Startup Stories: It Bandz

ItBandz launches new career for one savvy runner and business woman

What does It Bandz do? Tell us about your entrepreneurial product or service.

ItBandz for Knees are patellar knee bands worn below the kneecap and were designed from the ground up for women and girls whose active lifestyles become impeded due to knee pain. ItBandz for Knees provide superior support, comfort and style while alleviating knee pain so that people can continue to do the exercises and activities they love. Three primary customer segments have emerged for ItBandz:

1) Active women from the ages of 35 to 55 who suffer from knee pain.

2) Seniors who suffer from arthritis in their knees.

3) Sporty youth who have Osgood-Schlatters, which is a growth syndrome that causes their bones to grow more quickly than the ligaments and tendons that leaves the knee unsupported.

What inspired you to launch It Bandz?

I decided to train for a sprint triathlon even though I didn’t run, cycle, or swim. It turns out that I love to run and bike but I am a terrible swimmer! I became an avid runner and soon completed my first half marathon. The downside was that I found that my knees really began to hurt as I increased my miles. I tried a lot of braces but none of them did what I wanted them to do. The idea for ItBandz emerged out of my own desire to wear a brace that was comfortable, stayed in place, and provided optimal support for my knees.

I was out on a rainy Seattle afternoon run when the patellar band that I was wearing fell off my leg and into a puddle on the road. I ran back to get it, thoroughly annoyed and getting wetter by the moment, picked it up off the ground and said to myself, “I can build a better band than this!!!” I stood there for a moment as I realized that yes, I could put my 20 years of product development experience to work and create a better band. I ran home at top speed, and after doing market and competitive research, realized that there was nothing in the market that was designed for women.

Women demand functionality, comfort and style – I knew I could deliver on all three. My next step was to get the product concept out of my head and into the real world. I signed up for sewing lessons, a skill set well outside my wheelhouse! I lucked out and took sewing lessons from a spunky, retired Microsoft program manager who introduced me to the women I worked with to turn my very rough prototypes into working prototypes and ultimately created the design and pattern for manufacturing.

The customer feedback from ItBandz is amazing and is what keeps me going. One Saturday last November, I took a break from selling ItBandz at local running races and instead ran a 10K with a friend. Nearing the end of the race we passed a woman who was wearing ItBandz. I gave her a shout out of encouragement along with a “Yay, ItBandz!” Her response was, “Thank you! ItBandz are a life changer!” It brings me tremendous personal satisfaction to be working on a product that delivers such value to women.

Every time I sell ItBandz at running events, I end up getting a sweaty hug or two from women who come back to thank me because they had their best race ever without any knee pain. Since my early twenties I have been passionate about business and supporting women. My first job out of university was a Small Business Advisor in the US Peace Corps where I worked with women’s groups who were creating income-generating projects in Kenya. In some ways, I have come full circle with ItBandz and once again I’m focused on providing value to women with a product that improves their lives.

What problem does It Bandz solve?

ItBandz provides the next generation of knee support for today’s active lifestyles. According to the Huffington Post, over 47% of Americans suffer from chronic knee pain, caused by patellar tendonitis, IT Band Syndrome, pronated feet, arthritis in the knee, Osgood-Schlatter’s Syndrome, prior injuries, and carrying excess weight. Women are more prone to knee pain than men, yet the current products in the marketplace are bulky, uncomfortable and unattractive.

What has been your biggest challenge starting It Bandz and how are you working to overcome it?

After spending twenty years building a career in the mobile industry, one of the biggest hurdles I’ve encountered with ItBandz is entering the sports/fitness industry. I’ve had to start from scratch when it comes to relationships and understanding the process of this industry. I have no reputation or connections to support me in identifying the right resources, or to assist with securing meetings with buyers and fitness industry influencers. It has been a humbling experience to have to call and email someone twenty or more times before getting any response. To overcome this, I’ve gotten extremely creative and have drawn deep from a reserve of perseverance that I didn’t know I had.

Give us one word that people might use to describe you.

Optimistic.

What milestone do you hope It Bandz will have surpassed one year from now?

A year from now I hope that ItBandz will be partnering with a strong female fitness brand like Athleta or Lucy, so that we can reach even more women who suffer from knee pain.

How has Project Eve helped you and orIt Bandz?

Project Eve inspires me to keep believing that women can make a difference in communities and our chosen industries through our businesses. It’s encouraging to read the stories from other women who are struggling with the same things that I am: lack of resources, how to grow, how to provide our customers with the best solutions, how to compete as women in male dominated industries, and most importantly how to keep the faith.

Give us an insider tip that relates to your industry or the startup story for It Bandz

I call myself a Fitness Entrepreneur and am new to this industry. Therefore, my tip is related to product design and development, an area in which I have twenty years of experience.

My TIP: Always design to meet a customer need. If you are solving a problem for someone, then you will ultimately be successful with your product. On the flip side, even the hottest new idea will be very hard to take to market if you are not clearly meeting a customer need. It’s important to gather customer/user feedback as you develop your product so you don’t lose sight of who you’re creating it for.

The 411 on It Bandz:

Company Name: It Bandz
Website: http://www.itbandz.com
It Bandz was founded in:
2014
It Bandz is located in:
Seattle, WA
Follow It Bandz on social media here:
@itBandz
https://www.facebook.com/itBandz
https://www.pinterest.com/itbandz/

Please submit your story to the largest archive of entrepreneurial startup stories in the world so, together, we can motivate women in business to think beyond traditional boundaries, support one another, embrace change and view challenges as opportunities. Whether you are a small business owner, a freelancer, a serial entrepreneur, own an online business, operate a storefront on Main Street, or even moonlight with an amateur blog our 500,000+ community would like to hear your Startup Story! Answer seven short questions to create a blog of your story today!

251 COMMENTS

  1. 935597 934266This internet internet page is genuinely a walk-through for all of the information you wanted about this and didnt know who to ask. Glimpse here, and youll surely discover it. 41347

  2. I was looking at some of your articles on this site and I believe this internet site is really instructive! Keep on posting .

  3. of course like your website but you need to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very troublesome to inform the reality however I’ll certainly come again again.

  4. Neat blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog shine. Please let me know where you got your design. Thanks a lot

  5. I was just searching for this information for a while. After six hours of continuous Googleing, finally I got it in your website. I wonder what’s the lack of Google strategy that do not rank this type of informative web sites in top of the list. Normally the top sites are full of garbage.

  6. Hi there! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any recommendations?

  7. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the page layout of your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  8. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. cheers

  9. I think this is one of the such a lot important info for me. And i’m satisfied studying your article. However want to statement on some general things, The web site taste is perfect, the articles is in point of fact excellent : D. Just right activity, cheers

  10. Excellent web site. Lots of useful information here. I’m sending it to a few pals ans additionally sharing in delicious. And of course, thanks for your sweat!

  11. Hello There. I discovered your weblog the use of msn. This is a very neatly written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly return.

  12. This design is incredible! You most certainly know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  13. Excellent beat ! I wish to apprentice even as you amend your site, how could i subscribe for a blog website? The account aided me a appropriate deal. I have been a little bit familiar of this your broadcast provided brilliant transparent concept

  14. Hi, i believe that i saw you visited my weblog thus i came to “return the choose”.I’m attempting to find things to improve my website!I suppose its adequate to make use of some of your ideas!!

  15. Howdy! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when browsing from my apple iphone. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to resolve this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share. Cheers!

  16. I must express my passion for your kind-heartedness for persons that actually need help with this particular niche. Your personal commitment to getting the message all through had been particularly insightful and has permitted regular people just like me to get to their pursuits. Your own valuable hints and tips entails a lot to me and substantially more to my colleagues. Many thanks; from all of us.

  17. Hiya! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My website covers a lot of the same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other. If you might be interested feel free to send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Fantastic blog by the way!

  18. 532064 743452I was recommended this web internet site by my cousin. Im not certain whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. You are wonderful! Thanks! 876279

  19. Just want to say your article is as surprising. The clarity in your post is just cool and i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the enjoyable work.

  20. Hey there are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you require any coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

  21. An added important issue is that if you are a mature person, travel insurance with regard to pensioners is something you should really take into consideration. The old you are, the more at risk you’re for making something poor happen to you while in another country. If you are not necessarily covered by a number of comprehensive insurance cover, you could have some serious problems. Thanks for expressing your advice on this web blog.

  22. Today, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a 30 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  23. Good article. It is very unfortunate that over the last one decade, the travel industry has already been able to to fight terrorism, SARS, tsunamis, bird flu virus, swine flu, as well as first ever real global recession. Through it the industry has really proven to be solid, resilient and dynamic, discovering new methods to deal with trouble. There are often fresh difficulties and chance to which the market must once more adapt and answer.

  24. Yes you are correct, YouTube is most excellent video distribution web site, since YouTube is a lightly no much streaming time rather than other web sites.

  25. I was wondering if you ever considered changing the layout of your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  26. In these days of austerity plus relative stress and anxiety about incurring debt, many individuals balk contrary to the idea of employing a credit card to make acquisition of merchandise or perhaps pay for a trip, preferring, instead to rely on the actual tried plus trusted technique of making transaction – hard cash. However, if you’ve got the cash on hand to make the purchase fully, then, paradoxically, that is the best time just to be able to use the credit card for several causes.

  27. I would like to show some thanks to you for rescuing me from such a crisis. Just after surfing around through the world-wide-web and getting advice that were not productive, I assumed my life was over. Living without the presence of strategies to the difficulties you have sorted out through your short article is a crucial case, and the kind which could have badly damaged my career if I had not discovered your web site. Your actual expertise and kindness in playing with every item was valuable. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I had not come across such a solution like this. I can also at this moment look forward to my future. Thanks for your time very much for the expert and results-oriented guide. I will not be reluctant to suggest your web sites to any individual who will need guide about this subject matter.

  28. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is required to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100 certain. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers

  29. If you are going away to watch comic videos online then I suggest you to go to see this web page, it contains really therefore comical not only videos but also additional data.

  30. “Hey there. I found your website by means of Google at the same time as looking for a comparable topic, your site got here up. It looks good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to come back then.”

  31. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the layout of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two images. Maybe you could space it out better?

  32. “Hi, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam comments? If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can advise? I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any help is very much appreciated.”

  33. I should say also believe that mesothelioma cancer is a extraordinary form of cancers that is normally found in those previously exposed to asbestos. Cancerous cells form inside the mesothelium, which is a protective lining which covers many of the body’s internal organs. These cells usually form inside lining in the lungs, belly, or the sac that really encircles the heart. Thanks for expressing your ideas.

  34. Thanks for your article. It is rather unfortunate that over the last 10 years, the travel industry has had to take on terrorism, SARS, tsunamis, bird flu, swine flu, as well as first ever true global recession. Through it the industry has really proven to be effective, resilient as well as dynamic, discovering new tips on how to deal with adversity. There are generally fresh difficulties and possibilities to which the marketplace must all over again adapt and answer.

  35. I’ll right away grasp your rss feed as I can not find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly let me understand so that I may subscribe. Thanks.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here