Blais, founder and owner of Functional Wearables shows
how a fitness tracking device can be fitted into one of
her stylish bracelets on Sept. 29, 2015 at her company
in San Diego, Calif. The company's sales topped $1
million in the first year.
many women, Cynthia Blais loved her new fitness tracker. And
like many women, she was embarrassed by how it looked.
the start, I was impressed with it and got addicted to
following my steps and never wanted to take it off," the
33-year-old said of her Fitbit Flex. "But I’d go out to
dates and stuff and be frustrated that it looked so
than ditch the wristband, Blais, a lifelong jewelry maker,
designed her own hack: She fashioned a beaded bracelet with a
hidden compartment to contain the Flex’s tiny removable
fitness tracker. Then she made a bunch more and put them for
sale on online marketplace Etsy.
goal was to sell $750,000 the first year, and I sold over $1
million," Blais said of her Funktional Wearables fitness
tracker jewelry line, which she runs out of her San Diego
activity trackers have soared in popularity, entrepreneurial
designers have jumped on the bandwagon. They’re fusing
fitness with fashion by making bracelets, pendants and charms
that conceal the trackers in more discreet, attractive
casings. Device makers, too, are getting in on the trend,
partnering with luxury brands to launch their own exclusive
lines of jewelry and making the trackers themselves more
colorful and attractive.
tech is at its heart a personal experience, whether it’s the
protective case you put on your smartphone or the laptop color
you choose. When Tim Cook rolled out the Apple Watch, he spent
as much time talking about the device’s stylistic merits as
its under-the-hood functions.
fitness tracker jewelry, customers say, helps them reflect
their individual styles. Wearing a fitness tracker to the gym
is one thing, but for work or a party, that techie look just
won’t do. And some people prefer not to broadcast their
devotion to working out.
abundance of options online and in retail stores — there are
more than 1,500 results for fitness tracker jewelry on Etsy
alone — women can choose among chunky metal bangles, leather
cuffs, rhinestone-studded bands and other tracker-concealing
no need to wear a naked Fitbit band," said Pamela Burns,
who sells 55 different pieces on Etsy, priced from $12 to $42,
to disguise fitness trackers. Sales this year for her
StyleForMilesJewelry shop have tripled since 2014.
have a lot of options because I love variety and know others
do, too," the designer from Newburyport, Mass., said.
"This shop is really a reflection of my taste, my
favorite motifs, and what I like to wear. I like classic,
meaningful and handmade-funky."
women, such as Erin Mohring, 34, have begun to accumulate
collections of fitness tracker jewelry.
have a silver one and a gold one, and I have a leather one
coming in the mail to me right now," the blogger and
stay-at-home mom from Omaha, Neb., said of the pieces she has
bought to hide her Fitbit. "Women are active throughout
their days, (but) you want to be fashionable while
trackers and other wearable devices have become big business.
In the second quarter, manufacturers shipped 18.1 million
wearables globally, up 223 percent from the same quarter a
year ago, according to research firm IDC.
the pack was Fitbit, which shipped 4.4 million wearable
the company offers a handful of different trackers — some of
which can be clipped to a bra, hidden in a pocket or embedded
in wristbands — in a growing range of colors, Lindsay Cook,
director of product marketing, acknowledged that many Fitbit
owners "want to tuck it away and check their stats
don’t always want to advertise their commitment to
fitness," she said.
that in mind, the San Francisco company last year launched a
line of jewelry and accessories for the Fitbit in partnership
with designer Tory Burch. The collaboration features colorful
silicone printed bracelets and more high-end gold and silver
bracelets and pendants from $38 to $195.
first day of sales, the line sold out online within a few
jewelry designers say they’re working on new styles,
including designs for other trackers such as the Misfit,
Jawbone and Samsung Gear.
guys, too, should be seeing some more options soon.
husband helps out here and there, and has modeled for the
shop," Burns said. "A few of my cover bracelets are
great for men."