An argument could be made that weather is the most important factor when it comes to daily living. People are constantly checking social media and television for weather updates as they make their plans for the hour, day and week. The elements can make or break a planned event, and has the potential to make travelling a living nightmare, especially for people who don’t travel by car. Cleverhood is a waterproof and durable cape made for adults and children that can make traveling outside in nasty weather a little more tolerable.
Owner Susan Mocarski is a city person who loves being outside, walking or biking to get around. She hated retreating to her car when it started raining, so she started searching for a high performance rain poncho that would keep her and her belongings protected. She was surprised to find that this product didn’t exist, so she took the initiative to develop one. She created some samples and beta tested them in Brooklyn, a city full of people who depend on walking, public transportation and cycling to get around.
Cleverhood’s launch made them an immediate success. Held at a city cycling event in New York City full of entrepreneurs, engineers, designers and media folk, the products sold out immediately. Those customers bonded with the company and staff and continue to be their biggest cheerleaders to this day. They have since evolved into an international company, selling products all over the world, all to glowing reviews.
Cleverhood is uniquely designed as a layer of protection against the elements. The utility of a cape style allows it to not only cover the person, but anything they may have on them, like a backpack. Mocarski also had cyclers in mind when creating this product. The cape can serve as a tent over the handlebars, fully covering legs as they peddle while giving optimal airflow.
“Capes are different, distinctive and refreshing in a world of sameness,” Mocarski says.
Looking to stay innovative while supporting their growing customer base, Cleverpup was recently launched. Cleverpup is a waterproof dog coat that will protect dogs of all sizes from bad weather when going outside for walks. There are always dogs in the office, which made it easy to make patterns and samples. “It was a natural opportunity,” Mocarski said of Cleverpup. “We know how to make gear for city people, what about their pups?”
Cleverhood is inspired by Rhode Island. Always quick to talk about their creative state, introducing it to people all over the world at events, Mocarski feels that RI makes the perfect headquarters for an outerwear company. “We’re from a tiny state that is really creative and affords us a lot of wet and windy weather to work with,” she said.
Mocarski has collaborated with other local companies and has future collaborations in the works. They worked with JSchatz (Olneyville) to create a pet bowl, Rijck Leather (Providence) to design a collar and Harrison + Pike (Newport) to develop a matching human bracelet and dog collar. They also have some out-of-the-box plans, which includes working with a local brewer.
Mocarski says that the customers are the best part of owning Cleverhood. She loves hearing their feedback, which comes from all over the world in the form of pictures, emails and handwritten notes. The feedback, regardless of how positive it is, is always used as a learning tool to make even better products.
“We really love learning about our customers,” Mocarski said of building relationships with their customers. “They inspire and motivate us to make a high quality product. It all has to be very clever!”