Wrapping It Up

A Denver, Colorado, startup recently launched by a pair of Krannert alumni offers a simple solution to one of the most frustrating things many people encounter — tangled headphones and broken charging cords.

Led by 2012 graduates Grant Pope and Zach Frauhiger, Elewraps produces lightweight, flexible and thermoplastic wraps that are placed over headphone and power charging cables to keep them safe from tangling and fraying. Unique color schemes also act as identifiers to prevent users from misplacing them or having someone else mistakenly “borrow” them.

“It was a problem we identified in college, but we weren’t savvy enough as undergraduates to think of a solution,” Pope says. “Misplacing or having someone else borrow your headphones was something that occurred on a daily basis. They’re expensive to replace and a lot of them look so similar that it’s difficult to tell them apart. It was a frustration we all felt.”

A solution had to wait, however. Upon graduation, Pope began working at Tesla in northern California, while Frauhiger took a job with Enterprise in southern California. Although they lived about eight hours apart, the former Sigma Chi fraternity brothers frequently went on outdoor adventures together on weekends.

That brought them back to reminiscing about college and eventually led to the creation of Elewraps. After leaving their respective jobs and relocating to Denver, Pope and Frauhiger each invested $10,000 in the business and officially launched Elewraps in October 2017.

“We realized that we needed to devote ourselves to it full time and spend at least six months to a year growing the brand,” Pope says. “Fortunately, there’s a unique business vibe throughout Colorado that blends tech with outdoor activities. People want to buy products that last a long time. Our product is intended to protect the investment people have already made in their tech device cables and gets rids of a simple frustration with a fun, colorful flair.”

The duo built the entire operation from the ground up, creating the product, the brand and the company website themselves. “We started by selling direct to consumers online, but have since established a physical presence with kiosks in convenience stories and boutique retail shops in the Denver area,” Frauhiger says. They also have recently joined the shelves of the Discount Den on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus.

Elewraps has seen consistent sales growth every month since the company launched and is now shipping its product line throughout the United States as well as overseas. “That tells us that people like the product and consider it a good value,” Pope says. “Since we’re entirely self-funded, our current marketing strategy is simply to get as much possible exposure at the lowest possible cost.”

The cords come in packs of two — called an "elePack" — and include one wrap for audio cables and one for power cables. "We're differentiated in that we offer exactly what you need to wrap a single pair of headphones and a single cable,” Frauhiger says. “They also have complimenting colors, which makes it very clear what colors go with each type of cable.”

The company began selling on Amazon in February 2018 and hopes to continue to grow its online presence as well as begin wholesale discussions with national distributors.

“Once we have enough sales volume, we’d also like to partner with companies or institutions to create custom Elewraps with specific color schemes that complement their own brand,” Pope says. “Beyond selling to individual consumers, the opportunity to sell hundreds or thousands to a single buyer for distribution or resale is definitely on our roadmap.”

Among the company’s current target markets are schools that issue laptops or tablets to their students. “Charging cables typically aren’t kid-friendly, so there is a significant long-term cost to families who have to continuously replace them,” Frauhiger says. “Our products protect the cables and extend their life.”

Pope and Frauhiger are confident that Elewraps has the ability to move into different sectors of the economy.

“Our Krannert education gave us a depth and breadth of skills that allowed us to make a smooth transition from our corporate careers into entrepreneurship and helped us execute our business plan and build a brand,” Frauhiger says. “And we’re now using data analytics to grow the company, from understanding market trends and identifying our target demographics to how we set our price points and determine cost margins.”

“We want people to associate our brand with something that's colorful and full of adventure,” Pope adds. “We have a really good product, plan and value proposition for our customers. We think we can grow and are learning a lot of lessons as we expand.”

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