Perky Collar™: Collar support system for dress shirts
Inventor David Frankel knew there had to be a better way leave the top button unbuttoned on dress shirts without having a droopy collar. One day, while getting dressed for a meeting, David grabbed his daughter’s stiff headband and placed it inside his collar to keep his shirt looking crisp for the entire day. It worked, and the idea for the Perky Collar support system was born.
Within a week, David had contacted Enventys Partners for help taking his invention from a headband “prototype” to a new product to market and sell.
The Enventys Partners product development team began designing Perky Collar with ideation. The concept was simple, so the team primarily looked for ways to add to or enhance its value, such as making it adjustable or finding ways to reduce the footprint of the device. Once the team felt confident about their designs, they were able to begin creating concept models. Many of the concepts consisted of a single piece of plastic, so it was simple to create multiple iterations.
The product development team created flat-pattern models using SolidWorks CAD software, and then cut them from white styrene plastic on an Epilog Laser cutter. With the help of a heat gun, the team formed the flat patterns around a steel tube, creating the curved shape of the product. The team made around 20 different models, testing different shapes, thickness, adjustment methods and curve diameters, and ultimately finding that the best configuration was a full-width band that tapered to a rounded point towards the ends of the arms. The band could only be about .06” thick before it stretched the collar too much, and a 5” diameter was the best balance of support with a clean look.
Once the basic design was finalized and the patent filing was complete, our engineers created a CAD model of the product with its final shape and David’s logo. Then, the team 3D printed a final model on an SLA machine to verify the CAD and the look of the product. At this point, David was able to start generating buzz for the product while the Enventys Partners team moved on to sourcing the product.
Enventys Partners’ sourcing team looked for production partners both domestically and abroad. Part prices were competitive, but tooling costs in the U.S. were more than double those abroad. Ultimately, David decided to make a 5,000 unit run with a trusted vendor in China. After a few months and some minor adjustments following the first samples, 5,000 Perky Collars arrived in the U.S.
At this point, David still needed a solution for the product’s packaging. He turned to the Enventys Partners design team, who redesigned the logo, sourced new packaging, and developed an instructional infographic and before-and-after comparison photo to drive home the utility of the product, resulting in packaging that was perfect for high-end retail.
Over 10,000 Perky Collars have been sold, and the product is available in over 300 retailers around the country. David has also added additional product lines to the Perky family like collar stays, pocket squares and belts.