Popularized in the late 80s and early 90s, slap bracelets were both a fashion staple and an easy way to annoy teachers. The traditional slap bracelets consisted of layered, flexible stainless steel bistable spring bands, sealed within a fabric cover, usually neon in color. The bracelet would be straightened out, creating tension within the springy metal bands, and then slapped against the wearer’s forearm, causing the bands to spring back into a curve that wrapped around the wrist. The novelty item quickly became a recognizable fashion phenomenon. Yet like most fashion trends, the interest in slap bracelets faded, only to resurface in current fashion with a fresh look and a more functional purpose. Today’s slap bracelet sports a new design in a silicone skin, and still accessorizes the wrist, but with the addition of a timepiece. David Nielsen, shipping coordinator for Slap on Gear, admits, “I began this business because I was interested in the innovative and novelty nature of this product. It was fun and inexpensive to manufacture, and although competing suppliers have begun investing in the slap watch trend, there is still a lot of room to grow in this market.”
80’s Fashion Trend with a Silicone Twist
While some retailers are successfully selling silicone slap watches for $20 apiece, Nielsen suggests that true competitive pricing lies around $9.50 to $10 retail. “Even at $10 apiece, retailers will be making close to 500 percent profit. I offer specific pricing levels, and some with significant pricing breaks,” says Nielsen. For instance, an assorted order of 1,000 slap watches wholesales for $2.60 apiece, while an order for 10,000 units costs $2.10 apiece. The items do well in department stores and independent boutiques, as well as part of marketing promotions. “We are really looking to make bulk sales to retailers, but also continue to receive custom printing orders from different marketing companies, and even some Christian Rock bands,” notes Nielsen. Custom jobs require a 500 unit minimum, while non-customized watches can be sold in singles, groups of ten, by all colors, or in bulk.
Like the ever popular Lance Armstrong silicone bracelets and other message silicone accessories, Slap on Gear’s slap watches can be considered a collectible fashion accessory fit for every style. Each is constructed with a metal band, much like traditional slap bracelets, with a silicone covering that is colored. The interchangeable quartz watch is powered by a lithium battery and can be combined with any silicone wrist piece to create a unique look. While all watches are unisex, they do come in small (22 cm long), medium (24 cm) and large (28 cm) sizes. “The low cost, bright colors, functionality and novelty nature of the product make it an impulse buy fit for any checkout counter,” says Nielsen. “And to help our retailers better market the product, we’ve provided a slap watch stand that sits on the counter. It is clear acrylic and free with a purchase of 500 or more watches. Otherwise, it is available for $29.95.” For Nielsen and Slap on Gear, slap on accessories are a blast from the past with a profitable and promising future.
For more information:
Slap On Gear
Minneapolis, MN 55411