Party and potty in one easy piece. Literally.
That’s the benefit of wearing a jumpsuit with a butt flap included: Users avoid the hassle of removing half the outfit to use the restroom, said Brittany Weltner.
The Kansas City native just launched a crowdfunding campaign for her new business, Jomper, to build more functional jumpsuits for all occasions. The pain point that inspired Weltner to start Jomper was the lack of convenient attire to wear for yoga class, she said.
“I was upside down, and my T-shirt kept hitting me in the face,” Weltner said. “So to solve that problem, I started wearing just a normal jumpsuit to yoga class.”
When Weltner started forming her business concept in 2015, Jomper was designed to be a clothing app where consumers could purchase tops and bottoms separately to fit their unique body shape, she said. But after pitching her idea to Heidi Zak, co-founder of the bra company Third Love, Weltner pushed Jomper into product development, she added.
“‘You know, the app’s a cool idea, but you need to go and make the jumpsuits; stop wasting your time with building technology when you don’t have a product,” Weltner recalled Zak saying. “So that sunk in.”
Several months and 20 prototypes later, Jomper launched Tuesday on Indiegogo, Weltner said. It has raised 15 percent of her $9,000 goal.
Jumpsuits are difficult to design, Weltner said. She worked through 20 prototypes before settling on three designs to fit five female body shapes, she said. Weltner also considered designs that would make jumpsuits more functional, such as adding a butt flap to make bathroom trips easier, she added.
“There’s the thing called the ‘dreaded naked pee’ where you have to take the entire thing off to go to the bathroom,” she said. “So that’s why I created a butt flap on them. I tried to think, ‘What’s the most comfortable, efficient thing [to] wear to get me through my day?’”
Besides the discomfort of wearing a T-shirt to yoga class, another pain point Weltner found was that her West Coast lifestyle was unaccommodating for just one outfit, she added.
“I was living in San Francisco, my job was in Oakland and then my boyfriend lived in Silicon Valley; so any given day, I’d be traveling maybe up to three hours,” Weltner said. “For me, changing clothes or changing outfits to work out was a pain point, just carrying extra stuff. So that’s when I kind of pushed this jumpsuit into an athleisure jumpsuit that I could wear to work and then also to yoga.”
After checking out the market and finding only a couple of options — one jumpsuit that was inappropriate for work and the other she found unflattering for her body shape — she decided to make her own jumpsuit.
Weltner recently returned to Kansas City after a four-year stint in San Francisco, she said.
“I just really wasn’t making the progress I wanted to make, so I moved home,” Weltner said. “I just needed a change of scenery and yeah, it was really hard to do it there because it was so expensive. If I had a full-time job, I’d do OK in San Francisco, but I wanted to have the flexibility to work on Jomper.”
Weltner faced setbacks in production and other challenges such as a lack of stable income. She does freelance work as a social media consultant for brands, she said. She also had to find a factory — her products are now manufactured in Colombia — and all while primarily establishing the business solo, she added.
“Founder dynamics, I thought, was kind of difficult,” she said. “I tried to find co-founders, but I just realized I’m better off doing it on my own and finding an expert in whatever field I need help with.
“It is a lonely journey, so it’s really important to come and connect with communities.”
Weltner is glad to be back in Kansas City, she said.
“It’s been very welcoming, and it’s been fun to kind of see, after four years, the growth of the startup community here,” she said.