Denver belt-maker enjoys Kickstarter funding success for fashion startup

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DENVER -- Devon O’Neill likes to ride motorcycles, so on his way to inventing a magnetic belt -- Magzook -- he began using small magnets to keep his pants legs in his boots.

Fast forward to the end of last year. While he was driving for Lyft, O’Neill picked up Kyle Johnston and in conversation, he shared his magnetic idea.

Before the ride was over, the pair had decided to partner on a project that is now leaving them shaking their heads.

“We couldn’t believe how it all happened so quickly,” O’Neill said. “We called a friend to make our Kickstarter video for us, with a goal of raising about $7,500 to get our project off the ground.”

Now, with video guy Michael Sternoff on board, the trio are now in rare Mile High air. They not only raised the $7,500 but almost broke the bank by generating $583,000, climbing to the fourth highest fashion total in Kickstarter history.

“Fashion doesn’t traditionally do very well on this site,” Sternoff said. “In fact, the completion rate is only about 17 percent, ... which means 83 percent of fashion searches for funds ends badly. We now sit at No. 5 on the Kickstarter list for fashion and have capital needed to make a run at filling more than 9,000 orders.”

The trio created a belt that is made of military style webbing of which they bought more than 45 miles of straps and has two sets of magnets inside the strap.

One set slides when the other magnets attach. That is how you tighten the belt. Gone are belts that you need to punch holes into when your weight goes up and down. Now, all you have to do is pull to make the belt tight.

The belts come in several colors, as do the buckles, which are optional, and they can be mixed and matched.

“We can’t believe how quickly all this is happening,” O’Neill said. “Right now, we are just trying to get the word and orders out, with all due speed.”

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