Amy Tingley wanted something that would keep her arms warm while running a marathon, but wouldn’t be constricting like long sleeves and would also cover her hands.
“I looked all over for an effective arm warmer,” she said.
Tingley and her sister, Jodi Gillette, developed a sleeve that would be more affordable than a compression arm band, would cover down to the hands and would be washable and easy to care for.
Louva, their company which sells the sleeves, launched last fall at the Twin Cities Marathon Expo. The company is based in Minnesota, where Gillette lives.
“We sold really well and we got really positive feedback,” Tingley said.
The sleeves cover the bicep down to the hand and come in several colors. Prices range from $12 to $15 per pair.
Tingley, 41, enjoys working with her sister, especially because it helps bridge the gap between their home bases. Tingley lives in Gig Harbor and has been a Washington resident for more than a decade.
“It’s been a really great way for us to stay connected to each other,” she said. “We are a really good balance for each other.”
Tingley began running regularly about eight years ago. Eventually she got into running marathons.
On Monday, she ran the Boston Marathon. It was her second trip there; her first being in 2013, the year of the bombing. She was excited to go back.
“It was a pretty traumatic experience,” she said of the 2013 race. “(It) completely changed the whole experience.”
This year, Tingley finished the marathon in 3 hours, 46 minutes and 28 seconds. She is the second-fastest finisher from Gig Harbor.
Of all the marathons she’s run, Tingley singles out the New York City Marathon as the most fun.
“The crowds there were so crazy,” she said.
Louva is a family business right down to the name. While searching for a good name for the company, Gillette and Tingley spoke to their mother, Louise, who has the nickname Louva. It was the perfect name for the fledgling, sister-run company.
The sisters are working on new color schemes for the sleeves, and are also developing children’s sizes.
Locally, Louva gear is available at Route 16, 6745 Kimball Drive. The gear can also be ordered online at louvagear.com/shop.