Everpurse trades cables and outlets for handbags and mats

SHARE Everpurse trades cables and outlets for handbags and mats

Made in Chicago takes a look at some of the most innovate products built in our backyard. Whether it’s a new way to track a stolen bike or a planter for black thumbs, we track the best tech that’s hometown proud.

What it is: Everpurse is a purse that charges phones. It’s styled by high-end Chicago designers, such as Laudi Vidni and 1154 Lill Studio, with international designers in the works.

When: Made its first appearance on Kickstarter in the fall. Started shipping in July.

Where: Near North Side

Light bulb: Founder Liz Salcedo, a former social worker from Rogers Park, was tired of always running out of juice as she went to appointments.

How it works: The charging mechanism is essentially electromagnetism at work, says Melissa Pierce, Everpurse’s COO. For the layperson, that’s a magnet. Customers place smartphones into the pocket, where the magnet guides the phone into a charging dock. It works for iPhone 4/4S, iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S 3/4.

Growth: Left the womb of Merch Mart incubator 1871 in March 2013; now has six employees and “thousands” of sales.

Headwinds: On Aug. 7, Everpurse posted on its Facebook page that a supplier delivery delay would push back the shipment of two-thirds of its orders about two weeks — much to the irk of customers who took to Facebook to voice their frustration. “I don’t know that any of these delays could have been prevented on our end, however we have learned the hard way not to tell our customers when they can expect their products based on what we expect the lead time to be ‘if all goes well’ as it rarely does.”

What’s next: Getting dudes in the game with a wallet (the Kickstarter page says the black purse is great for men); compatibility with other phones.

Where to buy: Online only for now, prices range from $189 for a fabric clutch to $319 for the leather croc-pattern incarnation. Salcedo has plans to begin selling at Laudi Vidni and other Chicago boutiques.

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