Tiffani Joseph worked long hours in front of a computer and wasn’t a huge fan of going to the gym. But she knew that she needed to find a way to include fitness into her busy schedule. This initial thought was the catalyst that led to the launch of SkinnyMe Bangles in January.
SkinnyMe Bangles, the company’s first product, provides women with a fashionable alternative to traditional velcro wrist weights and a solution for toning their arms throughout the day without disrupting their normal routines. T-shirts are also for sale exclusively on the company’s website.
I recently caught up with Tiffani to learn more about how she launched SkinnyMe Fashion and what’s next for her young company.
MadameNoire (MN): Can you explain what SkinnyMe Fashion is all about for someone who may be hearing about your company for the first time?
Tiffani Joseph (TJ): SkinnyMe is all about helping women feel better about themselves by offering a stylish bangle that is both functional and fashionable. With SkinnyMe Bangles women can live life and [tone] their arms.
MN: Are you working on SkinnyMe Fashion full-time?
TJ: No. I’m currently a full-time copywriter, so I write commercials for a living. I just launched SkinnyMe earlier this year, so it’s still in start-up mode. But as soon as I find myself unable to juggle both, I will fully commit to SkinnyMe (hopefully sooner rather than later).
MN: What was the inspiration behind SkinnyMe Bangles?
TJ: I spend a lot of time at work sitting in front of a computer and I felt like I wasn’t doing my body any good. On top of that, I’m not a gym person; I find them intimidating. So I figured if I could come up with a product that would help my body in any way, I would have solved a big problem for myself and possibly a lot of other women.
MN: What obstacles or challenges did you face as you were looking to launch SkinnyMe?
TJ: Money! I knew it would be hard to launch a business and then keep a it afloat, so I launched an Indiegogo project late last year. It wasn’t [fully funded], but I kept going and luckily I was able to gain enough support to get SkinnyMe off the ground.
Once I knew I wanted to make SkinnyMe happen, I began putting a little money aside every paycheck. I also offered my friends and family a small percentage of the business for their investment.
MN: Did manufacturers understand your concept? How many samples did you have to get made before you found the perfect prototype for the bangles?
TJ: The manufacturers understood the fitness part of it, but they didn’t understand the fashion part of it and I was very adamant that the bangles look chic and not like clunky pieces of mess. It took us four rounds to get the sample right!