Hilton Head Island entrepreneur Kelly Stroud Spinella has fond memories of her childhood in Chesterfield, Va. Some of her favorite moments were fishing with her father on Lake Chesdin, something they would do together just about every evening at dusk.
“It was our time together,” Spinella said.
She doesn’t get to fish with her father as much as she used to - he now lives in Florida - but Spinella still loves being on the water and goes fishing with her husband, George Spinella, whenever possible.
Over the years, the Hilton Head Island woman noticed one problem with her hobby - finding the right clothing to wear while on the water all day. Being out in the sun so much, her skin needed protection. High-performance clothing with Ultraviolet Protection Factor has become popular among anglers; however, Spinella said she couldn’t find anything for women.
So Spinella, who had worked for many years as an art director, began thinking about creating her own clothing line for women who like to fish.
She launched Ladyfish in April 2014 online at www.ladyfish.com as well as unveiling the brand at the Hilton Head Island Seafood Fest.
“I just saw the need for cute, comfortable women’s fishing apparel,” Spinella said.
It’s fitting that the tagline for Spinella’s clothing line is “I can bait my own hook!” She doesn’t need help baiting a hook. And she didn’t sit around and wait for someone else to create the clothing she wants to wear.
Now Spinella has an entire line of clothing to choose from when getting dressed for a day on the water. Although marketed toward female anglers, the gear is also perfect for boating and other outdoor activities.
Ladyfish offers comfortable T-shirts, tank tops, hats, hankies and long-sleeved high-performance UPF shirts. The best part? They are cut specifically for women.
Spinella prefers to wear a long-sleeved shirt when she’s out in the sun to protect her from the harmful rays and to cool her down. In the South Carolina heat, it’s hard to imagine wearing long sleeves in the middle of summer. But Spinella said her long-sleeved shirts are made with a moisture wicking fabric that disperses moisture from the skin.
“Even in the hottest part of the summer, I’ll wear it playing a tennis match in the middle of the day,” Spinella said. “And once you start sweating, the UPF fabric cools you down, and it protects you from the sun, so its a win-win situation.”
Ladyfish apparel is available online at www.ladyfish.com, and in retail stores locally, as well as in Florida and Texas. Ladyfish apparel can be found locally at Shelter Cove Marina, Palmetto Bay Marina, Boathouse Bait & Tackle, May River Excursions and 32° North in Harbour Town. The company will ship internationally to Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Spinella said many people, especially men looking for something special for their girlfriends or wives, order Ladyfish clothes as gifts.
She recently got a call from a man who wanted to buy a gift for his wife, who enjoys going out on the boat. The man told Spinella that he fishes all the time and his wife gives him a hard time about it.
“So he figured if he bought her something cute to wear, she’d start going with him,” Spinella said.
Now that Spinella’s clothing line is selling well, and she’s comfortable, stylish and well protected from the sun, she can focus on what's really important - hooking the next big fish.
WHERE TO GET YOUR LADYFISH OUTFIT LOCALLY:
Shelter Cove Marina I Palmetto Bay Marina
Boathouse Bait & Tackle I May River Excursions
32° North in Harbour Town