Photo: Bye Bye Toe

Bye Bye Toe: briefs without marks

No chafing, no pinching and reinforcement in all the right places: That's what the Bye Bye Toe briefs promise their wearers. With a soft padding in the middle of the panties, the so-called cameltoe is supposed to be a thing of the past. Founder Marie Mueller told us how the idea came about, what the finances are like and what her participation in "Die Höhle der Löwen" has changed.

Munich Startup: What does Bye Bye Toe do? What problem do you solve?

Marie Mueller, founder and CEO: Bye Bye Toe has developed a panty for women that solves several problems at once, but the main USP is that it avoids the unpleasant pulling in the crotch and thus also the colloquial “cameltoe”. We already equip German national teams in beach volleyball and field hockey with this utility model-protected solution, and female horse riders use the briefs to prevent crotch chafing, which is made possible by the innovative Lasercut bonding technology.

Munich Startup: Doesn‘t that already exist?

Marie Mueller, founder and CEO: Primarily, insert pads are offered, which are uncomfortable and in other countries there are also panties with a reinforcement. But I looked at all these solutions, as well as the solutions available on the market for men who wear leggings, for example for ballet. However, all the paddings were not ideal and not thought through to the end and, in addition to the crotch reinforcement, I really wanted to offer the other advantages such as seamlessness through laser cutting and yet a tight fit, invisibility, breathability and, above all, the wearing comfort for thongs through the bonding system.

The search for a suitable manufacturer

Munich Startup: What is your founding story?

Marie Mueller, founder and CEO: I’ve had this idea in my head for a long time because I’ve always been annoyed by ill-fitting panties, especially when doing sport. But you can have the best product idea, you also need someone who can assemble it in bulk at a good quality and price. And since underwear is made exclusively in Asia, finding a manufacturer was the first big hurdle. After I was about to give up my search in despair, I randomly asked on my Facebook profile if I could get some contacts here. And a lucky coincidence brought me directly to a company that specializes in professional sportswear that uses laser-cut bonding to prevent chafing at the seams – BINGO, perfect for my idea!

Munich Startup: What have been your biggest challenges so far?

Marie Mueller, founder and CEO: As mentioned, finding the right producer who has lovingly developed the product with me and is now developing it further with me and my customers. And of course, as with any startup: raising money to be able to scale, which is particularly important when you are selling products and need working capital. I’ve already been on “Die Höhle der Löwen”, where I also got a deal – unfortunately the collaboration didn’t take place afterwards. And so I’m still bootstrapped and in talks again.

Bye Bye Toe taps into new target groups with TV appearance

Munich Startup: Where would you like to be in one year, where would you like to be in five years?

Marie Mueller, founder and CEO: My store was already doing great before the “Die Höhle der Löwen” show and I was constantly sold out (which is also why I had the working capital requirement), but after the show and the media response, it’s another level and I’ve also been able to tap into completely new target groups. Suddenly I have 70-year-old Waltraud as a customer who is happy to be able to wear thongs again. That’s so incredibly nice! I definitely want to become the number one international “cameltoe” (stupid word, but everyone knows what it means internationally) solution, the most comfortable thong and outfit all the German female national sports teams. In addition to the national beach volleyball and field hockey teams, which we are already outfitting, a national track and field athlete is also currently testing our products.

Munich Startup: How have you experienced Munich as a startup location so far?

Marie Mueller, founder and CEO: I have a really nice bunch of founders around me here, but I think when it comes to raising money, you’re still better positioned in Berlin.

Munich Startup: Outsource or do it yourself?Marie Mueller, founder and CEO: Do it yourself. Until you can do everything and only then outsource, so that you can have a say and, above all, assess whether things are going well or badly. And what I would prefer never to give up is direct customer contact. It’s essential, especially in product development, and the girls (and boys) know who they’re buying from.

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