In 2011, my wife bought me an expensive, department store men's leather belt for my birthday. She thoughtfully wanted to upgrade my wardrobe. Unfortunately for me, the belt holes didn’t line up with my waist size that day. We’ve all been there - the hole placement makes the belt too loose or too tight. In frustration I did what a lot of guys have done - I punched out few new holes myself. But in the process, I mangled the belt leather. My wife was not happy.
I learned two valuable lessons that day. First, never puncture a gift from your wife. Second, belt holes don’t work. Besides fitting poorly and rarely lining up with your actual waist size, belt holes stretch over time and cause creases that make your leather look unflattering. As an experienced entrepreneur, I knew there had to be a better way.
Armed with my passion for product design, I set out to create a new men's belt that not only functioned better, but was constructed of superior materials, and of course, had to be stylish. Why? Because to me, that’s what a man's belt should be – great fitting, high-quality and stylish.
Coincidentally, an associate of mine had just returned from an extended Asian trip, when I recounted my belt story. He quickly lifted his shirt to reveal his new "no-holes", “track”, "automatic" or "ratchet belt" he purchased overseas. Instead of belt holes, there was a hidden track that provided 1/4" spaced sizing positions. It seemed so obviously better. I immediately fell in love with the concept and saw a huge value in it.
The only problem was the belt buckle. It was overly clunky, metal-laden, unreliable, and even unattractive. It even got stuck when I attempted to release it. The core of the problem: it used a large magnet to operate the buckle ratchet mechanism. It’s the same exact buckle several of our competitors sell today, having merely stamped their logo on it. They're really more belt importers than designers and manufacturers. And their buckle is not patentable, because it’s not unique. This buckle wasn’t good enough for us. We wanted to create a sleek, stylish, reliable buckle that we would want to purchase and wear. So we rolled up our sleeves.
After a year and a half of designing, prototyping and testing, we were ready to debut our new Trakline ratchet belts. It consisted of a sleek, spring-loaded, patented buckle that we designed in-house and created the molds for ourselves.
In May of 2013, we launched on KICKSTARTER, giving backers a choice of four different classic belt buckle designs. We were fortunate enough to surpass our crowdfunding goal, selling over $300,000 worth, to over 4,000 “Backers” in just 30 days. Our new belts and company, Kore Essentials, was ready to launch. Thank you to all the backers who supported us and made our dream a reality.
Flash forward. After selling our men's ratchet belts online for 3 years, we launched our 6th Kickstarter project in 2016 - the new "Express Belt". We topped our own record becoming the #1 All-Time Funded Fashion Accessory and #5 overall with over 7,000 backers and nearly $600,000 in sales. Thanks again to all of our backers for your support !!
TO THE KORE
in 2012 we set out to redefine men's accessories. Our simple approach >> blend innovation with superior quality to create better, more exciting products that exceed expectations.
© Copyright 2016 Kore Essentials, Inc. All rights reserved. Trakline Belt ® is a registered U.S. trademark. Our unique buckles & accessories are patented.