News flash world: I sweat. Gasp. It’s true. Sometimes I sweat when I don’t think I’m going to sweat. Sometimes I don’t sweat when I think I’m going to. It’s like a swinging pendulum, I never know just when it’s going to strike. Um that’s not right, pendulums are used for timing. Ok, sweating for me is like the weather man, the one job in the world that there’s no accountability for always being wrong.
Luckily for me and all the other women out there, my Camp Kitchi friend (yes I went to summer camp, yes it defined who I am as a person, yes I miss it, and yes my kids will go there) Michelle Shemilt has launched her Indiegogo campaign to get her new line of women’s undershirts into production. I know what you’re thinking, ‘Jen, you don’t write about products unless you’re making fun of them,’ which is mostly true unless I think they are doing something very special (like Oreo’s pride message last year). Also, when it’s a camp friend, I’ll bend a rule or two, especially if she’s sweet, smart, and has come up with a product that will help me. I’m so selfish (wink).
A few Fridays ago, I met with Michelle (pronunciation of her last name unknown) at a coffee shop where we discussed work, boys, life, and Nudy Patooty. She filled me in on all the details about how she came up with the product, what it’s made of, and her next steps to making this dream come true. Now, because I’m a bit of a goldfish, I had to send her some questions this week to refresh all of the delightful things that she told me. See below our Q&A about a product that could change the way women get dressed for work.
1. LAUNCH WEEK! You must be so excited!!! Tell me a little about how you came up with an undershirt that helps save your clothes from the terrible and tragic sweating that supposedly some women do?
I am very excited!! I came up with the idea for a women’s undershirt line while I was working in finance on a trading desk and realized that I wasn’t wearing my favourite clothes because they were either prone to embarrassing perspiration stains (ie silk blouses!), odour stains (for me silk-jersey blends are a terrible culprit) or they were dry clean only and I knew I could only wear them once or twice before taking it back to the dry cleaners which was costly! Favourite clothes are meant to be worn, and not “saved for a special day”, so I decided to develop a solution to this common problem and get our most loved outfits back in regular wardrobe rotation!
2. I’m going to be frank here, this is GREAT that you’ve #1 become an entrepreneur and #2 that you started your own line of undershirts. Because they focus around sweating, would you say that you sweat more than the average gal, or is this one of those things that everyone does and nobody talks about? (You know, like the horrific reality of childbirth, that everyone glamorizes yet in reality there’s poo involved.)
Thank you! I think I am pretty average in the perspiration department. Some materials which don’t breathe well or are made out of a synthetic fibre I find exaggerate the problem. But it is definitely one of those things that everyone does but no one talks about! Whether you perspire a lot or not it happens to all of us to some degree because its a way for our body to secrete waste, which is what causes the yellow stains! Antiperspirants also cause their own stains on clothing due to the aluminum compounds they use to prevent perspiration. And deodorants leave a flaky white residue which means you need to wash more frequently. So wearing a Nudy Patooty not only prevents perspiration and antiperspirants from staining your clothes, but it also allows you to get more wear out of them before needing to dry clean again. Dry cleaning also uses a lot of chemicals which is very hard on your clothing. So the less you launder (either at the dry cleaners or in the home washing machine) the longer your clothes will last!
3. Speaking of sweating…let’s talk functionality. How is this undershirt better than other undershirts?
There aren’t many undershirts made specifically for women, and the ones that are available certainly weren’t made with women’s clothing in mind – they have bulky hems, baggy sleeves and high necklines, which make them difficult to wear under a low cut silk blouse! Nudy Patooty’s fit snug to the body and have an extra low neckline, tailored sleeves to eliminate bulk and a delicate lace hem that lies flat to the body. They are designed to be worn inconspicuously under most styles of women’s clothing.
4. So, I wore your shirt. It felt like a soft hug. What makes the shirt so delightful against my naked, errr Nudy Patoody skin?
I am so happy to hear you loved it and a soft hug is the perfect way to describe how they feel! Nudy Patooty’s are made of a bamboo fabric which is silky soft against the skin (I think of it as a luxurious mix between silk and cotton). Bamboo fabric is also anti-odour, regulates your body temperature, is 3-4x more absorbent than cotton and is a renewable resource!
5. Nudy Patoody? That’s a cute name. What’s that all about?
I actually worked with a very talented brand manager from eLance to come up with the name. I knew I wanted to use the idea of “nude” and needed something catchy. When I heard Nudy Patooty I knew it was perfect because its easy to remember and usually makes people smile, which is always a good thing!
6. Can you fill everyone in on your Indiegogo fundraising efforts? Ahhem…how we all can help you get this to the next level.
I launched my Indiegogo campaign this morning, where you can help get me to the next level by pre-ordering a Nudy Patooty (or several!)! My goal is to raise $35,000 to fund my first production order, and I now have 30 days to reach this goal. For those not familiar with Indiegogo, it is a crowdfunding platform where people can essentially pre-order products or receive “perks” for helping fund start-up companies. In the case of my business, my Indiegogo campaign will allow you (or anyone) to pre-purchase one of my undershirts at a discounted rate!
7. So…what’s next?
After the (hopefully successful!) Indiegogo campaign I am going to launch my ecommerce site, www.nudypatooty.com in the fall. I am also looking at the shopping channels as another avenue of distribution and down the road would love to see Nudy Patooty’s in department stores, and as a staple in women’s closets! In terms of the line, I have lots of other plans for expanding the product line in terms of different style options and of course more colours and sizes!
There you have it. A Canadian undershirt designer and entrepreneur that needs our help. Here are some links to find out more about Michelle and Nudy Patooty, and more importantly, here is the link to her Indiegogo campaign: