women’s lacrosse teams.

Conscious of giving back to her community, Pewitt has partnered with the Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation for this year’s Race for the Cure.

“Ten percent of all the net profit sales for my pink shorts from now until October 15 will be donated to the Susan G. Komen foundation,” said Pewitt. “I really wanted to give back to the cause and the community.” Only online purchases of these shorts qualify and can be ordered on her website.

What’s next for Alektra run wear?  Pewitt has been approached by men to create some for them.  “There’s also a real interest in a longer short among the 60 and older crowd,” she said.  Whatever direction she decides to go next, you can bet that her “spark” will be evident.

When Pewitt is not running, running her Alektra Runwear business, or running around with her two young men, James, 15, and Joseph, 13, she sells advertising for Flower magazine.

For more information on Alektra Runwear, visit www.alektrarunwear.com.

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