There has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur than in 2016. And for women, this is especially true when you look at some incredible data reported over the past few years. A business trends report from American Express which studied the growth of women-owned businesses found that between 2007 and 2016, the number of women-owned firms increased by 45%, compared to just 9% increase among all businesses. Remember, during that period the worst economy crash in modern history happened, so that 45% figure is an incredible statistic.
The study found that the women-owned businesses have had a higher rate of hiring people and have reported better revenue during the same period. In the 2015 version of the same report, AmEx found that between 1997 and 2015 there were an average of 608 new women-owned businesses started each day. The latest Census data (from 2012) backs up these figures, and we have no doubt that when the new Census figures are released, we will see continued momentum by female entrepreneurs in this area.
Why is this such a big deal to us? And why is there such a surge in this trend? We have a pretty good assumption to make about this: the type of businesses women are creating are not just about making money but bringing together communities and supporting other women. Of course that may only be one aspect, but when we look at a company like new underwear line Slick Chicks, started by Helya Mohammadian, it’s easy to see why.
The New York-based company is no ordinary panty product. Their mission is to empower women and make it easier to put on underwear each day. Their custom-designed side clasps, similar to what you see at the back of a bra, means they have saved us a WHOLE world of frustration and pain by enabling the underwear to be removed easily without lifting a foot.
Ever been in a tight changing space and have to pull a ninja move to remove your underwear, which requires taking off layers of outer clothing first? Slick Chicks just solved that problem for you. But it doesn’t end there. Yes this is a product that any woman can wear everyday, but there is another element to the way they are empowering the wearer.
Slick Chicks is also a great way to help pregnant women move through their day with ease, by offering a product that caters to their limited physical capabilities as a growing belly can make some daily tasks rather uncomfortable. As for women with other physical limitations due to a disability, Slick Chicks underwear’s adaptability means they are catering to the differently-abled market, a demo that can often be forgotten in huge marketing campaigns by some major brands.
Adaptability clothing shouldn’t be an after-thought or a “niche” market by any clothing company, and we’ve seen a few recent examples of how the increased awareness of this. Slick Chicks have launched a Kickstarter campaign, aimed at raising $15,000 in order to create more product and help more women with their innovative product.
“Women of all kinds and at all ages will see a big boost in the quality of their life thanks to the thoughtful design and sensible approach to women’s panties that makes it easy slip a pair on or off after surgery, with chronic back pain, during pregnancy or any other condition that restricts full range of motion and mobility. Women who have faced these challenges know all too well how extremely daunting and at times embarrassing this seemingly simple daily task can be. Slick Chicks eliminates this problem and gives women their confidence back,” said a press release about the brand.
The idea to cater to women with different physical needs came after the founder initially launched the company and started getting feedback from customers.
“I received an email from a woman who had limited mobility who wanted to buy a pair of Slick Chicks underwear in a size XLL. At first, I was manufacturing limited sizes and told her that I didn’t have them yet in size XLL but as soon as I did I would send her some. Her request made me realize that the innovative product I had created for women to have a convenient way to change their underwear, also had a use as adaptable clothing for people with disabilities,” said Helya in an interview with Me & Eve.
“Unfortunately, by the time I manufactured and sent the XXL garment to this woman, she had succumbed to cancer. But her daughter wrote to me and told me the most inspiring story. She said her mother was so excited that my product was on its way to her that she worked harder in physical therapy to keep her mobility so that she would be able to change her own undergarments and regain that dignity. While I am so sad that she never got that chance, the fact that Slick Chicks empowered her so much, erased any doubts I had about my product,” she continued.
Since launching the Kickstarter campaign and sharing more about her product, Helya and her team have received other feedback from women who share how a pair of Slick Chicks underwear helped them through a difficult time in their life physically. A woman named Jess suffered from kidney failure during a vacation with her family and was rushed to the ICU.
Jess described it as being in a glass bubble, where she was monitored every day. The daily tasks she was used to doing in private, such as getting changed or going to the bathroom, being a much bigger task during this time. She was given a pair of Slick Chicks underwear which helped her feel empowered again to do the normal things she would with her body every day.
“With the clips on the side I was able to remove them and put them on without getting out of bed. It empowered me to want to fight and push through,” she said, and also added how amazed the medical professionals were by the product.
The material is made from a combination of anti-leak, anti-microbial and moisture-wicking technology which helps keep the person wearing it feeling fresh. Sizes range from XS to XXL and come in a range of 3 colors -beige, white and black. The four styles they are offering are bikini, boyshort, thong and a high waist option.
If all goes well with the Kickstarter campaign, Helya and her team plan to have the product ready to ship by the Fall. To secure your order, you can choose from a range of packages available on the campaign page. The money goes toward the company meeting the minimum order requirements.
If you are looking to A) help a female-founded company get off the ground, and B) put your money toward a product that empowers all kinds of women, look no further than Slick Chicks. Watch the campaign video below to see more visualizations of how the product works: