Some things just need to be talked about. Years ago, when I was in the throes of starting my business, a woman approached me in a store with, “You don’t know me, but I have a product idea.” I get this all the time and I always listen. Most of the product requests don’t make sense for our brand direction or they just aren’t practical. But this one…
This one was different. The woman went on to explain that she suffers from incontinence that started after she had kids, and it gets worse when she exercises. She asked if I could create a product with a built-in pad compartment so that she wouldn’t be a walking incontinence billboard whenever she went running.
I told her I’d think about it and we both went on our merry ways. I didn’t create the product she requested but for the next decade, women have continued to approach me about this same topic in different forms. From incontinence to embarrassing pee stories to heavy period ranting, women ask me to solve their problems.
It took me many years to figure out how to attack this one. You see, I’ve always been a small bladder kinda girl, so frequent pee stops during runs were the norm for me. But I’m also a Marathon Girl wearer, so I had the luxury of simply pulling the spankies to the side and never had to deal with the whole flash everyone in the vicinity and can’t wiggle my skirt back into place scenarios.
It wasn’t until I got pregnant that I realized how important this potential feature could be. I couldn’t wear the built-in spankie styles anymore, my bladder was ALWAYS on the verge of exploding, and whenever I coughed, sneezed or laughed, I would pee. If there was even a trace amount of urine in my bladder when I started a run, it would come out. Enter pregnancy incontinence at its finest!
I started dreaming of a Trap Door. You know the kind from old-school long underwear. When I was on a production visit to Asia, I noticed all of these tiny puddles on the sidewalks. Then I saw the culprits. Little people! That’s right – tiny toddlers wearing full piece onesies would squat down, open up Trap Doors and just let it rip in public.
I’m not saying that my vision included full-grown women emptying their bladders on busy city promenades, but the trap door seed was officially planted. I knew I could find a way to make women’s lives easier, more comfortable, and therefore better.
On April 1, 2015, we sent out an April Fool’s email – not because I thought this product was a joke, but because I needed to find out how many women really wanted it. Turns out it was a lot! Thousands of women answered our survey and thousands of women said they would appreciate this product if we brought it to market.
Because we’re floating in uncharted waters (potty jokes never end around here these days), we decided to launch the Gotta Go Skirt on Kickstarter. If we are successful in hitting our goal of $35,000, we can make this sweet freedom a reality.
No other brand is paying attention to the true needs of women. Yes, this conversation can be awkward, but it can also be hilarious, and once we realize that we’re not alone with our “women’s issues,” it can actually be very liberating. So join us in making the Gotta Go Skirt a reality. The campaign closes on November 18 so don’t hold it too long!