"How can I expect other guys to give this a try if I'm not willing to show that it can be done while still maintaining a masculine look". -Steve Newman [quote from Hilliard (Ohio) Northwest News article]This article ran in today's edition of the local suburban newspaper where I live. Hilliard is a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. Read it here and tell me what you think?
Overall, I like the article. I think it portrays men's legwear in a positive light. Would I have chosen another word besides 'Struts' in the headline to describe what I do--most definitely. But, aside from that they basically got it done pretty well.
One other correction. ActivSkin began in 1999, not 2000. That may have been my mistake in the information I gave the reporter, so it's probably not his fault.
[NOTE: SINCE THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE ONLINE OUTSIDE OF THE ARCHIVES, I'VE INCLUDED THE TEXT BELOW FOR THE BENEFIT OF READERS WHO WISH TO SEE THE CONTENT -SAN-]
Hilliard man markets, struts in stockings for men
By KEVIN CORVO
Published: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 4:31 PM EDT
The upside down economy has resulted in quite a few job transitions in the past year, but few are as odd as that of Hilliard resident Steve Newman.
Taking advantage of an increase in a little known market niche, Newman, a former practicing civil engineer, is now marketing director for ActivSkin, the sole domestic manufacturer of leg wear for men.
"We are getting orders from all over the United States and even overseas," said Newman, 48, a customer of ActivSkin before the company owner, Steve Katz, offered him the newly created job of marketing director. Katz founded the Granville-based company in 2000.
Newman was cut loose from his job as a civil engineer at Korda/Nemeth in March and did not consider his prospects of finding an engineering gig at another firm to be good.
The day after his lay off, Newman called Katz about possible suggestions for alternative employment.
He learned ActivSkin had just finished its best year in sales and Katz was in need of someone to handle marketing.
"(Katz) said sales were brisk in 2008 and he needed help in marketing so he could focus on his other responsibilities," Newman said. "I started right away."
Newman purchased men's hosiery from the company to help with blood circulation in his legs.
For men whose circulation is not so poor as to require medical-grade compression hose, the hosiery ActivSkin sells is less expensive and more comfortable, Newman said.
Bicyclists, distance runners, hunters, horseback riders and outdoorsmen are also among the growing number of clientele.
"The public perception of men wearing leg wear is rapidly shedding misplaced associations with cross-dressing and other negative images," Newman said.
ActivSkin is the only U.S. firm selling leg wear for men. Seven overseas companies market similar products.
ActivSkin products are available exclusively online as product demand has yet to rise to the level to make availability at big box retail stores profitable.
Manufactured in North Carolina exclusively for ActivSkin, the hosiery has a male comfort panel in the front proportioned for a male body.
"And they are more durable," Newman said.
Some models have a fly in the front.
As an increasing number of men wear their products, it becomes more accepting for other men to do so, said Newman, who continues to wear the product.
"How can I expect other guys to give this a try if I'm not willing to show that it can be done while still maintaining a masculine look," Newman said.
For further insight from Newman, visit his Web site and blog, "The Nylon Gene" at http://www.nylongene.com/.
For additional information about ActivSkin, visit the Web site http://www.activskin.com/
"How can I expect other guys to give this a try if I'm not willing to show that it can be done while still maintaining a masculine look."
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