Spring 2015 Where’s My Cord?

Crazy Cord Covers stop cord poachers in their tracks.

If you’re a parent, you know how tough it is to keep track of the charger cord for your cell phone or tablet. Every time you try to charge your device, you discover that your cord has been snatched. After all, every cord looks alike and oftentimes family members just grab whatever is in plain sight—whether it’s their cord or not. Lisa Lake-Maiorana turned this daily aggravation into a business.

“About three years ago, my daughter kept taking my cell phone cord and I was sick and tired of not having one.” When she had to buy three new ones in a week, she knew she needed a solution. Enter the Crazy Cord Cover.

The product, which is a fabric sleeve that goes over a power cord, comes in different bright patterns and colors, making it easy to identify your cord from someone else’s.

Although Maiorana knew exactly how she wanted the cover to look, she didn’t know how to execute the concept. “It sat idle for a while because I couldn’t sew it. I tried to hire people to sew what I was thinking, but they couldn’t do what I was trying to tell them to do.”

After about a year, she taught herself how to sew using YouTube video tutorials and started to seriously pursue making her cord identifiers into a viable product.

Specialty retail to the rescue

In early 2014 after connecting with a manufacturer, Maiorana had a high-end children’s chain, Denny’s Childrenswear, agree to carry Crazy Cord Covers. Other retailers quickly picked up the product. “We went to a show and only had prototypes, and still picked up 20 stores. We had big chains interested and ended up hiring sales people,” she says.

Because she needed to demonstrate the product in action, Maiorana decided a kiosk at the Deptford Mall—near her home in New Jersey—was
the best way to get the word out. The kiosk opened September 1, 2014, as a temporary measure to launch the product; it closed in early January 2015.

The covers sell for $8.99 each or two for $15, and are offered in 13 different patterns. All except the satin covers are machine washable. The covers can be purchased online at CrazyCordCovers.com, from Amazon or in 30 gift, electronics and specialty stores on the East Coast.

As for target customers, Maiorana says both men and women use Crazy Cord Covers although she initially chose more feminine colors and prints. After noticing that the camouflage print sold extremely well at craft shows, she realized that there was a demand for neutral options.

Moving ahead

Maiorana attended an open call for the entrepreneurial reality TV show Shark Tank and found out in late January that Crazy Cord Covers made it to the next round of casting. “There were 3,500 people that tried out, but only 18 got a call back,” she says. As of press time, the show had not yet chosen the final companies that would appear on upcoming episodes.

The company’s current focus is on local stores and smaller chains and Maiorana says she’s also working with QVC. While other mall properties have approached her to open more kiosks, she’s not planning to move into additional specialty retail outlets. “The mall hours were grueling, but the overall experience was extremely useful and positive.”