Chic Condom Cases Let Women Protect Themselves in Style, Designer Says
CLINTON HILL — A Brooklyn entrepreneur is on a mission to give women the power to carry protection — and still be discreet and fashionable.
Janice Chan is the mastermind behind the Plan A Case — a fashionable line of condom carrying cases for women — in a bid to eliminate the stress of finding a safe place to stash protection before a night out.
The idea for the product came when Chan, 28, was talking with friends who stash condoms in their makeup bag, their business card cases or their wallet next to their keys.
She started researching condom cases and found them exclusively designed for men. Most were plastic or metal and had cheesy mottos like “Lay Some Love On Me.”
So she decided to make her own line that features two designs — a fashionable accessory case made of hand-selected calf skins, and a clear case for women proud and unashamed to take responsibility for their own safe sex.
“Here’s a product that addresses the fact that there are educated young women who like to meet people and sometimes hook up with them, but also like to have options and maintain control,” said Chan, 28, a former employee benefits and compensation lawyer.
"It says, 'Many of us have a fear of having condoms fall out of our purses or pockets. Why should we feel this way?'" Chen said.
She pitched her idea on Kickstarter and met her goal of $12,000 last week — opening the door to the project, which she expects to launch this summer.
Her cases are small enough to fit inside a purse and big enough to fit three condoms, Chan said.
She said her goal is not only to fill a practical need but also to tackle social stigmas in New York City, where carrying condoms has been used by police and prosecutors as legal evidence of prostitution.
It's an issue that affects both men and women, who can be viewed negatively for being prepared and carrying condoms, she said.
Chan said that negative stigma has affected her as well, as even some men she's dated balk at the idea of her line of new product.
Some men stop calling her soon after finding out what she does, she said. Other critics don't understand the product and say it's useless.
Still, for every naysayer there are many more supporters, she said. Some people are very excited about the project and offer to buy a case on the spot. Others say she should expand the line for men.
Overall, the positive reactions and conversations she’s had have shown her that there is a need for something like this, she said.
In the coming months, Chan plans to create partnerships with local boutiques and sex shops to carry her cases and spread the word about Plan A Cases.
That includes telling her parents about the project for the first time, she said.
“My parents are very conservative,” she said. “I don’t think they’ll react very well.”
Plan A Cases are available for pre-order on the company's website.