Christina “CC” Conrad (COL ’11) will be a contestant on an episode of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” where she will present her invention, the Boobypack, a sports bra with zipper-enclosed, water-resistant pockets that function to hold and protect a person’s valuables. The episode is scheduled to air tonight at 9 p.m. EST.
“The Boobypack is the one and only fanny pack for your rack,” Conrad wrote in an email to The Hoya. “Our market is 16-45 year old active, music-loving women with a sense of humor and we try to make that apparent in all that we do — whether that’s through an Instagram post of me dressed as Katy Perry’s #leftshark or a Boobypack Soul Cycle ride with an all Haim playlist.”
Conrad came up with the idea in 2013 while she was working at Time Inc. in New York. It was not until Boobypack’s Kickstarter campaign received double its fundraising goal that she decided to commit to the company full time in January 2014.
Kickstarter is a global crowd-funding platform based in the United States. Conrad’s Kickstarter goal was $15,000, yet she received $32,725 from 686 backers. Since 2009, Kickstarter has raised over $2 billion dollars to fund 78,000 projects.
“It’s really cute and I like the idea because when I go to concerts, I usually use a fanny pack,” Naomi Weirens (MSB ’17) said. “They have cool designs and colors and I like how they have a customizable part … and they even have a Georgetown Boobypack.”
In Conrad’s promotional video on Kickstarter, she referenced the music festival scene as a target audience for the Boobypack. Some of the largest music festivals in the world such as Coachella and Ultra have attracted upwards of 675,000 and 330,000 attendees respectively.
“This next year will be a major growth period for us, especially after ‘Shark Tank.’ In five years, I hope Boobypack is a household name (a la Spanx). There’s a lot of [hard] work to do before that happens but I’m ready for it,” Conrad wrote.
“Shark Tank” is an American reality television show where aspiring entrepreneurs are contestants who pitch their business to investors, also known as “sharks.” Sharks include Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and businesswoman, investor and author Barbara Corcoran.
“Either the sharks like your idea and invest in your business for a slice of equity or they don’t and they tear you to pieces,” Conrad wrote. “I can’t say too many details before our episode airs on the 13th but I can say that I’m really happy with how things went. … My Q&A session with the sharks lasted around 50 minutes but they edit that down to around six minutes, so I’m very excited/terrified to see what parts make it in.”
One of Conrad’s best friends, Catie Straut, accompanied Conrad while she was in the tank. Straut is one of the original “Boobypack Angels” and has helped out with partnerships, events and marketing.
“From the beginning, I’ve admired CC’s initiative, creativity and entrepreneurship,” Straut wrote in an email to The Hoya. “Because the Boobypack was created as a fun yet utilitarian response to a need that real girls (myself included!) face in real situations, it quickly became a natural fit for me to support Christina in her endeavors. I’ve loved being a part of ‘Team Boobypack’ from the outset.”
In 2014, Conrad’s Boobypack won the “Mothers of Invention” Competition, a $10,000 female entrepreneurship prize, on Katie Couric’s show, “Katie.” The Boobypack also has garnered attention from Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post and Perez Hilton.
“I was an English major at Georgetown so most of my classes were about Dickens or creative writing,” Conrad wrote. “I never thought about starting a business, and I never took a marketing or sales course but getting a liberal arts degree definitely promotes creativity — which I think is the key to innovation. There aren’t many barriers to entry for startups anymore.”
The Boobypack website prominently displays the hashtag #BelieveInYourShelfie along with other Boobypack merchandise. Currently the website is offering a limited edition “Shark Tank Top.”
The Boobypack team also addresses concerns of cell phone radiation as a result of storing a phone next to skin. The website recommends turning off phones when stashing them in the Boobypack or using a Pong Protective case (also sold on the Boobypack website), just in case.
“At the moment there’s no known link between cell radiation and cancer but a lot more research needs to be done,” a statement on the website reads. “So in the meantime, why risk it?”
The Pong Protective case can shield the body from up to 95 percent of cell phone radiation. It also strengthens cell phone signals up to 27 percent, increases range by up to 13 percent (for the iPhone 5 or 5s) and protects phones from drops of up to six feet.
The Boobypack apparel costs between $54 and $60 while the Pong Protective Case costs $49.99.
Weirens said that she would buy the Boobypack because of its utility.
“It’s the same price as something I would pay for at American Apparel but it is probably more useful,” Weirens said.
Conrad said she plans to expand the Boobypack line in the future. The Boobypack team is currently working on the Bootypack, a line of functional spandex.
“The way I see it, if you have a good idea and enough passion to make some noise about it, there’s no excuse to not start something,” Conrad wrote.