11.07.2011

Show Stoppers: Shannon Mattingly


Sarah Velasco: As the creator of ShowStoppers - can you tell us about the company? What is ShowStoppers? How did the company start?

Shannon Mattingly: Looking for a fashion mishap remedy, I invented ShowStoppers with the vision of creating reliable fashion accessory products for women looking to dress sharply. As ShowStoppers grew into its toddler years, we changed the game with cutting edge techniques to create awareness for our brand both far and wide. Our team produced flirty videos to go viral, and I auditioned for a professional cheer squad to get the product in the hands of the big-league cheerleaders. ShowStoppers was invited onto the Home Shopping Network four times, on which product sold out on the first air date. ShowStoppers Designer Fashion Tape is a sexy chic company that promotes class and elegance. We believe walking tall is the first step to being tall.

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about yourself? How did you get into the industry?

Shannon Mattingly: When I left UC Berkeley, I landed my first job at a top financial consulting firm where I was to adhere to a business professional dress code every day. My ensemble consisted of a pantsuit and button-up shirt. Reveling in the thought of dressing up for work, I found myself quickly uncomfortable and insecure in my dress for one reason. Taking all the fun away of dolling up, the peek-a-boob gap in my button-up shirt, in which my double D’s so kindly given to be from Grandma Bea, took hold of my confidence in the work place. I tried everything from Velcro to hook-eyes and safety pins to a quick sew; unfortunately none of my methods worked. I needed a quick, straightforward solution, and I needed it fast. The solution was to create a tape that worked. It was then that ShowStoppers was born. I invented ShowStoppers to be unique from other tapes on market in that it safeguards delicate fabrics from snags and residue, and has muscle power that can hold up denims and leather.

My idea did not fully come to fruition until I landed a job in Los Angeles at a prestigious talent agency and then with a top public relations firm - each giving me the opportunity to work with top celebrities. My planner was marked with red carpet events, photo shoots and stylist fittings with celebrity clients. I walked every red carpet, from the Golden Globes to the Grammy's, and was stunned to find professional stylists using a tape that was ruining clothes and irritating skin. I immediately began giving stylists my homemade quick-fix solution. It was at this moment that I saw a gap in the fashion-solution market and realized that ShowStoppers could work for the ordinary woman and the extraordinary celebrity. The rest you can say is history – or, at the very least, history in the making!

Sarah Velasco: How did you create it? What was the process you had to go through into creating the brand, company and product?

Shannon Mattingly: ShowStoppers was created out of necessity, true to the American Dream, one could say J. As I had mentioned, I was in need of a product to fix my peek-a-boob gap in my button-up shirts, which I was made to wear every day. I tried everything on the market and nothing worked. Those who know me will attest, and to those who don’t will soon learn, I stop at nothing. I went to a hardware store to find an adhesive to remedy my problem. It would be futile to even begin to recount the look on the employee’s face when I told him I needed tape to keep my boobs in my shirt. Needless to say, it was priceless. I found EVA adhesive and was happy to see it worked better than the other products with which I had previously been acquainted. Still, the tape was too thick, not modifiable, inflexible, and would leave residue similar to the residue a band-aid leaves. So although I had found a secure tape, I understood that it needed to be tweaked for fashion-use. Then enter Fate. In the following week, I was attending a fashion function in Los Angeles and met an amazing man who thrived in fashion and also happened to be a chemist with a PhD from USC. Lucky much? Yes. I immediately paired up with him to create a product that was both effective and fashion-friendly. Once the product was in tangible form, I ran a focus group of undergraduates and graduate students at USC. The results were amazing; 9 times out of 10, the participants preferred ShowStoppers more than they did any other product. With this knowledge, I proceed to manufacture sample packs. During the interim in which my samples were being made, I brainstorm, drafted, re-drafted, and re-drafted, the look and feel of the ShowStoppers brand. I envisioned the packaging to resemble a chic gum pack. I drew inspiration for the hot pink and black color scheme from my list of personal favorites. I worked with a designer to organize on paper the chaos that was exploding in my head. Once I had the full package I immediately reached out to all of my contacts for help and support. In just the last year, ShowStoppers went from display product at Kitson and Fred Segal exclusively to sell-out product on HSN, reaching over a million viewers. It was here that I took a moment to give myself a high five.

Sarah Velasco: What makes ShowStoppers unique?

Shannon Mattingly: ShowStoppers is not your typical fashion tape. It’s patent pending industrial grade foam adhesive formula is modifiable, repositionable and the most durable on the market. I knew many tapes on the market were difficult to apply, as I would recall going through two or three pieces a day, many that would roll into balls before I could get one on my attire. Even more problematic, if I needed a smaller piece, say on the go, I would have to locate scissors to cut the piece down to size. With ShowStoppers, one may tear the tape with ease to fit clothing. Since ShowStoppers are thinner than off-the-shelf adhesive, but thicker than the other existent fashion tapes on the market, they are easy to apply and reposition. Best of all, one never needs to worry about residue as the tape’s formula will not ruin delicates like silk but will hold up against heavy materials like denim and leather.

Sarah Velasco: What the most popular ways they are used?
Shannon Mattingly: 
We have found our most popular ways to use include:
1. Close a Button-Up Shirt Gap
2. Hold a Strapless/ One Shoulder Dress Up
3. Conceal Bra/Bra Straps
4. Create a Quick Hem
5. Protect Bottom Of Pumps
6. Cushion Back of Heel
7. Tighten a Loose Belt
8. Keep a Low Cut Shirt On
9. Secure a Collar in Place
10. Quick replacement for lost buttons and perfect solution to hide unwanted threads

Sarah Velasco: How many ways can they be used?

Shannon Mattingly: Thousands! It feels like every day someone or another will tell our team how they have made use of their ShowStoppers. We have heard older women say they use them for scrapbooking, mothers have told us they use them to keep their babies bibs on, men have told us they use them on the backs of their ties, and the list really continues on and on. We are so grateful that everyone is loving their ShowStoppers and finding so many fun ways to make their living simpler.  

Sarah Velasco: How many kinds are there, and do you come out with new types? Or are the types staples of the brand?

Shannon Mattingly: ShowStoppers Designer Fashion Tape is our first and hero product. We have taken this concept from a homemade remedy to a home shopping phenomenon. With that said, we are working on additional accessory products that fill a fashion need and exceed quality of that which is currently on the market. We definitely urge people to keep an eye on us, because we know they are going to just love with what we release next.

Sarah Velasco: Where can readers purchase them, and how much do they cost?

Shannon Mattingly:  Readers can purchase ShowStoppers on our website at www.buyshowstoppers.com (2 packs and a purse for $14.99) on the HSN Website at hsn.com (4 packs for $19.99).