The Secret to Success for Hanging Secrets Founder

 In Accelerator, Alumnae Profile, Entrepreneurship, Startup, Strategic Growth

Frances Prado, CEO and Inventor of Hanging Secrets, has arrived at success and credits this success in part to lessons she learned through the Stella Labs business accelerator.

Stella Labs assisted Prado when she was at the launch stage of her business. Through Stella Labs, which addresses the needs of female entrepreneurs, Prado learned how to assess the features and benefits of the product she invented and patented.

What surprises many about the Hanging Secrets organizer is that the product didn’t already exist – it seems like such an obvious and necessary clothing organization tool that should be as ubiquitous as a shoe tree or a coat rack.

Hanging Secrets, which offers women a new solution to hang, organize, protect and find their lingerie at home or on go is now available on HSN through Project American Dreams, a business competition for Latina/Latino entrepreneurs. Frances’s passion for the product she invented is contagious.

“Create your dreams, crave your dreams, and cultivate your dreams.” – Frances Prado

Hanging Secrets lets you say goodbye to cluttered underwear drawers for good. The organizer takes intimates out of the drawer and visibly showcases them in the closet (or from a closet door) through clear storage windows that allow bras to maintain their intended shape. The organizer can accommodate up to 12 bras and 24 panties per holder with pockets that store matching panties or removable bra straps as well as bathing suits and athletic wear.

When Hanging Secrets launched in 2015, the first recipients of the organizer were breast cancer survivors who could benefit from the storage solution’s ability to hold both bras and prosthetics in one place. Hanging Secrets donates a percentage of sales to the Virginia Ann Scheunemann Memorial Fund, which started in 2003 to provide free products and service to low income or uninsured women with breast cancer. The cause is close to France’s heart as she lost her mother to cancer in 2001.

Frances’s parents were immigrant field workers and the family struggled. At one point, Frances and her family were homeless. Today, she is among the 7 percent of sole female inventors in the United States and one of the 0.3 percent of sole Latinas that have ever been granted a patent in the United States. In 2016, she was named one of Hispanic Lifestyle’s 2016 Latinas of Influence.

“I am passionate about my business because it has allowed me the satisfaction of contributing to both the U.S. economy and to women’s charitable causes, which is, for me, the true meaning of living the American Dream.” – Frances Prado

Frances’s success is due in part to her 22 years with Costco where she worked as a production manager. Through this experience, she developed the ability to identify who and what’s needed to achieve success in any circumstance. She learned how to communicate with people across multiple disciplines and to balance their often competing needs. She also learned how to activate a team.

Frances invented the product at a critical moment – when she found herself in an empty nest. With the kids out of the house, she submerged herself in a cleaning frenzy and, starting with her bureau, she realized that there must be a better way to organize intimates. She translated the vision in her head onto a sketchpad and the idea was patented in 2015.

“My son was in Afghanistan and my daughter was studying in Guatemala, so I started cleaning and organizing in my downtime,” says Prado. “I wanted to create something that would look nice, maximize space, and protect and sustain my intimate apparel.” – Frances Prado

Here are just a few things people like about Hanging Secrets:

  • “I really like how…it protects the bras. I have a favorite bra and I have to go back and buy it over and over again because I constantly am ruining them.”
  • “This is so beautiful and so practical. The cups are so sturdy, it’s not gonna crush anything.”
  • “I like that I can see all the bras. I’m not struggling in the dark, rifling through a messy drawer.”

After a 6-month nationwide search for inventions created by Latinos, HSN discovered Hanging Secrets and Frances and she became part of the HSN Project Dreams. Frances entered the semi-finals where she met with business and financial experts and pitched her product, a skill she had developed through Stella Labs and its Fast Pitch business pitching contest.

Naturally, she was selected as one of five winners and she presented her product on live TV in mid-March. According to The Huffington Post, this was the first time the stories and inventions of Hispanic entrepreneurs would be featured on mainstream American TV.

For more information about Hanging Secrets and Frances Prado, you can watch her appearance on HSN: https://youtu.be/1TcCovA8UWk. A travel-size version of her Hanging Secrets lingerie organizer can be purchased now on HSN.com!

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