When you think about innovation and the future, most people probably don’t think about hand bags. Well, there was someone who did and within just a couple short years has started her own business is ready to launch her product in 2020.
What is an Evolution Smart Bag?
As the name suggests, the Evolution Smart Bag is, well, smart. It’s washable, scratch resistant, modular, customizable, made completely with non-animal products, spill and splash resistant…the list goes on.
“The most unique thing about the bag is the automatic wireless charging,” says Angela Marino, Founder of Evolution Smart Bag.
“Your phone slides into the pocket and automatically begins to charge. We also have a base for the handbag so it will recharge overnight.”
Angela says she first came up with the idea of a smarter bag in 2017 when she was traveling frequently interstate. “I was traveling back and forth from San Diego to Arizona for my mother’s chemo treatments and couldn’t never find the right bag,” she says.
“I finally started the business in 2018 after she passed away as a tribute to her. She was the one who always urged me to get out of my comfort zone and try something exciting.”
The journey from idea to business
To test out her idea, Angela launched a Kickstarter for the bags which proved to be a great success. “I had a very limited budget,” she says.
“There was no budget for content creation, video, photos, marketing partnerships, nothing. But instead of seeing that as a negative thing, it’s actually something that I’m most proud of—being able to get the campaign launched with very little resources and have it be so successful.”
Of course, success always comes with challenges, and Angela is no stranger to those. For anyone who has had to deal with manufacturing, you’ll probably be able to empathize with her in this regard.
“Even though I spent so much trying to keep our production costs down as much as possible, there were so many hiccups that lead to huge discrepancies between the original quote and the final production and shipping costs,” says Angela.
“I’ve had to do a lot of leg work to build trust and partnerships with manufacturers and I think it’s paid off. Thankfully they are in my corner now and there’ll be less issues in the future.”
The future of Evolution Smart Bag
Although still in its infancy, the future looks bright for Evolution Smart Bag. After her Kickstarter campaign was fully funded by more than 250 backers pledging over $45,000, Angela went right into production mode.
“Our first orders begin shipping out in March and from there I’m hoping to expand into retail stores and grow our product line,” she says.
Advice for other entrepreneurs
“A team is important,” says Angela. “I wish I would have started networking earlier to find a good team to bring this product to life.”
She says that finding a team is hard in any environment (don’t we know it!) and she’s much more aware of the importance of balancing experience with character when looking for solid partners.
“I was also given a lot of helpful advice from the San Diego entrepreneur and startup community,” she adds. “It’s important to get out there and learn from others who have experience and knowledge.”
“The advice I’ve gotten has been instrumental in the early success of Evolution and I’m incredibly thankful to the mentors I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with.”
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