Remember when deliriously happy married couple, Katie and Hubbell, (played by Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford), were strolling on the beach in the 1973 movie, The Way We Were? Didn’t it make you just want to run to the beach, and stay forever, with a man who looked and behaved like Hubbell?
When Mary Jane Parrish and her husband saw the movie, they were newly married and he told her: “We’re going to live on the beach some day.” Two years ago, they made the move, to Grayton Beach in Northwest Florida’s Panhandle. “We grew up vacationing down here,” explained Mary Jane, who met her Hubbell in Bowling Green, Kentucky, (a town of 50,000) when they were 10. They’ve been married almost four decades.
“We’re living our dream. You couldn’t blast me out of here,” said Mary Jane, who taught interpersonal communication, including public speaking, to high school and college students in Kentucky, before moving to Memphis. There, she became a “corporate wife” in a “corporate town.”
“Corporate life was great, but we were done with it,” she said. Florida beckoned and it’s been a perfect environment for Mary Jane to enjoy the activities she loves, including tennis, yoga, running, pilates and aerobics. In Florida, she noticed that FOFs rarely returned home after their workouts and would wrap something around their waists to cover their butts. “I thought, there’s got to be a better look than ‘gym rat.’ Why couldn’t workout wear look great on us after we finished working out?,” said Mary Jane. “Tennis skirts [with bare legs] and running shorts were cute when our legs were cute, but now we want to cover cellulite, varicose veins and brown spots.”
And alas, the Skite was born. A combination short skirt and tights, Mary Jane’s Skites come in four lengths (short, bike, capri and ankle), and even the shortest covers the backside and “makes me feel cute again,” she added. Constructed in Grayton Beach from the “same material that Lululemon uses,” (purchased from a fabric manufacturer in New Jersey) the Skites are wrinkle- and odor-resistant and moisture-wicking and are “sassy and classy, not faddish or clingy,” said Mary Jane. “They’re age appropriate and comfortable, not too short and tight.”
When Mary Jane introduced the well-priced Skites ($59 and $69) at a popular running event just over a year ago, she sold out. “I sold every single one of the 50 I brought and took orders for 50 more,” said Mary Jane. “It’s fun to make women feel good about themselves and help their self esteem.” She also plans on introducing short and long-sleeved tees to go with the Skites, in the near future.
Enter to win a Skite, a skirt and tights in one, invented by FOF Mary Jane Parrish by answering in the comments below: Which color Skite do you like the best?
Images courtesy of Mary Parrish and theskite.com
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