Million Dollar Collar on Good Morning LaLa Land
Dr. Erin: Welcome back. We have this lovely married couple Rob and Linda Kessler. They are here to showcase their Million Dollar Collar. Tell us a little bit about this you guys.
Rob K: So, basically it's like a collar stay except it goes down to this part of the shirt. Most people don't wear ties anymore so I don't want to walk around looking sloppy. This all came about when we got married in Jamaica. We actually met on the beach in Milwaukee and got married on the beach in Jamaica. So before I even said I do my shirt was... I was tugging at my collar all day and it was a chill beach wedding. I wasn't going to wear a tie, but when I looked at my photos, I was like "man I look sloppy." It just drove me crazy, I hated the way it looked. I came home and I literally started cutting open every dress shirt I had. I found every piece of plastic I could find in my house and started testing and subsequently, ruining shirts left and right.
Linda K: Milk cartons, mini blinds, just anything.
Rob K: Anything I could find.
Linda K: Just to prove a concept.
Host Rob: I thought I was nuts and now I realize. I have a friend, she's a stylist and she says one thing is a symmetrical collar. So I'm always of course now aware of it. Today I had to wear a t-shirt because I could not sit next to you.
Rob K: People hate me because they say “now I see it everywhere. I can't wear any other shirt that doesn't have a Million Dollar Collar.”
Host Rob: You can buy the most expensive shirt but the collar just won't stay, so this is just brilliant.
Host Jezlan: So Linda, how did you feel about this when he's ruining all of his shirts proving a concept. Were you like uh, what are you doing?
Linda K: I saw his passion, so I helped him find more shirts. The first thing is defining the placket because most people don't know what a placket is. They know what a collar is but they call the collar anything that frames the face. So now, first of all, we're talking about something that we don't even know exists, the placket is where the button and button holes are. Then, it was like I don't know what you're doing. I'm ready and he's still ironing his shirt and I'm like, "What are you doing?"
Dr. Erin:He's like spraying on starch.
Linda K:Because the product didn’t exist and we're used to seeing dress shirts how they are, when you see an upgraded shirt you're like, "ohhh."
Dr. Erin: Interesting.
Linda K:So I at first didn't even know what he was even talking about. Now it's a visual thing. Because of a collar and placket something that's upright and not.
Host Jezlan: Is this something you can throw in the washer or is this dry clean only?
Rob K: It took 3 years to develop a material that could be installed once and just wash, dry, iron, dry clean, launder. It doesn't matter what you do to the shirt, it lasts the life of the shirt. I have shirts with a 100 presses on them and I talked to a lot of dry cleaners and they said we don't ever do shirts rarely 100 times, usually 60.
Dr. Erin: So they have to buy the actual shirt, they can't install it in other shirts?
Rob K: No, it's an aftermarket kit. It goes in any shirt. I got this dress shirt yesterday from my friend Susan at J. Hilburn. I got this yesterday and upgraded it last night so I could wear it today. I taught myself how to sew, it takes 5-6 minutes to put it in any shirt. Once it's in, it lasts the life of the shirt.
Dr. Erin: So you could take it down to your dry cleaner that has a seamstress and they could put it in?
Host Rob: I want to be honest with you. [chuckles] I have gone through so many shirts just trying to get it right and just spraying starch and double stick tape...everything. But you can literally spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a really great shirt and the placket is still just all crumbled up.
Rob K: Exactly. You have a softer fabric and then it has even less structure to it. Shirts really weren't designed to be worn without a tie. The fact is up to 90 percent of shirts now are worn without a tie. So the shirts just haven't caught up to current fashion trend and we just have the one product that actually fixes it.
Host Rob: What was the hardest part of this business? Was it actually coming up with the design, the product itself, was it distribution, was it marketing? What's been the most difficult part of the journey for you?
Rob K: It's been a big education process. Like Linda said, nobody knows what a placket is. We call it Million Dollar Collar because that at least gets people into the right area of the shirt. Educating people what the actual difference is from a collar stay to a placket stay has been challenging. Then it's really getting some of the old, big guys to get their heads around this change. Shirts have pretty much been made the same way for about 100 years and there haven't been a lot of changes. This is a pretty dynamic change so we hear a lot of NO's.
Host Jezlan:I find it really interesting so you get married. You're a newly married couple, and you're building a business together.
Linda K: A couple of businesses.
Rob K: Multiple businesses, yeah.
Linda K: I owned a gym called The Transformation Room where I did TRX and Pilates. I worked for brands like Insanity, Beach Body, TRX, Matrix and I'd do fitness modeling for them. So I was working on that, he was working on his screen printing company and then trying to do the patent on this. Yes, we do have the patent.
Dr. Erin: Congratulations.
Linda K: So that was a task in itself.
Host Rob: I Imagine.
Linda K: US patent and then we're like, let's move to California because we are sick of Wisconsin winters. We know what -75 feels like.
Dr. Erin: Wow.
Linda K: So, we're like let's move across the country. If we're going to start this adventure and get the patent and do this. Let's just starts over and focus on one thing, so that's when we moved to Los Angeles. Now he can focus 100% on Million Dollar Collar and the creativity and the atmosphere here in Los Angeles and the likeminded, go-getter attitude is phenomenal to be surrounded by.
Dr. Erin: Wow, so LaLa Land, right?
Linda K: Yes.
Dr. Erin: So everybody is fulfilling their dreams. What do they say 1 out of 8 business doesn't make it? But, this is brilliant, honestly, I can think of...every single man wears shirts, right? It's like you have a pretty big market and I love the name of it. It's like a big affirmation goal at the same time, right?
Dr. Erin: It's like a subconscious reprogramming for people when they wear these shirts, they're going to be very successful.
Linda K: Girls, we have so many options to wear. We have dresses, we have jumpers, we have dress shirts, we have blouses, we have God knows what. Men, if they want to look nice, they have a suit to dress up like this and then they have a dress shirt. What other options do you have to look nice? So now it's taking the dress shirt to the next level so you can look nice but casual and just have more of a suave look than just always having a tie on and always being over the top. And there's nothing wrong with a tie, but it's just nice to have that more casual upscale look.
Dr. Erin:I love that. I love that so much, you guys. It's a really cool story and I love that “The Pitch Whisperer,” John Livesay has probably helped you with your story. But I love the idea that you guys were getting married and it was something like there's a concern about a guy’s shirt. Who cares about that? The guys care about that and we don't even realize that as women. We don't think.... because guys won't tell us that generally, they will have their own little conversation about it.
Host Jezlan:I watch Rob fidget with his collar one time. He'll be face timing his friend Melanie and she'll be like, "Fix your collar!'
Host Rob: Give me 3 seconds. She'd be like you better fix that collar, Rob. I don't have that problem anymore.
Rob K: I told John I know what I'm doing every morning, I'm coming here with my sewing machine.
Linda K: That's the best thing you have a 6' 2" tattooed man with a sewing machine. The one thing he knows how to sew...
Rob K: I can't hem your pants but…
Dr. Erin: That in itself is a great story. So where can people find the Million Dollar Collar?
Rob: The easiest place is on our website or Amazon.
Dr. Erin: All right.
Rob K: Nice and easy.
Host Jezlan: Okay, I know what my Dad is getting for Father's Day.
Dr. Erin:Brilliant idea guys, congratulations on getting your patent and stuff. Looking forward to watching it all unfold for you I'm sure.
Rob K: Thanks.
Dr. Erin: So stay tuned you guys and we'll bring everybody back. Stay tuned for more transformation Tuesday.