Shape wear clothing design by Purdue student gives women hidden pockets to carry ID, keys

May 21, 2015  


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Women's centuries-old lament about not having pockets to carry items is being solved through a new shape wear product called "Guarders," created by a Purdue University apparel design and technology student.

Rachel Box, Purdue senior and CEO of her startup, also called Guarders, created the shape wear product that allows women to unobtrusively carry their phone, keys and ID while wearing a dress or other attire.

"While I was a junior in college I noticed that women, including myself, were unable to effortlessly carry their necessities while wearing a dress," Box said. "I wanted to create an alternative to carrying a handbag or clutch, but something that would still be practical, fashionable and affordable."     

Guarders is a Spandex®-like clothing with a cotton blend that has inseam integrated pockets and garter style lines that allows women to carry their essentials under dresses.

"The undergarment has a seamless design so that it, as well as personal items in the pockets are not visible under the dress," Box said. "It was important to me to have an unobtrusive design that was attractive and fashionable for women to wear."

Unlike other products that are of a more functional nature, Guarders offers a product that is practical, appealing and competitively priced.

"Other brands have sports bras with pockets but that is only focused on active wear. We are targeting a broader range of women who wear dresses and want to replace a clutch or handbag," Box said.

Guarders will initially sell their product solely online through their website that will launch in July.

Box credited the Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition and the Purdue Foundry for assisting her in the creation of Guarders.  

"Guarders won the Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition this year," Box said. "The competition encouraged me to think bigger and pursue different avenues as well as provided seed funding for my startup. While completing the Purdue Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation certificate, I was introduced to many great mentors from the Purdue Foundry who helped me with my marketing strategy and business plan, which has helped lead me to my early success."

With the help of an advisory board, Box is preparing for a national launch of her product in early 2016.

"Through networking within the Purdue Foundry and the business plan competition I was able to create relationships with executive leaders in various industries including media, clothing, IT and event décor. These individuals serve on my advisory board," Box said. "My team, which includes myself and Maia Rebanold, marketing director, plan to use this summer to complete our samples and reach out to different avenues to help create a press tour when our launch comes early next year."

The Guarders advisory board includes Jasmine Snow, Seventeen magazine; Tom Wilson, founder of Motion Wear; Anarug Garg CEO of DATTUS; and Steven Christopher co-founder of Signature Settings.

Box plans to pitch her company to Founder.org, a global student entrepreneur investor and company-building program, in the next month. Once launched, Box hopes to make a significant splash in the online market and partner with higher-end brick and mortar stores and eventually move into in-house manufacturing.

About Guarders

Guarders is a company that provides a unique solution for women to effortlessly carry necessities. Solving the issue of needing hands-free access to necessities while wearing a dress, Guarders targets women ages 15-34. The company's product, also called Guarders, is a Spandex® and cotton blend fitted short with inseam integrated pockets and garter style lines.

About Purdue Foundry

The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship whose professionals help Purdue innovators create startups. The Purdue Foundry is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year from the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org 

Writer: Hillary Henry, Purdue Research Foundation 

Source: Rachel Box, 317-674-5805, msguarders@gmail.com 

Purdue Research Foundation contact: Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340, casequin@prf.org 

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