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HomeNEWSBLACK GIRL MAGIC'Shark Tank' Contestants, Cincha, Share the Inspiration Behind Their Travel Brand

‘Shark Tank’ Contestants, Cincha, Share the Inspiration Behind Their Travel Brand

Cincha is a brand based in Oakland, California, run by BIPOC couple Ashley Sharma and her partner James. This amazing brand offers the most essential travel necessity—the Travel Belt. The Travel Belt allows you to remain hands-free in style as you prepare for your next adventure.

You no longer need to struggle with holding your bags, jackets, and carry-ons. Cincha’s Travel Belts help secure the bag so you can focus on getting from the gate to your getaway. The brand also offers Belt Bags, Stowaway Pockets, and Go Totes. 

Yes, it’s possible to travel cute and show your personality with Cincha, and today we are getting into the brand’s interview as we chat with one of the co-founders, Ashley.


Fancy: What inspired Cincha and your travel products?

Ashley: James and I come from two very different career backgrounds—he’s a civil rights attorney, and I’ve worked in marketing for the last decade. But one thing we had in common was our love for travel. Mine came at a very young age, thanks to my Dad, who has worked as a mechanic at United Airlines since I was a baby. Given our love for travel, luggage accessories, and bags were a natural choice.

As we traveled one day years ago, we realized that while we had perfect options for so many aspects of our travel, there was no stylish and fun solution for such a common travel problem: keeping your bags secured comfortably and stylishly. And we know from experience that there is no need to reinvent the wheel regarding new products. If the product is the right fit, design, and color for one’s lifestyle and makes their life a tiny bit easier, then they are usually willing to pay for it. So, just for fun, we put pen to paper and took the first step in creating the ultimate travel hack for travelers who value looking their best on the go. The result? After months of setbacks, horrible ideas, missteps, and delays, our 500 units of The Travel Belt arrived at our apartment. It is the perfect, functional, and stylish accessory designed to keep you looking put-together – with no more bags slipping and sliding around. From there sparked additional products, and now we offer various travel accessories for every type of traveler!

Fancy: Did you ever imagine the brand would take off the way it did? 

Ashley: We’ve always been hopeful and focused individuals, driven to push the boundaries of what we create. Cincha has surpassed our wildest expectations, evolving into something beyond our imagination. From inception to where we stand now, the opportunities we’ve encountered have been truly remarkable and cherished. However, the most surreal aspect for us remains the genuine love our customers have for our products, seeing them incorporated into their travels. It’s an indescribable feeling to witness the impact our brand has had on people’s lives.

Fancy: How did you come about the opportunity to be on Shark Tank? 

Ashley: It all started with an email from one of their producers. Thanks to the power of PR, one of the Shark Tank producers saw us in a press piece and reached out to us immediately. A month later, we were on the carpet pitching to The Sharks. It was a surreal (and fast) experience that we’ll never forget. 

Fancy: How did that experience help propel your brand? 

Ashley: Being able to show our small business to thousands of Shark Tank viewers is every small business entrepreneur’s dream. The show and its reruns offer incredible exposure, boosting our brand awareness significantly. Being recognized as a Shark Tank brand not only helps our credibility, but also validates our brand to a broader audience. Thanks to Shark Tank, we’ve connected with new retailers, expanded our product range, and, most importantly, gained a loyal customer base from the show’s viewership.

Fancy: We know that you all have partnered with Miles4Migrants, to donate 100 frequent flier airline miles per Travel Belt purchase to help reconnect migrant families. Why are you passionate about helping migrant families reunite? 

Ashley: We are deeply passionate about helping migrant families reunite because we believe in family’s power and unity’s importance. Through our partnership with Miles4Migrants, we can make a tangible difference in the lives of those affected by the migrant crisis. By donating 100 airline miles per travel belt purchase, we’re contributing to the efforts of reuniting families who have been separated by war, disasters, and persecution. It’s our way of providing support and hope to those in need, and we’re honored to be a part of this meaningful initiative that embodies compassion and solidarity.

Shop Cincha for your summer travel needs here, or follow them on Instagram at @cinchatravel


For more interviews by Fancy, click here.

Francheska Felder
Francheska Felder
Francheska “Fancy” Felder is an award-winning editor, publisher, publicist, and quiet Southern media mogul. In 2010, she launched SwagHer Magazine, an empowerment and lifestyle publication for the Black woman who likes to keep it real, which also doubles as a PR boutique. SwagHer Magazine uses positive media and storytelling to create new narratives and mindsets around Black women, their communities, and the businesses and organizations they lead, while the boutique strategically executes press and brand campaigns. The proud SU alum is also the publicist for Power Influence Radio and hostess of the CEO Chatter LIVE Podcast. Because she battles with bipolar disorder, Fancy is a proud mental health advocate.

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