The original tear-away performance shirt which provides athletes with the perfect solution to fluctuating outdoor conditions.
Like most entrepreneurial endeavors, our journey began after we identified a problem…
Yes, that’s me, suffering through 40 degree weather in Corral E prior to running the BoA Chicago Marathon back in 2013. On the day prior to the race, I visited the runners Expo in search of a shirt to wear the following morning, knowing that freezing temps beckoned at the race’s start, and mid 70’s towards its end. It was suggested by staff at the Expo that I either wear a sweatshirt (and discard of it a few miles in) or tough it out by wearing a tank top/tee shirt. I figured that the former option would result in me casting off a perfectly good sweatshirt, and the latter would result in my expending vital energy prior to the run due to my body shivering. “That’s it?” I thought. “Those are my only two options?” (Another slightly better option, the arm compression sleeve, would come later). It was at that moment I determined there had to be a better way..
But, what could be done to solve this problem? Following an intensive search process, I was fortunate to have discovered the Apparel Agency in Chicago which specialize in bringing conceptual athletic apparel to life. After several months of collaboration, we were able to develop the Tearadactyl 1.0 prototype (seen below)
The goal of this first iteration of the Tearadactyl shirt was to prove that we could successfully develop a running shirt which had arm sleeves the runner could remove on the fly (concerns about the shirt’s aesthetic value would come later). Mission accomplished, thanks to the lovely ladies who helped test the shirt’s efficacy on the famous North Avenue Beach running path in Chicago! This was a good start, but we needed to go back to the lab and work on further enhancing the efficacy and aesthetics of our new creation.
About six months later, the Tearadactyl 2.0 prototype was born (see above). There were several changes made with this new adaptation including (1) changing the shirt material to a signature grey color composed of a polyamide/elastane fabric, (2) converted the side mesh sleeve pockets to two “self material” compartments located at the rear of the shirt, (3) added a heat pressed logo with the name “Tearadactyl” located on the upper back of the shirt and a heat pressed company logo on the front left chest area (4) added contrast stitching throughout the shirt for effect (5) maintained a front flap zipper pocket for an MP3 player along with a grommet hole to accomodate a headphone cord and (6) maintained thumb holes on each sleeve.
In our ongoing quest to create the premier and original convertible running shirt, we will be making a few additional modifications to our debut Tearadactyl model prior to its release to the public. These adjustments will include (1) adding angled mesh panels to each rear sleeve pocket to facilitate passage of precipitation/moisture (2) changing the contrast stitching throughout the shirt to an amethyst color for the women’s model and a light orange color for the men’s and (3) introducing a softer, thinner material underneath each armhole to cover the exposed zippers in order to eliminate chaffing.
We will also be kicking off our sales and marketing campaign with our Tearadactyl Runner of the Month (see above photo for our January edition). The theme of our campaign will be runners on location throughout the city of Chicago performing their fitness regimens while wearing a Tearadactyl Running shirt. We will also be presenting an original monthly music mix entitled “Tearing up the Trail with Tearadactyl” featuring Chicago’s own DJ Anton!
- Where can I get more information about Tearadactyl Running? The best place to stay up to date on all things Tearadactyl would be either our company website (www.tearadactylrunning.com) or following us on our Facebook business page (facebook/tearadactylrunning)
- How does a Tearadactyl Running shirt stack up against all of its competition in the athletic apparel market? Firstly, we have a patent pending on the actual shirt design itself, so our product is in a unique and exclusive class of its own. If you consider the alternatives out there to help a runner self-regulate their upper body temperature, they would consist of utliitizing an old sweatshirt (and casting it off mid-run), the arm compression sleeve (which has storage issues while running as well as can be easily lost, and further only covers a part of the runners arm), or simply exposing your upper body to the elements in a tee shirt or tank top and dealing with all of the extremes the environmental conditions might present. There will no doubt be more high tech products in the future capable of regulating one’s upper body temperature during a run, but the fabrics they will utilize in production will most likely be largely untested when they are introduced (carcinogenic?), expensive, and may not hold up well to frequent trips through the washing machine.
- Is the Tearadactyl shirt designed only for runners, or might there be other athletic applications for this shirt? The shirt was originally designed with the runner in mind, however there are several other practical applications for our product including (1) hiking (2) biking (3) yoga (4) working out, (5) competing in triathlons,and an unlimited number of other athletic endeavors. Further, the Tearadactyl is, for all intents and purposes, an all season shirt as it can be used as a layering piece during the winter months, as a stand alone piece during spring and fall months, and in its sleeveless incarnation during the summer months (this shirt provides you with a range of options!). It is also comfortable enough to be used for everyday purposes such as going for walks or lounging around the house.
- Will the Tearadactyl shirt be available in any other colors besides grey? The shirt will only be available in the signature grey color during our first year of production. Depending on the demand, we plan on introducing the shirt in a variety of other colors in future production years.
- In what temperature range will the Tearadactyl shirt be most effective? Our product is designed to work in what we would call “moderately cold to warm conditions” (40-75 degrees F). If you find it to be a particularly cold day, the “closed containment” nature of the shirt can be enhanced by simply adding 1-2 air activated hand/body warmers to each of the sleeve pouches in the rear. The best part about this idea is these heat packs are both relatively inexpensive and biodegradable.
- How big of a concern will chaffing underneath the arms be for long distance runners/hikers in relation to each respective zipper that encircles the shoulder region?There are underarm flaps composed of a polyester/spandex material located along the zipper line so that the runner/hiker’s underarm will not come into direct contact with the zipper. Like any material that comes into contact with body surfaces while running or hiking long distances, chaffing can obviously occur. However, it will not produce any more chaffing than one might expect while utilizing any other shirt while exhibiting a running/hiking motion over a prolonged period of time.
- What is the primary reason behind starting your business? I believe that athletes, in particular long distance runners and hikers, should maintain their body temperature within a narrow and safe range while engaging in physical activity. I further believe that the Tearadactyl Performance shirt will provide these athletes with both the most efficacious and aesthetically pleasing manner by which to achieve this goal.
Risks and challenges
At this point, funding for capital expenditures constitutes our only challenge to successfully launching Tearadactyl Running.
After fully self-funding the design and legal aspects, including patent and trademark, sufficient capital is needed in order to fulfilll our orders. Likewise, sufficient capital is required to ensure the successful launch of our marketing campaign and to secure the future growth of Tearadactyl Running as a brand.