Danieal Cormier of Quispamsis, N.B., is hoping to revolutionize the men's underwear industry with a new design that provides pockets for cellphones and other gadgets.
Cormier, 20, came up with idea while sitting around alone at home in his boxers one day.
"I had my cellphone and I kept doing the hand motion to put my cellphone in my pocket, but my underwear didn’t have any pocket," he said.
"So that’s when it kind of sparked in my head — 'Why don’t underwear come with pockets?'"
Cormier, who works in marketing for a hotel chain, says he searched for underwear with pockets on the internet and couldn't find any.
"I decided, 'Well, if no one else is making them, then I'm going to make them.'"
That same day, Cormier, who had never sewn before, went out and bought a sewing machine and some fabric and starting working on a prototype, taking apart a pair of his own underwear to use as a template.
"It took me like two hours just to do one pair, and they were not the best," he said.
But Cormier has since perfected the design, finding the best position for the pocket and strengthening the waistband to carry additional weight.
'I really wanted other people to know and to experience the convenience of it.' — Danieal Cormier
Now his underwear is being manufactured in India and marketed as Danieal: Underwear with pockets. The underwear is available online, starting at $15.95 for pre-orders, and at a growing number of stores for $21.
“I really wanted other people to know and to experience the convenience of it," he said. "It's changed my life a lot."
Retailer Keira Fraser said she jumped at the opportunity to carry the underwear at her shop, Ready Man, in Saint John.
"It makes so much sense, it really does. It's something — 'Why didn't I think of that?'" she said.
"Customers love the idea. You know, it's not specifically for men either. We've had a lot of women buy them for casually hanging around the house too."
Cormier said orders have been pouring in from across North America.
"I was really impressed and proud and happy about how excited these shops are and these stores are to have these underwear on their shelves. They're almost just as excited as I am about it," he said.
"And that's just a motivation for me to keep going and work harder and think of more ideas and what more I can do."
Cormier said he's already working on new designs, based on feedback from people who need underwear pockets for other items, including diabetics with portable insulin pumps, and emergency personnel who carry pagers.
The pockets also work for valuables, such as wallets, he said.
"It can’t fall out and no one can take it out, because they won’t go under your pants to steal something."