The first question we are often asked is what makes us different. Why is Miss Mayfly better than any of our competitors? The answer to that is multifaceted. Let us start by explaining who we are and why we created this company. I started this line after not being able to find well-fitting and flattering gear for my daughter, who I desperately wanted to wade with me. She was a shore angler and I was a spin fishing wader (now an avid fly angler). When I discovered that no products on the market met my criteria, I decided I would just create them.
I was in the process of recovering from an attack at work, which left me with several spine and back injuries. Fishing was one of the few things I could still do and it became my therapy and eventually became my obsession. I have always loved to create and solve problems and deeply believe in the American dream. I knew this idea was my new path as soon as it entered my mind. I studied the market, in-depth for months. I studied the competitors products, I examined them and learned everything which was good and bad about them. I studied the sizing, sizing charts, the fabrics, the construction, the components and the functionality. I did this for months until I felt I knew what needed changed.
I began to read all the comments and reviews left on the competitors sites and major retailer pages. What I didn’t expect was the abundance of women who could not find appropriate fitting waders. Even as the new brand products were introduced, I saw that they still hadn’t addressed women’s needs adequately. As I began to grow our social media following and started listening to the women anglers, I was shocked to hear some of their challenges in appropriate fitting gear. I spent much time learning what needed to be done better and setting goals that would be able to meet their needs. The first thing I discovered is that the sizing system patterns which the other brands were using, were all the same type of sizing system based on a scale of height. I studied the men’s charts and compared them to the women’s and when I did, I discovered that the women’s were developed in a mirror image as the men’s, with a few width changes. As a curvy woman myself, I knew this was not satisfactory and that creating an appropriate sizing system for women, was the most important aspect in my mission. It became my goal to create a sizing scale that would fit the majority of women, regardless of height or shape.
Developing such a system was not easy. I even hired a professional designer to help develop the system but she, however did not share my vision and Incorporated the ASTM standards of sizing into the system. When I compared measurements to real women, I knew this system was not going to appropriately fit anyone unless they were a runway model. I was actually quite disgusted at what the these charts thought were normal sizing standards for women. So, after wasting many months of riding on the hope of the designer’s ability, and was told “If you don’t like it, do it yourself”, I did just that. Months of studying numbers, charts, patterns and more charts. Months of working numbers over and over and coming up with averages of the clothing industry measurement charts. Months of creating numerical patterns and studying real women’s bodies and how they moved. I measured rear ends while standing, sitting and squatting. I often did not eat, shower or sleep (my love will testify to that, it was a hard time in his life). I can promise you that none of these competitors put in the research, time and soul into the sizing for women as I did.
As I worked these numbers and they began to evolve, I discovered a system that was completely opposite than the competitors. It had to be based on width, not height. The problem was the fabric. The competitors were forced to add up to 8 inches in extra length so that a person could bend and sit. This made it very important to focus on the length of the wader instead of the width, as if it was just two or three inches too long, it would result in thick, stiff fabric rolls, down the legs. When trying these waders, they legs were stiff and hard to bend. They filled with air resulting in the appearance of a Thanksgiving day helium float. Not to mention they just were not comfort clothing by any means. The booties were horrid, thin floppy neoprene, sized similar to paper sacks tied around the ankles. I discovered that if you had a size 6 foot, you were a slim, short, petite woman. If you had a size 10 foot, you were 6 foot tall and a size 16. And then there was the plus sizing, but only in size 10-11 booties as plus people must always have big feet. It was all wrong. If you were a full-figured short woman with small feet, you were out of luck. If you were a tall thin woman with size 10 feet, you were also out of luck. If you were heavier at the hip, out of luck. Thick thighs, nope. This needed fixed!
It was then that I understood that the fabric must have flex to it. It must move with a woman’s curves and bend easily, and if I could create a fabric that did that, I could implement the new sizing system. I could focus on width instead of height. The fabric had to be durable to withstand the pressure points created from a woman’s curves. It had to be soft, cozy and be in the mid range for warmth so that it could be used through the summer but also offer protection in the cold. So, with the help of my manufacturer, we did just that. We created a fabric that rocks! A medium weight Polyester which we have named PolyFlex. The flex actually increases the durability by reducing the seam stress. I have yet to see a tear, scuff or damage to the fabric, even through brush, falls or crawling and sliding on rocks. I have even pulled several hooks from the fabric which did not result in leaks and even if it were to leak, small pin holes can be sealed with a heat pen in seconds. It’s quite remarkable and it is what enables us to fit women appropriately. The neoprene bootie fabric is also quite luxurious. It is a thick and plush neoprene which is super cozy. Definitely superior to any bootie fabrics I have encountered in other products.
Our sizing system is based, as I stated on width. It is created to grow gradually with height by foot size and then scaled to grow by body type. Our slim is created for the thin, lean, less curvy woman, however as the shoe sizes increase, the height increases minimally and the curves increase moderately. The Curvy is designed for the medium built woman with some curve. They would have a bit more bust, hip, waist or thigh than the thin woman, but are not a plus sized woman. The sizes scale the same way, starting with the shorter curvy woman and increasing slightly in height and width as the sizes scale up. The full-sized is currently the plus sized version but soon will be changed to a 4th body type. Currently, we have too big of a gap between the Curvy and Full sizes, so we will be producing four body types, Slim, Curvy, Full and Plus. This will allow us to expand the plus size measurements and fit just about any body type. The scale is created with just enough room to go up or down one bootie size to find the best fit. We can do this as we are creating our booties to be tapered to fit ergonomically and thus fitting into a boot more easily. We are currently just one production away from perfection on the bootie design. We have great developments taking place in the bootie world. We can’t wait to bring these innovative designs to life in our future deluxe wader, which we plan to release in 2020.
I held the manufacturer to high standards of construction, but honestly, we just lucked out. The owner strongly believes in Miss Mayfly and it’s success. It’s success, means their success, so they have a lot riding on us too. I have become great friends with our manufacturers owner and have much gratitude for the work he has done. He has provided a beautifully constructed product. The stitching and seaming is simply perfect. Not to mention he has been gracious in dealing with my perfectionism and demands. Although imported, I truly appreciate the quality and dedication that the manufacturer has put into our product. I have considered moving production some day to the US but I just can’t imagine utilizing another source at this point. When it comes to manufacturing the other products, we are seeking to make what we can, right here in the USA. There just aren’t many options for US factories unless you can afford to open your own.
When developing our other products, we use the same care and concern for appropriate fit and function for a woman’s needs. Appropriate sizing, minimum bulk, weight, ease of movement, and products shaped to work well with a woman’s curves, are the top priority in all product development. Our boots, our tackle packs, performance shirts and our other future products will all be above and beyond the current competitors standards. These products will be released early 2019. We have many future design plans in store for you, including our deluxe wader which will have solutions which are totally innovative to the industry. We are also have design plans for wading pants, fishing jacket, under layer solutions, gloves and other items which will be developed in mid 2019.
What makes us different?
We thank everyone for your support of Miss Mayfly and our mission. We look forward to raising and becoming the fishing industry standard for women all across the world. Tight Lines!!!