“We didn’t want a lot of headache and we didn’t want permanent attorneys. We needed them when we needed them, and UpCounsel was a perfect fit. And we saved 60 percent over our old law firm.”
Why BauBax co-founder Yoganshi Shah uses UpCounsel:
1. Ease of Selecting an Attorney: Yoganshi loves that UpCounsel eliminates the need to go searching for an attorney. Instead, interested attorneys approach her, and she’s able to select one after reading their bios and reviews.
2. Improved Efficiency and Project Management: UpCounsel makes legal projects smooth and easy, and Yoganshi doesn’t have to follow up with attorneys to stay abreast of their progress.
3. Integrated Document Storage: With UpCounsel, all of BauBax’s documents are stored in one place, and Yoganshi doesn’t have to search through her email inbox to find what she needs.
In 2014, Yoganshi and her husband were en route to Mexico for their anniversary. He was an experienced traveler due to their five years in a long-distance marriage; she worked in San Francisco, whereas he lived in Mumbai and later in Chicago.
During his time in Chicago, he flew to visit her every couple of weeks, and almost every time, he would forget an essential item: his neck pillow.
That meant purchasing a new one in the airport for every flight, and soon, both his home and hers contained half a dozen pillows. “I just keep forgetting them,” he told her. “I don’t know what to do.”
This time, however, he was not alone. For their early morning flight to Mexico, his wife had also forgotten her neck pillow. But neither Yoganshi nor her husband had forgotten their jackets. Nor had any of their fellow travelers.
“Most people get ideas when they’re facing a problem rather than observing it.”
“In that moment, something clicked,” says Yoganshi. “Everybody flies with a jacket.”
They spent the rest of the flight discussing concepts for the ultimate travel jacket, which would have features like a neck pillow built-in. Thus, BauBax was born.
“Most people get ideas when they’re facing a problem rather than observing it,” Yoganshi says. “This is such a huge pain point, but it wasn’t until I forgot the pillow that I realized that this is a big problem that I want to solve.”
She used Kickstarter to fund the innovative jacket, and though she only needed $20,000, Yoganshi quickly raised more than $9 million to make Baubax a reality. Next came legal challenges, and initially, they relied on a law firm recommended to them by a friend to incorporate their company in Illinois.
However, when Yoganshi and her husband moved to California, they had no one to recommend an attorney or a law firm. They also didn’t have a lot of time to spend on legal issues.
“My husband wanted all of his focus to be on raising capital rather than dealing with legalities,” she says. “We needed something quick and easy where the legal project just gets done, and we don’t have to spend hours managing it.”
“With UpCounsel, we get timely reports and paperwork is easy to find on UpCounsel’s document storage platform.”
A simple Google search led Yoganshi to UpCounsel, and after reading through some attorney bios, she selected an attorney.
“On UpCounsel, I receive bids from the attorney community, and there’s always one that stands out to me. I can then hop on a free interview call with the attorney and make a decision quickly,” she says. “The bids are always high quality, which means I find the right attorney right away every time.”
Yoganshi likens the experience to using Yelp to compare restaurants.
“I don’t need to do a lot of Googling and other research to find an attorney that’s the right fit for my business and the legal project,” she added. “The attorney comes to me.”
This means that Yoganshi is never in a position where she finally finds the right lawyer after hours of research only to find out that lawyer is unavailable.
“I never have to deal with an attorney saying ‘I’m too busy for you’ or ‘You’re too small for me,’” she says. “I know which attorneys are available and interested in working with me upfront.”
The cost savings was also a huge plus. At Yoganshi’s firm in Chicago, she was charged about $10,000 to incorporate BauBax in Illinois. Using UpCounsel, Yoganshi only paid about $1,000 to incorporate in Washington when she and her husband moved to Seattle.
The First Job: A Patent
The first job that Yoganshi posted was for help filing a patent. Yoganshi says she has no legal background and had never filed a patent before.
Yoganshi’s first firm charged about $10K to incorporate BauBax. Yoganshi only paid $1K for the same job on UpCounsel.
From the four proposals that she received, she selected attorney Kanika Radhakrishnan. Kanika helped BauBax understand the challenging landscape of apparel patents.
“Apparel patents can be really tricky,” says Yoganshi. “We wanted to make sure that we were not violating any other patents. We also wanted to understand patent law better: How do patents work and what type of patents are out there?”
An Ongoing Project: Hiring an Outside General Counsel
As the company grew, BauBax required a general counsel, but the business wasn’t yet big enough to justify the cost of hiring a general counsel in house.
“Everything was new to us, from signing NDAs to going over long agreements filled with unfamiliar legal terminology,” she says. “We really needed a general counsel.”
BauBax’s positive experience with Kanika made Yoganshi and her husband search UpCounsel for an attorney to serve as a general counsel. After receiving three different proposals, BauBax selected UpCounsel attorney Nate Kelly as their general counsel.
Because of Nate’s knowledge and substantial experience with California law, he was able to efficiently help Yoganshi incorporate BauBax in California.
“I never have to deal with an attorney saying ‘I’m too busy for you’ or ‘You’re too small for me’ after hours of research trying to find the right one.”
Since then, Nate Kelly has also incorporated BauBax in Washington, and UpCounsel attorney Tom Shnaider has helped with licensing agreements projects. Yoganshi says she is continually blown away by how seamlessly she can manage projects on UpCounsel.
“I can assign a task and trust that it will get done,” she says. “We get timely reports, never have to follow up and all of the paperwork that we need is provided to us through UpCounsel’s document storage.”
Thanks to Kanika, Nate, and Tom, BauBax has covered all of their legal bases while starting their new company, and as new legal projects come up as Baubax scales, Yoganshi says she knows that she can quickly and easily find a quality attorney on UpCounsel.
The Baubax travel jacket comes with 15 features, including a neck pillow, eye mask, gloves, stylus pen, tech pockets and much more. Four styles of jackets, Sweatshirts, Windbreakers, Bombers and Blazers. Business Insider called the BauBax Travel Jacket “the Swiss Army Knife of Jackets” and noted that the jackets are “the most funded fashion item in crowdsourcing history.” Baubax has been featured in more than 70 publications, including CNN Money, Entrepreneur and Inc magazine.