If you have not left your coat behind after a night out, you almost definitely know someone who has. But College juniors Caroline Calle and Melissa Greenblatt think they have a solution for those prone to frat-driven forgetfulness.
Calle and Greenblatt, members of Penn’s chapter of Delta Delta Delta sorority, recently launched FRACKIT, a company that sells waterproof hooded jackets. The name comes from ‘fracket,’ or ‘frat jacket,’ which is defined by Urban Dictionary as “a jacket you wear to frats because you don’t mind if at the end of the night, it is covered in beer [and] frat sludge.” Greenblatt and Calle say their version is intended for usual daily use as well as for nights out. Taglined “Dress responsibly,” the jackets are priced at less than $50.
The duo thought of the idea freshman year after Greenblatt left her jacket at a party and Calle came back with someone else’s by accident. During their sophomore year, FRACKIT started to come to fruition. Calle, who has sewed her own designs for Penn Fashion Collective shows, created three prototypes before choosing the one they liked the best.
Calle and Greenblatt designed a FRACKIT logo for the sleeve and planned for name tags inside of the jackets so that partygoers will have an easier time finding jackets.
“But at the same time, the jackets are the same, so if you find your size, trade if you want,” Greenblatt said.
After agreeing on a prototype, the duo approached family and friends for financial assistance to make their dream a reality. Taking the prototype with them, they had potential investors try on the jacket and received positive feedback.
Next, Calle and Greenblatt shopped around for a manufacturer. They knew they wanted their jackets to be American-made and they partnered with a small company in Minnesota . Now, Greenblatt and Calle are focusing on teaming up with a new manufacturer, this time in New York, where they can monitor the progress in person.
They also ordered their own zippers and had them sent to the production company, found their own fabric supplier and spent time checking out various types of quilting for the jacket before settling on a diamond pattern.
“There are so many middlemen, and they all have their own timelines. People tell you things will be ready, and then they’re not,” Calle said.
On Saturday, Calle and Greenblatt hosted their launch party at Tap
House. Around 100 people attended, and they sold roughly 77 jackets.
FRACKIT offers one unisex jacket in black and features a hood . Calle and Greenblatt spent a lot of time sampling sizing because they wanted “one jacket with different sizes, but [that] works for both guys and girls,” Greenblatt said.
While Calle is a communications major and Greenblatt is pre-med , they have started to see entrepreneurship as a potential career path. Calle already has a consumer psych minor, but FRACKIT has made her want to take some entrepreneurship electives this year.
Greenblatt and Calle hope to expand their business over the coming years. “We want to become a frat brand,” Greenblatt said, citing Rowdy Gentlemen and Chubbies as examples of companies they look to for inspiration for their own business model. “We want to have everything you need to go out, and it’s probably hardest to have started with the jacket.”
Their future ideas include a phone case with a cardholder, lighter and bottle opener, and they are also considering expanding the color choices for their jacket.
The jackets are available for preorder online and will be available by this winter. They will also be sold at the Penn-Princeton football game hosted by Princeton this year.
To further expand their business, Calle and Greenblatt are hoping to sell their jackets at the University of Virginia. They are getting in contact with presidents of fraternities and sororities because “Greek culture is a big part of UVA, and it makes it much easier to spread the word through sorority or fraternity listservs,” Greenblatt said.Comments powered by Disqus
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