Up until mid-June Liz Salcedo was a full-time social worker and case manager in Chicago. A demanding job, but her focus and time was being pulled in another direction.
“Like many others I had a hard time keeping my phone charged, I had a job that required me to do a lot of driving around the city, so I needed my phone pretty regularly for maps, and of course social networking and texting," Liz said. "By 2 p.m. I already had a low battery and by the end of the work day my phone was often dead.”
Frustrated that her phone refused to last throughout the day Salcedo turned her purse, and her phone into a career, meshing the world of inductive charging and fashion in a way so genius it’s a travesty no one thought of it sooner.
The idea of the Everpurse
is simple. Hidden inside a purse (the couple has partnered with Laudi Vini and Lil Studio to design custom bags) is an inductive charging dock. Using low-frequency inductive charging, the iPhone wirelessly charges once “synched” to the charging dock inside the purse. The charging dock can charge the iPhone from 0 to 100% two times over before it needs to be charged itself by simply resting at the home charging pad.
Simply lay your purse on the charging mat at the end of the day, and the Everpurse will replenish its charging powers.
However, simple ideas hardly have simple solutions. After Liz told Daniel about her plan for the perfect purse he went shopping.
“I purchased a whole bunch of electronic components and after work I tried different things to modify them and make them work so the idea of seamless, wireless charging would be realized," Daniel said. "I showed Liz a prototype and within a few days she had taken the very raw technology and made it work in her very own purse.”
Daniel, a “school of hard-knocks geek”, helped lay the ground-work, but Liz was bent on perfecting the experience. However, and unexpected benefit came from Liz having an always-charged phone.
“She tested her purse for about three or so months mqkint mino4 modifications along the way and believe it or not our relationship actually improved as I knew she would always have battery and never lose another call, text or Instagram,” Daniel said.
Joking aside, the three months of testing, and regular use introduced Liz and Daniel to the finer points of inductive charging and batteries including the optimal distance between the transmitter and receiver, how to develop a pocket inside the bag for phone to slip in, amperage, and how even one out of tune component s brings down the entire system. But, something else superseded all the progress on the technical front. A market emerged.
“After about three months of testing out the purse, using it on a regular basis, and having great results, I had friends asking to use my bag while we were out to dinner and parties so they could charge their phones,” Liz said. “So I started making other bags to give out and let other people use. That’s when I started getting feedback from them on things that could improve . As I got more interest, and orders for more custom bags, and great feedback we decided that this could really be something. That’s when we decided to look into the possibilities of mass manufacturing.”
That’s where the Kickstarter campaign
kicks in. Launched on Monday, and buried beneath a heap of Apple iPhone 5 release hype, the couple’s Everpurse campaign has already raised $93,000 of their $100,000 goal.
“Our goal with the Kickstarter campaign is to generate enough pre-orders so that we can jump-start the production process and also prove the demand for the produce,” Liz said. “We can easily build these purses by ourselves, but that makes them expensive and really limits how many we can get out into the market. I want to change women’s experience of technology, it should work for them, and not the other way around.”
Liz is working closely with the owners of Lil Studio and Laudi Divini to produce the initial run of bags for the Kickstarter campaign. The bags in question are available starting at $129 with the $99 early bird special price already sold out. Every bag comes with a charging matt to charge the bag at home as well. So far there is no official solution for men out there, but Liz and Daniel are experimenting with a more "pocketable" solution.
Everpurse went from an idea, to a hobby, to a career. But, the intent was never to mass produce a product, it was merely to solve a problem. A problem that could be Liz’s breakout opportunity.
“Being on Kickstarter really gives me the opportunity to offer women a better way that seamlessly works with their lives and style," Liz Said.