Two women entrepreneurs in Richmond are getting a "leg up" from the Spanx company. They just won a national contest to have their product featured in the catalog for Spanx, the billion dollar women's shapewear company.
Their product is the RainRap. It's a lightweight shall with a hood to keep the rain off. Stacy Struminger got the idea when she got caught in the rain without a raincoat.
"I realized it would be nice if there was a fashionable alternative to the heavy raincoat," Stacy explained. "I thought wouldn't it be nice if someone made a waterproof pashmina."
So that's what they made. So light, the RainRap folds into a small carrying pouch. "And fits into your handbag, your suitcase, your briefcase, your glove compartment," Stacy showed us.
Here's how it works. The RainRap's fabric is water resistant. So the raindrops simply bead on the surface of the fabric. You can even wipe the water beads off and the fabric is virtually dry.
Stacy and her best friend Rachel Teyssier started selling RainRaps just over a year ago. Then they entered, and won, the national Spanx Leg Up contest. You know Spanx, the body shapewear, that made Sara Blakeley the youngest self-made billionaire featured on the cover of Forbes. Blakely's Leg Up contest gives a leg up to other women entrepreneurs.
"We're so tickled and flattered and feel like we'll just gain that much more credibility with the retailers," reacted Stacy.
Now RainRaps are featured on the Spanx Facebook and Twitter pages, and in the Spanx catalog, which reaches one million households.
Said co-founder Rachel Teyssier, "Since the catalogue hit last week, Stacy and I are just completely speechless at how many orders we've been filling in the last four days."
In the future, Stacy and Rachel are considering more products, and hope to grow the company.
"It's just so wonderful to see a company so supportive of other women entrepreneurs and giving back," Rachel said. "Stacy and I feel that's how we would want to be down the road if we ever became that successful."
So will they? Could RainRaps, in fact, become the next Spanx?