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joeybrasportThings are hoppin’ for JoeyBra, the company behind the brassieres designed to carry a smartphone.

The two-person startup was well-received when it debuted last year to initial success, but then went through a long-winded patent court case regarding the specially-designed bra.

Now, though, with the legal issues behind them, recently-graduated co-founders Kyle Bartlow and Mariah Gentry re-launched their company today with a new sports-friendly bra and a quality overhaul of all products.

JoeyBra, which raised some money last January from Neal Dempsey, Geoff Entress, Josh Nelson, and Bill & Colleen McAleer, just added a new $39.99 sports bra line designed to allow active women to store their phones, iPods, credit card and keys inside the two zipper-sealed and water-resistant pockets of its sports bra.

JoeyBra already offered normal bras with one pocket — which sold out last year — but since have added new colors and several more sizes ranging from 32A-to-38D.

Kyle and Mariah
Kyle Bartlow and Mariah Gentry of JoeyBra.

“All of these changes took a lot of time and effort on the part of our team,” Bartlow told us. “It took longer than we would have liked, but we are beyond excited to launch these new products and finally give the customers more of the features they have been asking for.”

The delay was caused in some part to the suit filed against JoeyBra by a British man who claimed that he patented the concept behind a pocketed bra. However, a federal judge in March declined to award a preliminary injunction over the claim.

“We haven’t heard from the plaintiffs since,” Bartlow said.

Gentry and Bartlow unveiled the JoeyBra in April 2012 at the University of Washington’s Business Plan Competition where they were one of four finalists, later telling their story on the GeekWire podcast. The entrepreneurs said they were inspired by the university’s Greek system, hoping to design a product for “women who are constantly on the go and struggle find a place to put their ID, keys, or phones.”

They’ve taken a bit of slack from some who think the bra increases the risk of cancer due to the proximity of a smartphone to a women’s body. But the co-founders made sure of JoeyBra’s safety even before manufacturing the product and are confident that the bra is safe.

joeybra-1“We called the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, who directed us to some studies done by the FDA,” Bartlow said.

Those studies show that cell phones emit what is known as “non-ionizing radiation,” which does not modify cells. The FDA concluded that there is not enough scientific evidence that show the radiation from cell phones causing health risks.

“Phones produce a different type of radiation than the type known to cause cancer,” explained Bartlow.

As for two co-founders, who are running the company themselves with lots of help from the Seattle startup community, the idea for JoeyBra has turned into a gig after college and so much more. 

“JoeyBra is our full-time job,” Bartlow said. “Nights, weekends, and weekdays it is what we think about all the time, even if we are out of the office.”

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