By Amy-Willard Cross (Editor, Vitamin W)
Phone batteries die during the day. Carrying around chargers and cords is a drag. So a Chicago entrepreneur has come up with a solution: a purse that’s also a phone charger. “A lot of tech products are designed for men so it’s cool to have a product designed for women in mind,” says inventor Liz Salcedo.
The Everpurse charges an iPhone while it’s in your purse. It was created by this social worker who zoomed around Chicago all day doing visits – but her phone would inevitably lose power just when she needed to make a call or look up a map. Inventor Liz Salcedo figured if she needed a better mobile charger, other women would too.
Here’s how it works: a flat charger is sewn into the lining of a clutch, which also has a wrist strap. During one day it can fully recharge an iPhone twice. (Yes, two times!) At the end of the day, the Everpurse needs six hours on its charging dock before going again. Salcedo gets gleeful calls with the pronouncement, “It’s 100% (battery) and it’s 5pm!” Salcedo, who admits to sleeping with her phone, says it never loses power during the night anymore, assuring that her alarm always goes off.
First, Salcedo just made the device for herself, but when friends started asking to slip their phone into her purse, she knew she had something big. Salcedo developed the concept along with her husband, a serial entrepreneur and tech DIYer. She’s made many with her own two hands. Salcedo says it’s time to combine tech and fashion. “Most women don’t leave the house without some kind of bag, it’s such a part of so many people’s routine. Everpurse can fit in seamlessly.”
Compatible with the iPhone 4/5 and Galaxy S3, the Everpurse comes in leather or fabric, with a selection of lots of pretty colors. The black version is even macho enough to count as a man-purse. The bags will be produced in Chicago, and the assembly of the components will also take place in the United States. An Android version will follow soon.
The patent is pending. And the Kickstarter goal has been reached. You can still pre-purchase one from the Everpurse site. It’s $99 for a fabric version and $129 for the leather, and extra for a body strap. Now that they have reached $100,000 in funding, the project makes sense financially and Everpurses can be produced more cheaply.
Salcedo got help from the increasingly powerful techlady mafia: Chicago dynamo Melissa Pierce advises her and Joanne Wilson covered Everpurse in the must-see Monday Entrepreneur column on GothamGal. The tech press soon followed and within days – boom, 100K was raised.
“Women have been discounted in term of their influence and interest in tech,” says Salcedo who admits being surprised to learn that, “Women own more smartphones than men. You have to think about how much women do in their home lives and their work lives -women and society in general don’t see that.”
This post originally appeared on Vitamin W.
About the guest blogger: Amy-Willard Cross is the editor of Vitamin W, a platform for news, business and philanthropy. A former editor at national magazines, she authored books, written countless articles, features, op-eds and book reviews. Once while working on a documentary, she found an American who had fought with Fidel. She wants her daughter to learn how to code as the pay gap is only 6% for women programmers. Follow her on Twitter at @VitaminWomen.