When my tech beat was mobile we would sit around at events like Mobile World Congress and CTIA and take bets amongst other mobile tech journalists about how long it would take for Steve Ballmer to wash out one of his crisp button down shirts with sweat. Many tech journalists called Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft and owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Steve “Sweaty Pits” Ballmer.
In reality Ballmer is one of the nicest, but harsh CEO’s around. He would give anyone the time of day, especially if you wanted to let him talk about something, but many always focused on his arm pits. This is an unfortunate and embarrassing problem for many men.
Michigan startup founder Jeff Schattner noticed that same exact “sweaty pits” problem, but not with Steve Ballmer, with himself. Patch.com reports that Schattner was at an outdoor wedding in June 2013 when he became sticky, uncomfortable and extremely sweaty. He had completely soaked his arm pits and realized at that moment something needed to be done.
Shortly after that hot wedding Schattner was taking in a Detroit Tigers baseball game at Comerica Park. The weather was very similar to that hot summer wedding, but he quickly noticed that the pitcher wasn’t a sopping wet mess.
Schattner learned that there was fabric sewn into the pitchers jersey that trapped the perspiration away from the athletes arm pits. The next thing Schattner had to decide was would there be a market for this kind of fabric infused tailor made shirts for business. Bet Ballmer would give that an enthusiastic YES!
Schattner shared the idea with his wife Sarah who thought he may actually be onto something. “I was throwing out a different idea every other week,” he told patch.com “This is one she didn’t reject immediately.”
The entrepreneur, who works a day job at Chrysler in Auburn Hills Michigan, is one of those guys that has ideas every day. He knew this one was going to stick. Now, Schattner has been able to take advantage of many startup avenues on his journey with the company he calls Lawerence Hunt.
The name comes from his father’s first and middle names and sounds “professional”.
Schattner first took the concept to Kickstarter, the crowdfunding vehicle that has an all or nothing approach to the latest inventions. Lawrence Hunt hit it’s goal and was met with 100 orders. It also became the second most funded fashion project in the state of Michigan, on the Kickstarter platform.
Next stop was an accelerator. The Runway is a fashion startup accelerator in Lansing Michigan. Through the accelerator they were able to work out the kinks in the shirt design, get it to customers and to market in The Runway’s own retail shop. You can also purchase the shirts online at lawrencehunt.co
Also, as of the first of the year Schattner has turned to a subscription model making it easier for his customers to buy their shirts even with their busy lifestyles. Executives from companies like Price Waterhouse are writing into Lawrence Hunt and telling them how much they love the shirts, and most of all being dry. In the subscription model customers pay a set monthly price and get a fresh shirt of the month, in their size, delivered to their door without any fuss.
Now all that’s left is acquisition and we know just the guy.