The lowly bib has gone high fashion.
Like scores of inventors before him, Broderick Thomas got creative out of necessity. The director of digital sales for the Richmond Times Dispatch had a bad habit of wearing elements of his lunch – a squirt of mustard, a dribble of salad dressing, an oily splotch of tartar sauce – to his afternoon meetings on his Brooks Brothers shirts.
“You see men all the time with napkins stuffed in the collar of their shirts because you don’t want to throw away an expensive shirt because you spilled some food or wine on it,” he says of coming up with BiziBibb, a lined garment protector with all the trappings of a fine men’s dress shirt: buttoned-down collar, five functioning shirt buttons and a luxurious white cotton fabric shirt front that Velcros around the neck during meals or while driving and eating. White was chosen because it’s the easiest color to rid of stains.
It took Thomas close to three years of cutting up old shirts and testing various liners to get from concept to today’s website launch. Currently, he has a provisional patent for BiziBibb which protects it as patent pending. His target market is business executives and upscale male dressers unwilling to risk a $200 shirt for the sake of some melted butter.
“I originally did it for me,” Thomas admits, recalling how he used to keep an extra shirt in his car for such emergencies. Now it’s all about the BiziBibb with its waterproof lining, professional appearance at the table and ability to be tossed in the washer.
A female version is in the works and Thomas is talking to a professional laundry service about offering the bibs to restaurants along with tablecloths and napkins. He also sees it as a natural for law firms.
“It looks discreet while you’re eating and it helps people save money on shirts,” he says. “Especially when they get sloppy at happy hour.”
Visit Bizibibb.com for more details.