For 25 years, Reba Hollingsworth has reported the news on television. While change was the name of the game in her day-to-day reporting and anchoring duties at various TV stations across the country, one thing always remained the same.
The equipment she wore always made her physically uncomfortable.
To report the news on television, journalists have to wear a microphone and earpiece — both are attached to wires, which in turn are attached to a battery pack. That pack is a solid, dense object, and women usually have no choice but to clip them in uncomfortable places— specifically if they are wearing a dress.
For Hollingsworth, who anchors the morning news at WTVR in Richmond, Virginia, whether she was out in the field, reporting a story, or at the anchor desk leading viewers through a newscast, she found herself caught between the wires of her microphone and earpiece holders. She would typically attach it to her bra strap or even her underwear. Sometimes, she did have a wrap or ace bandage she could wear on her leg to clip the mic and ear pack on, but both would loosen and usually fall— sometimes even mid-newscast, causing a distraction and Hollingsworth to get flustered while trying to relay important information to the public.
In 2017, Hollingsworth got tired of being uncomfortable, so she set out to create a secure leg wrap that she could wear on air that would hold the essential items she needed to get through a newscast. First, she consulted with her seamstress about the idea.
“In the process of making it for myself with my seamstress, I said, maybe this is something that other women could use — because all of my female friends in TV were all dealing with the same situation,” Hollingsworth said.
And from there, the AHA wrap was born; Hollingsworth said she named it “AHA wrap,” in honor of her “AHA” moment, realizing she could make something to improve the lives of her female friends and colleagues.
Hollingsworth and her seamstress worked tirelessly to develop the perfect leg wrap, with a comfortable fabric, a snug fit, and a cute look. She wanted to create something that came in multiple sizes, as she knew from experience, many of the wraps on the market were a “one size fits all” wrap and never stayed up. As she and her seamstress created, Hollingsworth and her friends who worked in television would try the wraps to figure out what worked and what didn’t work.
“We found heavy-duty velcro, and we found we needed jersey material because it needed to stretch around the leg so it couldn’t be this thick material. And we put snaps on it because when the elastic gives — at least the snaps will hold up a little bit more,” Hollingsworth explained.
Around the same time, Hollingsworth said she met two women in an interview who had recently created a product of their own. They set her up with a product developer in South Korea who she began working with to get her product made. After sending him a prototype, he had the product made in China and shipped it to her for approval. She says it was still slipping a bit, so they put silicone elastic inside too, which was a game-changer.
Hollingsworth had the wrap made in sizes extra small, small, medium, and large. In November 2018, she created her business Pink Unicorn LLC, and began marketing and advertising her new AHA wrap on social media. As women learned about the product, Hollingsworth’s company grew. Not only are news reporters and anchors across the country using the AHA wrap, but so is Camille Schrier, otherwise known as Miss America.
In October of 2020, Schrier had a presentation where she was the keynote speaker and shared a science demonstration. She says, usually, she would be using a handheld microphone, but because of the Covid-19 protocols, she and other speakers were given individual, clip-on microphones. Her wrap, which is personalized with a monogram of ‘Miss America,’ came in handy.
“I love it,” Schrier said. “It really solves a problem that so many women in broadcasting, PR, or any public facing role have while our male counterparts have pants to attach the microphone pack to.”
Another notable woman who uses Hollingsworth’s wrap is Good Morning America’s chief meteorologist Ginger Zee.
“I’ve been a scientist standing in front of a screen for 20 years on camera. The placement of the microphone and IFB is a constant struggle — on the bra, you look like you have a back growth, on a skirt, it sticks out…but when it’s not a full-body shot, the leg is the place. I’ve used ace bandages and basic velcro pieces for years, but the AHA wrap solved it all— and it has my name on it,” Zee said.
“It’s so cute and useful, so I can stop thinking about what my mic looks like and focus on your forecast.”
Women outside of the news industry have found the AHA wrap useful, too: Hollingsworth has sold it to business executives, audio/visual companies, universities, government officials, and even priests. The wrap, she says, benefits women on- or off-camera who are making presentations. It provides them the security of knowing they can focus on the task at hand without fear that their microphone pack will cause a distraction.
Heather Sasser, the president of Video Envy, a full-service video production company, bought two to use when interviewing women in the field.
“A lot of times we don’t know these clients very well, and it’s more comfortable to be able to put the AHA wrap on a client’s leg, then to put it [the microphone pack] on the back of their dress or ask them to unzip the back of their dress and put it on their bra,” Sasser said.
“It just makes it more comfortable for everybody involved.”
Hollingsworth is nearing 1,000 wraps sold as her small business gains momentum, and she notes that sales have remained constant, even in the midst of the pandemic. This year, she hopes to branch out her business. She’s recently begun selling masks, and she hopes to start selling other products to help industry professionals.
“I’m passionate about this because I’m helping the greater good of my industry,” Hollingsworth said.
“It has just been overwhelming and just humbling to see that other women can use it and to solve their problem as well.”