Ladies sportswear business locates in SK Mall

Although autumn brings cooler weather and less daylight, people know that exercising and sports are still as much a part of an active lifestyle as during warmer conditions.

A new business that wants to meet the clothing needs of area residents is Steel Magnolia Sportswear, which is located off Mile Hill Drive at the South Kitsap Mall.

Owner Jeanne M. Ioset explains the idea behind her business.

“I’m looking for really stretchy, comfortable clothing,” she said. “Things that are quality and functional. I’m really looking for things that appeal to everybody.”

Ioset came up with plans for her business from her experience in tennis, golf, and most recently, delving into equestrian activities.

“I found that I was starting to mix and match my clothes,” said Ioset. “(I thought) why not combine those different lines?”

Steel Magnolia Sportswear specializes in clothing for women, “aged 10 to 110.” Categories of attire encompass both English and Western equestrian gear (including breeches with genuine deer skin patches), golf, tennis, walking/jogging, fitness and yoga—as well as multi-faceted “relaxed-wear.”

“My sign says ‘sportswear for active women,’ but who isn’t active?” said Jeanne Ioset. “After work or play you need something to relax in.”

Accessories the store carries includes vests, hats, coats, lightweight sunglasses, golf towels (crafted from antique handkerchiefs), lip balm and sunblock, among others. People may recognize name brands like Barn Girl, Arista, Tommy Golf, New Balance, Avia, Windwear and Bad Pants (which depicts the phrase “designed by golfers, worn by normal people” on clothing).

“Almost all of my things are made in the U.S.,” said Ioset. “(My goal is) delivering the very best to the customer. Our clothes should let us be able to do lots of things.”

Additional features of the business are free alterations, custom embroidery, V.I.P. discount cards for folks that belong to a club (as well as a punch card system for those who don’t), and monthly seminars featuring a guest speaker (where an entry fee goes to the speaker and attendees can take advantage of discounts).

The name Steel Magnolia Sportswear comes from Jeanne Ioset’s outlook about women. Ioset wants to decorate the interior walls of her business with 8 x 10 photos of area women who have competed or been active in the community.

“All ladies are what I call steel magnolias,” said Ioset. “I think we’ve got the neatest group of ladies here on the Peninsula.”

Future plans on the way include yoga mats, blocks and inspirational CDs, a television (“For Sunday football,” said Ioset, citing a husband-friendly atmosphere), and golf equipment.

“I’m really trying to make the store as beautiful as possible. I want this to be a great, feel-good place for ladies,” said Ioset. “I love living in Port Orchard. I’m really wanting to support the community.”

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