Designer handbags step aside. There’s a new clutch in town with the power to recharge the purse.
Loni Edwards, Harvard Law grad and founder of emPOWERED, left her lawyering days behind to make a fashion statement that solves the case of the dying cellphone.
“Our bags will help you never have a dead battery again,” she said.
See the emPOWERED founder pitch her power purse in just 60 seconds to investor Angela Lee, 37 Angels founder, and Jennifer Fonstad, founding partner of Aspect Ventures, a new VC firm.
Charging on the go
Constantly faced with a dying cellphone, “I wanted to have a seamless way of charging on the go and in style, so I created empowered,” Edwards told CNBC.
The bags are equipped with a built-in battery pack plus a charging cable (mini USB) and Apple adaptors.
Users can swap in longer charging cables if they prefer to use their device while it is still charging. The bag itself can be charged by plugging it into a USB or wall adapter.
The All-in-One bag comes in 21 colors, ranging from emerald snake print to fuchsia. The authentic leather bags are manufactured in New York City and come with a strap to convert the clutch into an over-the-shoulder or cross-body bag.
During the Power Pitch, CNBC host Mandy Drury asked about the demand for the emPOWERED bag. Edwards told the panel she sold out her first batch of 200 bags in 48 hours.
“Right now we’re working on keeping up with the demand. … We’re on our second set of pre-orders at the moment,” she said.
Her latest product, a large tote bag, was just released on March 18. She said she also plans to design a backpack and a briefcase for men.
The All-in-One bags are orffered at $149 and the large leather tote is $289.
Clutching the competition
Portable phone chargers are not new to the market. Power Pitch panelist Fonstad asked how the emPOWERED bag compares to other battery packs like the popular juice pack made by mophie.
Edwards said with other battery packs you have to remember to throw them into your different bags. “This is built in so it’s seamless. … It’s hidden in the back, and it’s just as attractive a bag without it,” she responded.
But emPOWERED is also not the first handbag with a built-in charger. Start-up Everpurse produces wristlets installed with interior smartphone charging docks and costs $189 to $319. Everpurse told CNBC approximately 20,000 people visit the company’s site every month.
Edwards said she has not raised any outside capital beyond her own $5,000 investment. She would not disclose any projected revenue. Edwards did say the company’s site received more than 20,000 visitors since its launch in January.
See Loni Edwards power pitch her purse to Angela Lee, 37 Angels founder, Jennifer Fonstad, founder of the new VC firm Aspect Ventures, and CNBC’s Mandy Drury.
-Additional Reporting by Erin Barry and Kelly Lin
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