Halto: Two sisters on a mission to stop halter neck bikinis being a pain in the neck!



The background

The average size cup in the UK is a DD and each breast weighs in at around 3.5lbs. When you put it like that, it’s hardly surprisingly halter neck bikinis hurt — you’re essentially holding up 7lbs of weight with a flimsy bit of string. Sisters Lerryn Ryall and Lucy Cox decided to do something about it.

The big idea

They designed the Halto! This clever little device is soft and cushioned; it has two holes which allow the bikini string to pass though, this distributes the pressure more evenly over a wider area. Say goodbye to red marks, indentation and a pain in the neck.

What happened

As a start-up business, co-founder Lerryn told us: “We had considered many forms of funding, from bank loans to investment, but at such an early stage of the business, we needed to prove the market before we invested too much more time and money into it. We also didn’t want to have someone else on board at this stage. Bank loans are naturally risky and although we fully believe in the product and have done plenty of research, we felt that crowdfunding would be a great way of proving our market and helping to get the word out that Halto is on its way!”

They put the project live in February and by the end of the month they’d smashed their £10K target, raising a total of £11,005 from 220 backers in 28 days. The sisters also received £3,000 of GAIN funding which provided a healthy boost to funds.

The pledge rewards

Pledges ranged from £5 – £500. Smaller pledges were rewarded with the actual product itself. The sisters also teamed up with some brands to offer a range of experiences, for £60 backers would get a luxury experience with Mish Lingerie (including bubbly and a £50 voucher). Those pledging £100 had two options, a health and fitness package or a personal invitation to dinner with the founders. The largest pledge, at £500, offered framed prints of the original Halto sketches!

In the press

The project featured in several different South West publications. The Plymouth Herald ran the story with the catchy headline ‘Pain free big boob bikini production begins‘. The sisters were also featured in The West Briton in which they talked about their crowdfunding experience. Business Cornwall also focused on their funding efforts.

What’s next

It’s all hands on deck as they work to get the Halto on sale in time for summer 2016 and in Australia for Christmas 2016!

What they said

Lerryn shared her Crowdfunding experience with us: “We were concerned that, as a relatively new way of raising finance, people may not understand the process and be put off from pledging. Whilst I think this was the case in certain instances, actually most people were very receptive to it and commented on how simple they found it. It also offered a dialogue between us and customers whilst in the planning phase, allowing us to be reactive in our campaign and marketing messaging as well as feed directly product development.

There was also an element of risk around people stealing our ideas, even though we have good IP in place. In actual fact, the amount of media attention and public support for the brand and product meant that it was pretty clear that this is a concept we own and are bringing to market.”

Tips to project owners

Lerryn told us: “Utilise the skills and contacts you have, don’t try to fit into others moulds. Some of the more successful elements of our campaign were the things that we were lucky enough to have the skills (or friends with the skills and contacts!) to do.”
As an example, Lerryn shared the hilarious ‘Put a Pledge On It‘ video the sisters put together (seriously, watch it): “It made use of Lucy’s contacts and skills as a singer.”

Lerryn also suggests reaching out to friends to see if they have any potential rewards they’d like to share: “We were given some amazing prizes to give out by friends, including a case of wine from Burdett Wines and a week’s holiday at Gwel an Mor resort. Just remember, people want you to succeed and sometimes they don’t realise how much an hour or two of their time, or something that may be little cost to them but higher value, can really boost your campaign.”

Crowdfunding green spaces: The Collings Park Trust Campaign
Case Study: The Pressery