Once I got over the fact that Ta-Ta Towels didn’t come in a size small enough for my ta-tas — yes, I’m feeling left out here — I decided these terrycloth joints are still a pretty good idea.
In case your social media feed missed it, Ta-Ta Towels are quite the clever invention by L.A. entrepreneur Erin Robertson. Two years ago, Robertson was getting ready for a first date in her non-air-conditioned apartment when she couldn’t stop sweating.
We don’t know how the date worked out, but Robertson’s now-patented invention not only absorbs perspiration pooling on hot boobs — the pillow-soft $45 contraption has come in handy for nursing moms, as well as for women suffering from sensitive skin thanks after radiation treatments.
According to the Ta-Ta Towel website, several prints are on reorder, and from the looks of it, the Ta-Ta towel has gotten traction in Poland, England, and Israel.
The Ta-Ta Towel is just one example of a fashionably functional item created by women, invested in by women, and directly sold to women through social media. Who needs Nordstrom cred or Barneys New York cachet when you can reach your audience directly through a viral Facebook update?
Women are collectively thinking about gender-specific issues — take, for instance, menstruation-friendly underwear — and investing in ourselves to make it happen. And in the process, we’re taking the shame out of our everyday stuff.
“We are creating solutions and breaking taboos about things that we need solutions for,” said Antonia Saint Dunbar, a thirtysomething New York entrepreneur who cofounded period underwear Thinx. Dunbar recently tapped Center City philanthropist Noele Wein to invest in her new shoe collection, Antonia Saint, which features comfortable stiletto pumps and flats in black and nudes. Dunbar launched the Antonia Saint Kickstarter at the end of July, and the project has raised more than $470,000 as of this writing.
(I’m even thinking about pledging — my feet always hurt.)
“Historically, the business world is so patriarchal,” Dunbar said. “There is a lot of work to do, but with social media, we can problem-solve and market directly to our customer. It’s changing how business is happening.
Other fashionably functional ideas we’ve come across include: instant cleavage-making Beeauty Box Stick-On Bra, ThirdLove’s Try Before You Buy virtual bra fitting (they suggested I go with a T-shirt bra), and the endless number of foldable flats.
Have you tried any of these fashionably functional products? What has your experience been like? Are you developing any fashionably functional items? We’d love to hear your story, and maybe even try out your wares.