Track your Steps in Style with FUNKtional Wearables

Suit Your Style!

At a Glance

Startup – Funktional Wearables

Founder – Cynthia Blais

Launch – June 2014

What is it – Fitness tracker jewelry

Fitness trackers and other wearable devices have become big business with the market expected to grow significantly by 2023. It is also one of the highly competitive markets where manufacturers are continually coming up with new ideas and technologies to gain competitive advantage over their competitors. The connection between fashion and tech wearables is getting stronger as manufacturers recognize that people want to not only wear something that works well, but looks good, too.
To keep the wearables market strong to a broad audience that includes women, devices will need to become more fashionable.

Funktional Wearables

We caught up Clairemont resident Cynthia Blais, founder of Funktional Wearables to talk about her business and startup journey.

What’s the story behind Funktional Wearables?

Cynthia: I work part time for 24 Hour Fitness, teaching Zumba Fitness group classes, and I started seeing people there achieve great weight loss with their fitness trackers. So, I decided to get one for myself to see what all the fuss was about. I bought a Fitbit and it also helped me improve my awareness of what I was eating, how much activity I was getting, how I was sleeping etc. I basically loved everything about it except for how it looked. Since I have always made jewelry as a hobby I started to experiment with ways to make my Fitbit look better, and that’s how FUNKtional Wearables was born.

What are the different product offerings?

Cynthia: We have a vast array of products, not just jewelry and accessories for Fitbit’s but also for trackers from other brands such as Garmin, as well as Apple Watch bands. Almost all of our products are handcrafted here in San Diego.  We offer a wide array of sizes from XS-XL, while keeping the prices affordable. Everything is under $50.  Also, every month we donate a portion of our sales to The Best Friends Animal Society.

Fitbit Bracelet by Funktional Wearables

What has been the biggest challenge so far on your startup journey?

Cynthia: It is hard to pinpoint just one challenge as being the biggest, but I would probably say it would be working with manufacturers abroad. The ones I worked with have required payment in full by wire transfer before they produce and ship the goods, so you can’t just call your credit card or bank to dispute the charge if the goods don’t come in on time and as expected, (both of which have happened just about every time)!

Future Outlook

Cynthia: Primarily, I want to focus on increasing our online presence, especially internationally.  I would also like to add more styles for men to our line.  Everytime a new tracker comes out we will continue to launch compatible pieces that allow customers to personalize it and ‘make it their own.’ Trackers give much more benefit to the user when worn nearly 24/7, so our goal is to create pieces that allow the user to be able to wear their tracker to any event and always feel appropriate and stylish. I even wore one of our Fitbit Flex 2 bracelets at my wedding!

Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs

Cynthia: Reading The Four Agreements  by Don Miguel Ruiz changed my life, and I would highly recommend this book to everyone, aspiring entrepreneurs especially. If you apply the four lessons from this book (be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best) to your career and to your life, great things will happen.

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