Problem Solved For Active Music Lovers

When Li-Michael Swan got his first iPod in 2007, he loved being able to take it to the gym and listen to music while he worked out.

But there were a few things about it that irritated him. Those ear pods kept falling out of his ears, plus those long, hanging wires were getting in the way of his work-out. And the iPod he had didn’t come with a clip, so he had no place to store the device.

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The ZooneyCap allows you to take your music with you wherever you go, without wires getting in the way

“I thought to myself, ‘This Nano is so small there must be a way to compact and secure not only the Nano, but also the wires above the ears.’ This would give freedom and mobility without the wires and the iPod getting in my way,” recalls Swan, who grew up in Nanakuli and recently returned to the Islands after spending years in California.

So he grabbed an old baseball cap, and using duct tape and tie wires, he connected the iPod to it. It was a simple creation, but Swan was onto something.

“They worked great,” he says. “I was thrilled.”

To improve this initial model, he sewed a pocket into the cap as a place to store the iPod and created a plug-in connector to make the iPod easily detachable. After developing the product for years, he launched ZooneyWear LLC with the ZooneyWear EarBud System (or Zebs) as the star item. The Zebs come in a variety of head gear, including a baseball cap, visor, sports band or bandana. There also is a hoodie and even a wet band, which allows the listener to use the product in the water.

The products, Swan says, are ideal for those with an active lifestyle ― just put on your headgear or hoodie and you have a ready-to-go listening device to take music along with you throughout any activity.

“No more tangled and knotted wires, no hanging wires from your ears,” he explains.

Swan is no stranger to entrepreneurship ― he owned and operated his own photography business for nearly 20 years.

To get ZooneyWear off the ground, Swan recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for his Zebs. (Look up “7 reasons why you’re gonna love my earbuds” on Kickstarter.com.) Backers who contribute to the campaign will earn a ZooneyWear product based on their pledge level.

Swan also is working on a number of new ZooneyWear products, including sunglasses, plus he also aims to create an exclusive line of music devices.

For more information, email li@zooneywear.com.

coconnor@midweek.com