Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Travel Clutch Wallet

In the short time that I've had my Etsy shop, I have received several requests for some sort of all encompassing Travel Document Case. I ALWAYS appreciate the advice and suggestions of fans and customers, but I really didn't think it would be that popular, plus, I really didn't know how to make one.

Well, toward the end of last year, my little family and I were taking a short flight to San Antonio to visit my brother and sister-in-law. You know, just for fun. We were able to fly on Southwest cheaper then buying gas and I seriously hate car traveling for long periods of time, so fly it was.

We got to the airport about 2 hours before our flight left thinking that was plenty of time. OMG, we barely made it!! Due to the holiday traffic, Love Field was jam packed full of people! We stood in line FOREVER just to get our boarding passes, had to check the car seat and luggage and opted to gate check the stroller. It was such a hassle to get through security. I had to take Aiden out of the stroller, let them run that through the X-ray belt, take of my shoes and Aiden's shoes while my husband is basically undressing too and put all our possessions on the belt. By the time we got through the line, got redressed (with a VERY cranky Aiden) and got to our gate I realized I couldn't find our boarding passes.

Ok, so anyone who knows me, knows this is NOT typical Kelley! I am very organized and pre-fussy toddler days, would NEVER has lost something so important. Not only was it frustrating, it was embarrassing! Luckily, since we'd already passed through security, they were able to reprint our boarding passes. But what if we hadn't? What if I'd lost them BEFORE we went through security?

So, this was the event that started the gears in my brain. I now saw how much easier my life would be if I had ONE place to store this info. ONE place for car rental info, boarding passes, hotel reservation info, Frequent Flyer # cards, Passports, Foreign Money, etc. I started working on a design in my head and had 3 prototypes before I came up with a design I thought could work.

Thus the Owl Say Designs Travel Clutch. I don't mind telling you I love it. It's the perfect place to keep all your travel info.

My first prototype was fabric. Due to the cost of fabric and time involved in making them, I was afraid they would not be a good match for my store. I'm sort of committed to offering products that are super affordable. So I wanted to find a way to make them out of paper. After lots of research, I discovered that if I used a cold-press laminate machine I could cut the pieces to size and actually sew those as I would fabric. The pieces are slick, so it's a little tricky to sew them, but it works!

I tried one out as a wallet first. Carrying it around, taking it in and out of my purse in normal day-to-day stuff. I didn't feel as though I could confidently offer them if I wasn't sure of their durability. I was really surprised at how durable the laminated paper was. It holds up as well as the vinyl. Plus, I loved how smooth it felt in my hands. It was so easy to slip money and debit/credit cards in and out of the pockets.

I also have to say, I'm really proud of myself for creating a design from scratch. I purposely did not Google other patterns or designs so the one I created for Owl Say Designs would be unique. I created the idea based on my needs and requests from customers. Soon, I'll be adding the option for a zipper change pocket to the Fabric Travel Clutches as well as adding a listing to 'Build Your Own Travel Clutch'. Considering the ridiculous amount of fabric I have, I figure this is the best way to get to choose from multiple patterns.

I love the creative license my Travel Clutches gives me. I see all the paper I already had in a new light. I love that I'm able to use paper with bigger prints. Paper that would not normally look as good on a Passport Cover or Checkbook Cover is just perfect for the Travel Clutches!

So, please, check out my Travel Clutches, and tell me what you think!

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