Come on, girls. Admit it. We've all done it. You go to the party/club/concert/bar/gym and want your hands free to hold your drink, emphasize your words, or flirt with the cute guy across the room. We've all stuck our phones into the depths of our bras, our makeshift pockets, causing great discomfort. Not to mention the boob sweat.
Christina "CC" Conrad solved this swamp boob issue by creating the EDM-inspired Boobypack, a top-shelf fanny pack ("rack pack"). These colorful, sports bra-like tops stylishly allow you to store all of your most important belongings right where you want them — close to your heart — avoiding massive amounts of sweat and movement.
I was able to take some time to chat with CC to find out more about her process with bringing this tit-illating, brain-(boob?) child to life.
GK: What initially inspired you to go ahead and make a fannypack for boobs? I know it's an answer to my prayers, along with all 20-something girls these days.
CC: I don't like admitting this, but the Boobypack isn't really a new idea. My friends and I have been stashing our belongings in our bras for years before going on a run or out dancing. One night when I was talking about this with my girlfriends, I thought of the name and the tagline — Boobypack, a top-shelf fanny pack (a.k.a a fanny pack for your rack)– and decided to run with the idea in the morning. I think that marketing the rack pack to music festival goers is where the novelty comes in. Hundreds of thousands go to festivals like Ultra and Coachella every year and lose or ruin their phones. Boobypack offers a fun, slightly silly solution that keeps your things safe. I wear a Boobypack whenever I go to the gym or a concert now and it makes me feel completely free. It's weird to think an item of clothing could change your psyche but it does.
GK: Has there been a particularly unique use of the Boobypack you've seen?
CC: I've actually been getting a lot of emails lately from diabetics who tell me that the Boobypack is a great vessel for their insulin pumps. Whodathunkit? Also, a lot of backpackers have told me it's a great way to avoid pick pockets (passports fit in the pockets).
GK: What was the initial response from those around you when you decided to move forward with creating the Boobypack?
CC: I had a lot of support from family and friends. I'm not sure if they actually thought I was going to go through with it, but they were behind me nonetheless.
GK: I see you use Kickstarter. Was this your first initiative to get the Boobypack out on the market?
CC: It was. I made a few samples in NY's garment district that my friends and I wore around to a couple festivals but Kickstarter was the first attempt to distribute them en masse.
GK: Has your experience on Kickstarter been a positive one? Would you recommend it for other up-and-coming entrepreneurs?
CC: Yes. Definitely. Kickstarter provided great exposure and gave Boobypack some credibility. I pitched the Boobypack story to a bunch of different websites and magazines and heard crickets. Then when we more than doubled our fundraising goal, Jezebel picked up the story, then Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, and others followed suit. Kickstarter's awesome because it creates a bond between project creators and their backers. It's not shopping, it's "supporting." It's not an item, its a "reward." People who fund Kickstarter projects really believe in innovation, small startups, and helping the little guy succeed.
GK: What's the general demographic of your backers on Kickstarter? What has been their response to the product?
CC: The general demographic is 20 to 40-year-old women. Kickstarter really creates a bond between project creators and their backers. People who supported Boobypack on Kickstarter know that I marched around NYC's garment district for days trying to find a sample maker. They know that the Boobypack models are some of my best friends and that my mom was a "prop" girl in our video. So I've gotten a lot of supportive emails saying "go get em CC!" and a lot of kindly worded feedback as well. Some women asked that I make the bra more supportive, have it come in an extra large and make the pockets wide enough for passports. I'm really excited for them all to get the 2.0 and see how I listened!
GK: You've gotten some coverage from pretty huge publications, including Cosmo & Perez Hilton. What was your reaction to the attention your idea has gotten?
CC: Utter glee. I literally spent a week doing nothing but Googling Boobypack and hitting refresh.
GK: What's been your biggest challenge with launching this new product?
CC: Being patient. It takes a lot of moving parts to get a business off the ground. And the more moving parts there are, the farther deadlines seem to get pushed. As a writer/editor, I was used to being the only one responsible for getting my story in on time. Now with Boobypack I have to relax, be patient, and realize that sometimes you have to choose between getting things done quickly or done well.
GK: Where do you see the trajectory of the Bpack going? (My vote is getting it featured in an episode of Girls! Re-do of the Coke episode — Hannah rocking out in it so if she doesn't eat too much brie and throw up on her cell phone.)
CC: Haha, I love the Girls idea. There's a lot of stuff in the works. I'm making a kick ass all-girls ski video in Jackson Hole this winter, think synchronized all mountain skiing ... in Boobypacks. I'm also planning a skydiving trip (where everyone will be wearing Boobypacks over their suits) into Burning Man next year. As you can see, I really like the idea of viral marketing — so not really product placement but more making a scene and being ridiculous so that people want to talk about you. In terms of product development, we're going to start releasing Limited Editions that coincide with festivals. So an all white one for Sensation, a Glow in the Dark one for Burning Man etc.
GK: Any advice for budding entrepreneurs?
CC: This sounds so cheesy but I'm going to take a page out of Nike's book and say "Just do it." There were a million times this past year when I thought to myself, "I have no freaking idea what I'm doing." But then the path would get clearer the farther I went down it. So just put one foot in front of the other and trust that if you're determined enough, you'll figure it out as you go along.