The Underwear For Men Startup Story
An Idea That Started It All
What started as an idea to improve men’s underwear for sports has evolved into so much more. Check out this article to learn more about the history of Underwear For Men and meet the man behind the brand, Mr. John Polidan, CEO, Underwear For Men.
In 1935, the first world’s briefs, called the “jockey” were sold in Chicago. Unfortunately, for over 80 years, true innovation in men’s underwear was non-existent. New styles have entered the market (i.e., boxer briefs, compression shorts and jocks), but none offered lasting support or solved the constant need to adjust your manhood. In 2013, Underwear For Men presented to the world its men’s briefs and boxer briefs with a US patented and Intl patents pending pending adjustable pouch via a Kickstarter campaign. The idea for UFM was originally developed to provide men with supportive solution for sports that eliminates skin on skin contact that causes chafing, rubbing and sweating. Since no two men are sized the same, UFM’s innovative pouch adjusts with a drawstring to the wearer's preference. The drawstring pouch creates a hammock-like support that is cooler and more comfortable than any product on the market.
Believing in Your Product
When John Polidan was presented with the opportunity to purchase Underwear For Men, he did so because he truly believed in the product. It was always on his bucket list to turn a startup into a household name and after evaluating numerous business opportunities, John finally found the right idea with UFM. His vision went beyond the basic idea of wearing UFM men’s underwear for sports. He saw an opportunity for medical, everyday, and work use as well. John himself suffered from a hydrocele and only found relief through UFM Underwear. He believed in UFM so much he came out of retirement and self-funded the entire endeavor.
A History to Prepare for the Future
Prior to his acquisition of Underwear For Men, John Polidan had a 30-year career that began with automotive engineering and evolved into consumer packaging, building product and consumer electronics. He has extensive experience with US patented and Intl patents pending, prototyping, lean manufacturing, quality systems, ERP, growth strategies, and business leadership. During his career, John learned a great deal about what he would do when he owned his own company. Now with UFM, John is constantly honing his business to best serve the customer.
Design is Key with Underwear for Men
When it comes to UFM, John pays careful attention to the design and how it suits the modern man. He believes in maintaining a close relationship with the customers so he can hear firsthand what customers like and don’t like about the product. Under his leadership, John has expanded the product line to include more colors, big and tall sizes, improved materials for added cooling benefits, and a larger adjustable pouch with plenty of stretch. John has used his years of engineering and lean manufacturing experience to improve every aspect of the design.
The Transformation of UFM
John took over UFM when it was just an idea and transformed it into a company and brand. It is now marketed to men for sports, medical, and everyday wear. In the 18 months since John launched the brand at the 2015 OneSpark crowdfunding festival UFM’s hometown, Jacksonville, Florida, the company has:
Sold Over 35,000 Units
Created a lean fulfillment system for maximum customer satisfaction.
Amassed Over 1,500 5-Star Product Reviews
Expanded to 7 Color Options
Debuted a Boxer Brief with 9” Inseam
Rebranded (New Website, Logo and Waistband)
Developed a Strategic Partnership with Amazon for Domestic & International Distribution
Developed Relationships with Menswear Stores in Key US Markets
Selected a Brand Ambassador Through an ‘Average Joe’ Contest
Launched Ad Campaign Themed ‘Support Your Manhood’
Launched A Google Product Store and Shopping Directly from Facebook
Received Recommendations From Urologists for Incontinence, Hernias, and Senior Sag
Received Media Attention for the Athletic and Medical Use of Men’s Underwear
Started the Conversation About Men’s Health Issues
Currently, Underwear For Men’s primary advertising campaign features a series on Facebook and YouTube called Manhood Moments. The goal of the campaign is to empower and encourage men to be better men. Whether this is through giving back to the community, talking about their health, or spending time with loved ones, UFM wants to celebrate Manhood Moments. The company is rapidly developing into a brand that positively impacts men’s lives from the inside out.
The Future of Underwear For Men
Product innovation is at the top of John’s list. Underwear For Men is currently developing its fourth generation of briefs and boxer briefs. The company is committed to sourcing better materials, upgrading manufacturing techniques, and improving pouch underwear for every man. This is because the reviews from real customers are what drives John forward. From injured soldiers finally getting pain relief to seniors recovering from prostate surgery, UFM strives to help men have better lives. Over the next few years, John Polidan plans to grow the company domestically through direct sales to consumers and the identification of strategic retail channel partners for sale in the United States. John will also focus on international markets including Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, Latin America, Canada, and India.