Necessity Is Mother Of Handbag’s Invention
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Necessity Is Mother Of Handbag’s InventionPersonal style
The Need To Reach Her Cell Phone Quickly Led Linda Southwick To Create The Sleek But Functional Executive Bag.
October 8, 1998By Jean Patteson of The Sentinel Staff
Linda Southwick bought a cell phone for two reasons: convenience and security. On a couple of occasions she found the phone offered neither through no fault of the phone. The problem was with the handbag that held the phone.
On one occasion, she was driving along the freeway when her cell phone rang. It took her so long to locate the phone in her tote bag that she missed the call and practically lost control of her car into the bargain. So much for convenience.
Another time, she became nervous when a group of young men started following her down an empty street. Again, her phone was buried so deep in her bag that she couldn’t put her hand on it. So much for being able to dial 911 in a hurry, should she have been threatened.
So Southwick, a salesperson in the hospitality industry in Phoenix, decided to design a better handbag.
The result, which she was demonstrating at the Southern Women’s Show pandora ring in Orlando last week, is the Southwick Executive Bag. Not only does it keep all the usual handbag and briefcase contents organized, it also allows instant access to phone, beeper or can of Mace even when all the bag’s snaps and zippers are fastened.
She embarked on the bag making project a year ago. Dismantling three old handbags and a briefcase, she took scissors and a glue gun, and cut and pasted the pieces into countless different configurations. It took days of work, but finally she was satisfied with her design.
A key feature was the flap over closure that left the tops of a cell phone, beeper or Mace canister exposed for easy access. Inside, the bag had compartments for checkbook and wallet, change purse and credit cards, planner and palm size computer, eyeglasses, keys and pens.
Southwick took her patched together creation to a shoemaker, who made it up in leather. The bag attracted so much attention wherever she went that Southwick decided to apply for a patent, find a manufacturer and start marketing her invention. Six months ago the first Executive Bags rolled off the production line and Southwick hit the road to sell them at shows and conventions around the country.
The bag certainly was attracting a lot of attention at the Southern Women’s Show from men as well as women. Its unisex appeal comes from the combination of sleek, understated styling, black color and practical size.
Remarkable. It’s the bag I would design if I knew how to design the perfect bag. It holds everything, but it’s so compact,” said Judy Pagett, an office manager from Melbourne, who said she plans to order one.
Available in leather or nylon, the bag is fitted with a matching checkbook cover, key ring, change purse and necessity bag” for holding makeup or toiletries. In leather, the bag costs $199; in nylon it sells for $99. Sold separately is a seven ring day planner covered either in leather ($65) or nylon ($35).