Pants that help you lose weight! The 27 year old Bulgarian Entrepreneur got the idea while at London School of Economics. The weight-loss anti-cellulite exercise pants which promised to steam out pounds became an instant hit!
The idea: Wrapping her thighs in cling film before working out
27 year old, Dessislava Bell was desperately trying to lose pounds for her upcoming wedding. To lose all the pounds quickly, she started wrapping her thighs in cling film before working out. The idea was to make her body sweat as much as possible; a sure-fire way to lose weight. It worked, and she dropped two dress sizes.
This gave her the idea of weight-loss exercise shorts.
Hot Pants aka Hot-cakes and piling up Pounds
Encouraged by her weight loss, Bell turned her shorts idea into a business, along with with husband Malcolm and friend Khurshid Faizullaev after the trio met while studying at the London School of Economics. Named Zaggora, after her home town in Bulgaria, she started making HotPants, which promised to steam out pounds off their wearers.
The Anti Cellulite Shorts or hot pants became popular in no time; helping Bell gain pounds of another sort. The one’s hoarded in a Bank. Just six months after the first Zaggora HotPants leggings rolled off the production line, revenues are set to hit £10 million this year.
London School of Economics education Helped create and market anti-cellulite weight loss Hotpants
Clear in her mind that she has got a money making idea, Bell started working on developing shorts that fulfill the same objective as her cling film — sweat it all out and boost weight loss; but are comfortable, effective and affordable. A pair of shorts which women wanted – and were prepared to pay for.
With the following goals in mind, Bell started to do some research and develop prototypes.
The first prototypes, reflected her vision of a product which not only help a woman get more out of my workout, but also answer the problem of cellulite.
She founded a company called Zaggora, along with husband Malcolm and friend Khurshid Faizullaev. The trio put in £100,000 of their savings, and eventually made their weight-loss shorts from wetsuit-style neoprene and another fabric, using the heat generated by the body during exercise to accelerate the rate of fat burn. They found a manufacturing plant in Taiwan, set up a website and launched their online sales process in July.
The company set a revenue target of £60,000 for the first year. The suppliers and logistics team all said it was impossible.
The company had no advertising budget. Add to this, the target customers – the women – who are inherently critical, demanding and disillusioned by hundreds of ineffective weight loss products; earning a revenue 60 percent of the investment appeared a difficult proposition.
Here LSE education helped. Convinced that women need to be told by People they believe; the trio made a strategy wherein the product’s effectiveness is conveyed by those who knew that the products worked. Zaggora sent free pairs of HotPants to 500 bloggers, mainly mums, who wrote about them, and the firm’s Facebook page quickly amassed hundreds of fans. [Focus on social media was important].
The strategy worked. People posted that they were amazed by the pants’ results, and that was far more powerful than adverts, notes Bell. Underlining the importance of Facebook experience, Bell says, when customers could see that the Facebook posts came from real people, the demand took off immediately.
Sales of the £49.99 HotPants hit 100,000 after only 10 weeks, and revenues reached £5 million after half a year.
Whopping 733 percent more revenue than initially targeted for
Putting her economist’s brain to analyze the success, Bell says that downturn helped Zaggora to launch. Zaggora will not have materialized if, courtesy downturn, many sharp young people were not looking beyond their 12 hour jobs.
The company has since launched a string of other products, including Capri pants and leggings, and plans to launch weight-loss clothing for men.