The initial Power WearHouse Weighted Fitness Vest was inspired by the lack of commercially available products that could deliver the benefits of a weighted vest comfortably for older adults. Since the initial launch of the Weighted Fitness Vest, the design has been refined based on feedback received from product users. Improvements included; refinements to the weight system and product material. Specifically, the weight system is now stackable, offering a slimmer vest profile and smaller increments for more precise exercise prescription and reduced movement during use. A double zipper with an easy pull tab was selected to support user dexterity and comfort.
The Power WearHouse Weighted Fitness Vest was first launched in January 2021, available for purchase throughout North America on the Power WearHouse Website. The product is now sold in large national retailers’ stores, including Sport Chek, Sporting Life, Wellwise, Academy Sports, and HBC. In addition to national retailers, The Power WearHouse Weighted Fitness Vest is the only weighted vest available from the U.S. National Osteoporosis Foundation Members Store.
Tell us about yourself?
I’m Shelagh Stoneham, founder and CEO of Power Wearhouse. I have over 25 years of retail experience in senior executive roles, including most recently, SVP, CMO at Chico’s FAS™, SVP, CMO at Shopper’s Drug Mart™ (including Wellwise™ focused on aging well), and SVP, GM at Rogers Communications™. I was inspired to launch Power Wearhouse by the benefits of weighted vests but disappointed by the products on the market, so I assembled a team to design the Power Weighted Vest, etc. I am supported by seasoned SMEs, including Paula Keech, one of the top UK activewear designers with accessibility design experience. My advisory board is comprised of entrepreneurs with successful exits and executive leaders in their fields.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Yes, hard work is necessary, but pace yourself. Take time to decompress (in fact, some of the best ideas come from unstructured thinking time). Building a business is a marathon, not a sprint.
What problem does your business solve?
Our solution is a uniquely comfortable and stylish weighted vest designed and manufactured specifically for older adults, including those with osteoporosis, solving two key problems: decreased quality of life and barriers in healthcare resources/information. Osteoporosis has obvious physical impacts but also decreases confidence, independence, and social inclusion, leading to disproportionally high rates of depression and anxiety. Weighted vests are supported by decades of clinical evidence: stimulating bone density and promoting balance/stability; while improving the overall quality of life. Most weighted vests cater to athletes: one-size-fits-all, bulky/military style with fixed weights. PWH offers sizes XS-3XL, a sleek, comfortable design that can be worn at home and long-term, accessible easy-pull two-way zippers, and customizable interlocking weights in 8oz increments (up to 20lb).
What is the inspiration behind your business?
I was inspired by the benefits of weighted vests but disappointed by the products on the market, so I assembled a team to design the Power Weighted Vest, etc. We know that Power Weighted Wearables’ comfort, style and quality are best in class, given that we’ve sold more than 3,000 units with a less than 1 per cent return rate.
What is your magic sauce?
Weighted fitness wearables do good things for your body. But what sets Power WearHouse fitness wearables apart is that we’ve designed them to feel good and look good on your body.
I’m an active exerciser. And with my fashion background, I’m all about attention to detail: How does it fit? How does it look? More importantly, how does it make you feel? That’s how we became the most thoughtfully-designed weighted fitness wearables out there.
Take our unisex weighted fitness vest: It’s easy to wear. Unlike other weighted vests, it comes in a variety of sizes, is cut so that it won’t shift or chafe, and feels like it was custom-fitted. It’s made out of neoprene, which is soft, and because it fits you well, it’s really comfortable. Chic and sleek, the Power Weighted Fitness Vest is nothing like a suit of armour. Nothing like any other weighted vest on the market.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
We want our Power Weighted Fitness Belt and Vest to become an ubiquitous fitness accessory so that those 50 plus support better cardio, muscle and bone health. Most people (more than 70 per cent) around the world walk for fitness. We want them to get more out of their existing walk/fitness routine.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Our biggest challenge was COVID-19. Rotating overseas plant closures forced us to divert time to sourcing multiple manufacturers. As an emerging brand with new relationships, we especially couldn’t afford to disappoint our customers by not delivering product on time.
How can people get involved?
Please visit our website at www.powerwearhouse.com to purchase your Power Weighted Vest or Belt so you too can ‘Wear Your Workout!’ And please write a customer review.