FH woman celebrates first year selling sports equipment to females
By Anastasia Millicker
FAIR HAVEN – Kendra Boyd has had a field hockey stick in her hand since middle school.
The Atlantic Highlands native started playing field hockey as a youngster, gradually moving up to play at the high school level for Henry Hudson Regional High School then at the college level for the The College of New Jersey.
Today Boyd is still playing but her passion for field hockey has not stopped on the field. Boyd is the founder and owner of the shop A Chic With Stix. Named after her recreational field hockey league, A Chic With Stix offers girls’ only lacrosse and field hockey equipment and apparel.
Boyd, 25, said field hockey has always been her passion. She had a dream to set up a store to help educate female athletes – especially those playing field hockey and lacrosse – about finding the right equipment to help them succeed. So she set up shop above her parents’ garden shop, Boxwood Gardens, on River Road.
Teaching health and physical education during the day at Carl Sandberg Middle School in Old Bridge, Boyd operates the shop in the evening with the help of her parents, Bill and Pam, and her sister, Christy.
Located on the second floor of the two-story Victorian home, A Chic With Stix has a wall lined with a wide range of selections for female athletes, including lacrosse and hockey sticks of all colors and sizes, apparel in bright and fluorescent colors, shin guards and a rack of headbands decorated with lacrosse balls.
Unlike large sporting good stores in the area, A Chic With Stix offers firsthand and personalized knowledge about the equipment, Boyd said.
“In a large store, you order a stick or a lacrosse stick and you don’t get to try it out and sometimes people working in the large stores aren’t as knowledgeable. But here you can try out the stick and, if it’s your first time, I can show you how to properly hold it and size it,” Boyd said.
Boyd also offers field hockey lessons.
When the store first opened its doors a year ago, the shop initially offered only field hockey equipment. Today it has expanded its selection offering lacrosse sticks and apparel including some brands typically not offered in large sporting good stores such as Dita, Grays, Gryphon, TK, STX, Harrow, and deBeer.
When first purchasing a stick, Boyd said she asks customers if they have played before. Then, based on their experience, height and athletic performance level sought, Boyd tells them the size and shows clients how to use the equipment.
Hockey sticks range from $50 to $299 based on style and athletic level while lacrosse sticks range from $45 to $200 depending on brand, types of lacrosse sticks and heads. Teams can receive 10 percent discounts when they place a team order.
Many local high school and middle school athletes, including those from Red Bank Regional, Rumson-Fair Haven, Red Bank Catholic and Manasquan high schools, come to try out and purchase sticks, Boyd said.
Boyd attributes much of her business’ success to her parents’ and teammates’ support.
Friends and members of teams have spread the word about her business by sending email messages to school athletic directors and coaches throughout New Jersey.
“The girls I played with all throughout my years, alumni, and coaches at The College of New Jersey and Henry Hudson Regional High School have all been huge supporters and promoters for my store,” Boyd said.
A Chic With Stix celebrated its first year anniversary in April. Boyd said the past year has brought many successes and she hopes to continue into the upcoming years.
As for future plans, Boyd hopes to expand her business throughout the state by opening locations in North and South Jersey.
A Chic with Stix is located at 807 River Road and is open from 3-6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.
Additional information is available on the store’s website at www.achicwithstix.com.