When I came up with the idea for the original Handbag Handcuff® bag restraint, I was working as a lawyer plus wrangling kids and dogs – and spending a lot of time in my car.
Like so many people, I repeatedly needed to get into my bags while driving, so I kept them next to me on the adjacent passenger seat.
Unsurprisingly, there were numerous starts and stops in traffic that would result in an avalanche of papers, bags, snacks, and stuff strewn all over the car. My best-laid plans were no match for gravity and “Bag Dump”. My tote, bags of work papers, kid gear, and snacks wound up on the floor whenever I applied the brakes. My paperwork got ruined by the spilled snacks or crushed by the large water bottle, which didn’t fit into the cup holder and rolled off the seat.
I was fed up excavating my items from my car’s floor mats and attempting to locate errant objects that had slid away while in traffic. I began to problem-solve methods of securing my bags. I searched online, visited hardware stores, and experimented with different cords, buckles, and clips.
I wasn’t satisfied with what was out there. Car-seat hooks suspended everything so high on the metal headrest post that I could never reach into my bag from the driver’s seat. Headrest hooks were awkward and unattractive. Seat-organizing gadgets were mostly one-offs; they were fine for the car, but you couldn’t use them elsewhere. The center console was never big enough, and if I put my bags on the floor, they were too far away.
I even made wild promises to myself to try the passenger seat belt to secure these items, but never followed through.
I envisioned a product so quick and easy to use that I could do it with only one hand since I typically entered my car juggling keys, bags, drink, phone, etc. I cheekily thought of this accessory as a “handcuff” for my bag and this informed the design.
I realized two carabiners could click to the headrest post and bag straps. Adding a linked pouch lowered my bag onto the seat and kept it within reach. I selected vegan leather (aka vinyl), a cruelty-free fabric which could wipe clean and wouldn’t fade in the sun. I consulted with a number of experts to determine what combination of fabrics and materials would make Handbag Handcuff® durable and dependable while looking and feeling luxurious.
Turning this idea into a business has not been without its challenges. I have learned so much from the obstacles and relished each and every small victory.
Although my carpool days are behind me, I still use my Handbag Handcuff® every day. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve created, and I hope you love using yours as much as I do mine.
Inventor, HANDBAG HANDCUFF®