Today we’d like to introduce you to Lori Tobin.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
In the very early 90’s I used to make my own clothes for running. Nothing in the department stores fit me right. And I could sew, so why not make clothes that fit. Because I was making my own clothes I figured why not make running clothes using really fun and funky fabrics. Everyone loved them so much they wanted to buy them off my back. So in 1991 Sportobin was born. I developed a cycling line for women and sold to bike shops across the country and I also sold my running clothes to local shops, expos and teams. I became involved with multiple sclerosis and breast cancer walks and the breast cancer events really took off. By 1998 we were selling online. In the 2008 I developed and taught a morning exercise program – Keep Going Kidz – at my son’s elementary school which I continue to run today.
In March 2014 I published a short book on children’s exercise, nutrition and health titled Renaissance Mother and later that year I created, wrote and hosted Lori Tobin’s Cooking with Kids for Hull Community Television; the seven episodes are on YouTube.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
For nearly ten years I traveled around the country speaking and selling at breast cancer walk expos – it was a lot of travel and a lot of work, but also great fun and I really enjoyed speaking to all the breast cancer walkers about exercise, eating and healthy lifestyles. And sales, especially after my talks, were outstanding. When an elderly family member became ill I had to curtail my traveling to take care of her. I shifted my business in a new direction to make up for the loss of sales from the expos and now I mainly sell at local events and through my website. My husband is a sea captain and is away overseas for a month at a time so raising our young son keeps me busy.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about SporTobin – what should we know?
SporTobin is a Hull, MA-based apparel company specializing in long-lasting, wicking and fast-drying athletic apparel – mainly fleece and lycra leggings, shorts, hoodies, thumb-hole shirts, hats and headbands. Our clothing, which is 100% made in the United States, is made to wick away sweat, keep you warm, and fit you well. We sell to members of school and town teams and offer custom embroidery and silk-screening. Our individual customers can easily shop at www.sportobin.com or by phone.
SporTobin donates to local charities with cash and merchandise gifts and we give our surplus fabric to nearby schools for art projects.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My customers who have been buying from me for many years. One favorite is a woman from Newton, MA who had a pair of fleece/lycra leggings for twenty years and called to order another pair after the first ones finally wore out.
- Fleece Leggings – $50
- Fleece Hoodies – $50
- Fleece Ponytail Hats – $16
- Lycra Walking Shorts – $30
- Website: www.sportobin.com
- Phone: 781-925-5339
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org