Elissa Grohne graced the stage with her new product S’WEARIT, a high-quality, high-impact sports bra with a perfectly positioned silver-lined cell phone pocket that allows women to keep their phones on them during workouts. S’WEARIT protects your phone from sweat damage or breakage AND it protects women from potentially harmful cell phone (RF) radiation.
What are the benefits that you experienced developing your startup as a student?
I was fortunate to be able to bring my concept for S’WEARIT to MRU’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s LaunchPad accelerator course last winter. During my enrollment, I was able to conduct market research, develop a prototype and validate a market for S’WEARIT, but the most valuable thing I got from MRU was the many personal connections I made through my cohort and through my professors. Ultimately, I was able to build relationships with community members who were excited about my product and who provided me with advice and resources for developing my prototypes, sourcing manufacturers, creating video content and messaging, filing a patent, and much more. I was also paired with a MRU alumni mentor who helped me develop my business strategy and helped prepare me for the JMH&CO LaunchPad Pitch Competition. Calgary has such a supportive community of entrepreneurs and business mentors—there’s so much innovation happening in our city. I feel lucky to have such an inspirational and positive circle of people around me.
What is your company’s unfair competitive advantage?
S’WEARIT’s competition advantage is two-fold. One—we value quality over all else. During the market research phase of development, I found that women are not satisfied with their current sports bras; they are uncomfortable and do not provide a high level of support, strength or fit customization. S’WEARIT is built with a high-quality four-way stretch spandex blend with a moisture-wicking lining and is made to last. It has molded, encapsulating cups and adjustable straps and band. It has everything that women want in a perfect sports bra.
Secondly, S’WEARIT is outfitted with a 100% certified RF-protecting cell phone pocket. There are other brands that have cell phone pockets but the pocket is located either in the back of the bra between the shoulder blades or it is positioned vertically in the front of the bra and is not secure or comfortable. S’WEARIT’s pocket is located above the bust in a horizontal position with the opening along the high neck line for comfort, security, ease of access and limited bounce.
Why is now the time for your company to exist?
People are becoming more aware of the potential harmful effects of cell phone radiation; people are also wanting to live a more healthy lifestyle and are incorporating more fitness into their daily routines. The athleisure apparel market is booming with trendy and fashionable clothing that allow women to look good and feel good. The 2018 sports bra market is a projected $12 billion according to Statista.com. And what’s the one thing we never leave our homes without? Our cell phones! Of course women want their cell phone with them during a run, hike or workout to listen to music or make a phone call, and there’s just no safe, comfortable, convenience place to keep your cell phone. Arm bands and running belts aren’t cutting it and not every pair of leggings come with a built-in cell phone pocket. None of these options are practical for rigorous workout or running because they are heavy, bulky and uncomfortable. S’WEARIT is the most innovative sports bra ever designed—it’s the perfect solution for the busy, active woman who needs to stay connected.