When I came up with the idea of Handbag Handcuff®, I was at a crossroads in my life, working as a lawyer and raising a family. I was trying to be all things to all people, which meant that invariably some things were lost along the way.
Most days, I would pile everything I wanted and needed to accomplish in the front seat of my car and cart it around with me, hoping for the right windows of opportunity to get it done.
Sometimes I did. But more often than not, I didn’t. And not surprisingly, there would be frequent starts and stops that would result in an avalanche of papers, bags, snacks, and stuff skidding all over my car. My best-laid plans were no match for L.A. traffic and gravity.
What really drove me crazy wasn't traffic, bad drivers, or even screaming kids. It was "Bag Dump." Watching helplessly as the contents of my purse spilled onto the floor whenever I turned or applied the brakes left me frustrated and annoyed.
I was fed up excavating my favorite items from my car’s floor mats, attempting to locate the errant objects that had flown out of reach when my bag was knocked off the seat.
There weren't any viable options to solve the problem: car hooks secured the bag so high on the seat that access was too limited. The center console was never big enough for my bag, and if I put it on the floor it was too far away. I made wild promises to myself to use the passenger seat belt to secure my bag, then never followed through.
Like so many people, I frequently needed to get into my bag while driving, so putting it in the trunk or back seat wouldn't work. I never closed my bag, leaving no obvious safeguard against the inevitable slide, flip, and dump. I began to experiment with methods of connecting the handle of my purse to the passenger seat headrest, even visiting Army/Navy surplus stores on a mission to find buckles or clips.
Problem solving was the mental floss I needed to stay sane while transporting small kids and idling at red lights or on the infamous 405. Finding a way to keep it all together in the car engaged me when I couldn’t turn on NPR and had to refocus from Barney and Hannah Montana blaring on Radio Disney.
I envisioned a product so quick and easy to use that I could do it with only one hand because I often got in my car juggling keys, bag, drink, phone, etc. A carabiner was the perfect fastener: it could easily click onto both the headrest post and my bag strap.
I used my time in the carpool queue to refine my plan and create the cheeky Handbag Handcuff® name, which in turn inspired the design.
Still, function was half of the story... it had to look stylish too. I selected vinyl, a cruelty-free fabric that is luxe, could wipe clean, and wouldn't fade in the sun. Finally, I consulted with a number of experts to determine what combination of fabric and materials would make Handbag Handcuff® durable plus feel luxurious.
Handbag Handcuff® was not designed to be flashy or trendy, but rather to be there for you when you need it in a quiet and dependable way. Those are my favorite aspects of this product and its design.
It’s a running joke with my team that someone will always tell us they saw us on a certain popular reality show about entrepreneurs and their inventions. We haven’t been on and do not plan to be. I’m too private and am happy remaining under the radar, eliminating your bag dump one car ride at a time.
Getting Handbag Handcuff® from a concept to a growing concern over the years has not been without its challenges. I never could have imagined some of the obstacles and have relished each and every small victory. I’ve met amazing people, found lifelong friends, and forged a new identity for myself.
I’m really proud of what we’ve created, and I hope you love using your Handbag Handcuff® as much as I love using mine.
Inventor, HANDBAG HANDCUFF®