A few weeks ago I was tweaking our SEO through keyword research and came across something surprising: a potential competitor – 3M’s Hold Tight Strap Clip. When Beth and I first came up with the idea for a no-sew strap shortening solution, I spent hours, if not days, searching online for an existing answer to the problem. Obviously, I proceeded to have a minor panic attack. Once that was done, I thought of the quote from the Godfather 2 (which I haven’t seen – yeah, I know…) – Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. I immediately ordered one on Amazon (I didn’t pay extra for overnight shipping, aren’t you proud?) and researched it as much as possible.
You may be wondering why I’m linking directly to the product. After all of this research, I don’t think they are a competitor. I love 3M products and Scotch. Post-its are a staple in my life – and Scotch-Brite sponges are awesome. I’m interested in trying some of the wardrobe products in the original blog that led me down this road. (I think the Permanent Hem Bonding Tape will be useful, as we’ve already established that I don’t sew!) But… my original fear that this was serious competition no longer seems valid. (for the record, if it was serious competition, I’d let you know how/why we’re better or modify our product to beat the competition)
The Hold Tight Strap Clip is made of semi-opaque plastic and is designed to keep the built-in adjuster from slipping. It works like a barrette and will accommodate up to a 3/4” strap. To it’s credit, it clips on very tightly. When closed, the Hold Tight Strap Clip is slightly over 1” wide which gives it a significant footprint on 1/2″ and 1/4″ straps. I didn’t feel it on the 1/2” strap of my bra, but it was easy to see under a fitted shirt. Much to my relief, I don’t think this would work well to shorten any strap. It would become too bulky and the excess fabric would put stress on the joint. I don’t know how well the plastic would hold against this added pressure.
Another interesting part is that I tried the “product locator” on their website and I couldn’t find any within 100 miles of NYC. I wonder if they are discontinuing the product. This is another reason that maybe I should’ve thought twice before I panicked. (hey, I’m not normally a drama queen but I’m pouring my heart and soul into this company, so I’m a little jumpy! Deal with it :) ) And all of the reviews on their site – which were positive – came from people who got the product for free around 8 months ago. While I can’t knock exchanging reviews for product, I was surprised that there was no spontaneous praise. I’m always so pleased when a customer takes the time to write to us. (Got more? Feel free to send it our way!) I’d have thought that there might be more for a Scotch product.
With all of the amazing products from 3M and their cool names – I must say I’m a little disappointed in “Hold Tight Strap Clips”. Granted, it took us months to come up with “The Strap Saver”, but we’re just two women with a limited (read: nonexistent) budget. The packaging is pretty cool. Wasted, since it’s not reusable, like our awesome silk bags, but it is recyclable!
I can safely put my panic attack aside. The Strap Saver remains the only non-permanent way to shorten a strap without picking up a needle and thread that we’ve found on the market. (Found one? Let us know! We’ll test it out.) The Hold Tight Strap Clip does exactly what it says. At $6 for 8 clips, it’s a great price if you only need to stop the built-in adjusters from moving and you don’t wear fitted clothes. If you’re looking for a virtually undetectable no-sew solution to shorten your straps while leaving them adjustable, The Strap Saver is the answer for you.
Have you ever stumbled across a competitor to a product you were selling? What did you do?