October 9, 2007
Bug Catcherz Fly onto the National Fashion Scene, Helping
Women’s Clothes Fit Better
ATLANTA – Women are equipped to handle the “big” stuff in life – childbirth, relationships, changing the world. It’s the little, everyday annoyances that are the flies in our ointment. Bug Catcherz was founded in 2005 by Woodstock, Ga., entrepreneur Rebecca Whicker to address product problems that bug women and “take the sting out of fashion faux pas.”Whicker was often bothered by gaping peek-a-boo blouses, droopy bra straps and panty crawl (better known as wedgies), so she invented a trio of solutions. Two of the products, named BUTTerflies and No See ‘ems, have patents pending. The reinforcement around the button makes the No See ‘ems wildly popular with women.
“As a marketing officer, I often spoke in front of large crowds full of men, and I hated that my bra straps would fall off my shoulders or my underwear would crawl as I moved in front of the audience. I was tired of surreptitiously reaching into my blouse or tugging on the elastic of my underwear.”
Her solution was three initial products called No See ‘ems™, No See ‘ems Too™ and BUTTerflies®, which use a skin-safe, medical-grade adhesive to wrangle bra straps, underwear, torn hems and gaping shirts into their proper places. The two latest products are Lacebugz – one for formal wear occasions and the other for weddings that appeal to brides, bridesmaids, mothers’ of the bride, cocktail parties, and even flying cheerleaders and dancers of all sorts from ballroom to ballet.. The products sell at retail for between $12 and $14. The company was dubbed Bug Catcherz because each product idea was about catching and solving the problems that bug women. All the products have bug names and the branding and product lines all incorporate the bug catcher theme.
“In 2005 I had just finished up a long-term marketing consulting position, and I was searching for a flexible work solution that allowed me to use all the skills and creative passion I had built over the years,” says Whicker. “I didn’t want to go back to work for someone else. I wanted to relieve my frustrations and the frustrations of millions of women by problem-solving for them.”
After creating prototypes for her products in early 2005, Whicker secured provisional patents and appropriate trademark advice and contacted a local graphic designer to bring her marketing brand ideas to life. After months of searching, she secured a Georgia manufacturer and then called upon the Tommy Nobis Center, which provides job training and employment for the disabled, to assemble the product.
“As a former social worker, I believe strongly in helping others,” says Whicker. “The Nobis Center gives me the quality and service I require while making a significant difference in the community at the same time.”
Whicker partnered with close friend and former co-worker Karen Carter of Atlanta, to form Bug Catcherz LLC in July 2005. In January 2006, the duo showed their products for the first time at the AmericasMart apparel show in downtown Atlanta. From there, the orders began to fly. Bug Catcherz has written orders for over 230 retailers across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Whicker is targeting high-end boutiques and retail outlets to sell her products. But, she says, she’s selling more than products.
“We’re selling solutions for women,” says Whicker. “I’m really passionate about this market and the needs of women, especially the successful woman over 40, who is sometimes forgotten, yet has the most disposable income.”
Whicker and Carter have incorporated into the brand a forum to solicit future product ideas that benefit women. The Bug Catcherz Web site (www.bugcatcherz.com) allows women (or men!) to make product suggestions to address “What’s Bugging You.”
“We love developing real brands that appeal to people,” says the duo. “One of Whicker’s favorite quotes is: ‘I will become less than I am if I am trying to live out others’ expectations of me, regardless of what they are.’ That really describes what we’re trying to do with Bug Catcherz, give women a voice about products that will help them.”Not everyone is thrilled about the Bug Catcherz products, of course. Men love to hate them, and the company has been accused of singlehandedly removing one of men’s greatest secret pleasures – peeking! But the Bug Catcherz ladies are undeterred, and they plan to continue offering solutions to the problems that bug women.
Samples and high resolution photos are available.
Bug Catcherz was founded in 2005 to provide creative solutions to the product problems that bug today’s woman. Bug Catcherz is the place where innovative product design meets real solutions that work. We promise quality product solutions for women that enable them to be comfortable, confident and bold. See the store locator at http://www.bugcatcherz.com/ for a complete list of retailers.
###Taking the Sting Out of Fashion Faux Pas