I was getting ready to go out one night while chatting with my roommate, joking about how silly I felt stashing condoms in a nice leather business card case so that I'd have some on hand in an organized way. My roommate laughed and replied, “Yeah, I always have to put mine in a makeup bag or something.”
That's when it hit me: surely there existed some stylish product for women to carry condoms that we had just missed?
I did a Google search, then some more intensive follow up searches, but to my surprise all the condom case products out there seemed to be designed with men in mind. Plastic, metal, biker-tooled rough leather ... a far cry from the carefully curated accessories a city woman carries on a night out.
Inspired by the simple and elegant design of the envelope-shaped navy blue patent leather business card case I had used for the past few years, I drew up blueprints for a condom case while specifically keeping the realistic modern woman in mind:
- I made it sleek, to fit in small clutch bags.
- I try to use fashionable, sophisticated materials, so the case looks and feels like another elegant accessory.
- I paid an equal amount of attention to the functionality -- the case is sized to allow carriage of up to 3 standard sized condoms, and the magnetic snap is designed to provide secure closure without putting the contents at risk of damage.
One leather-working course and a couple months' tinkering in my home workshop later, I was doling out prototypes to friends and Plan A was quickly becoming a real endeavor.
At some point while chatting about the project and general feminist issues with close pals, the question came up: "Why should women even care if condoms come spilling out of your purse?"
The thought really resonated with me, so I decided I needed an aggressive, progressive option to ensure that Plan A wasn't about shame or perpetuating outdated stigmas. So every order of a leather case will include a clear case, for those nights when you couldn't give a shit what others think.
If this project is funded, I will use the proceeds to manufacture a round of Plan A Cases in a variety of styles so that women looking for a grownup way to carry condoms will finally have a product that addresses their needs.
I will also continue to research design improvements and respond to customer feedback, with the hope of bringing even better cases to broader market as soon as possible.
Finally, I hope this project will start some important conversations about sexuality, slut shaming, feminism, double standards and related topics.
I’ve set the funding goal pretty low because I really want these to go into production for the people who want them. If I'm lucky enough to get funding above and beyond, I definitely have plans to put that extra money to work:
(design patents pending for both leather and clear cases)
Risks and challenges
I have already created a round of prototype cases with the help of the Garment District contractors and machinists I plan to use to complete this project. I will continue to be actively involved in all aspects of design and manufacturing in order to make sure there are minimal delays in producing the cases to reward supporters.
I've helped co-found a successful startup before, and spent 4 years before that practicing law at one of Manhattan's toughest firms, so I believe I have the energy, experience and creativity to overcome any wrench that might be thrown at this project.
That said, I do live in a city where cops can stop you for wearing a short skirt and confiscate your condoms, but I'll try my best not to get caught in the drag-net: (http://www.businessinsider.com/police-arrest-women-for-carrying-condoms-2013-3)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)