Here’s the story!
Hi – I’m Lesli, a mechanical engineer, a Jayhawk from Kansas, and the creator of Stashio. I’m an organized person (surprise!), and not afraid to say it. Being organized is NOT a form of OCD, I believe it just means using your time in fun or productive ways, instead of squandering it going around in circles searching for this or that. In other words, it means being smart!
I had it all nearly figured out on the organizing front, but there was still that one nagging thing . . . that one daily consumer of my precious time . . . that one place where chaos reigned . . . that one black hole we all know so well . . .
Think about it. How many times have you wasted minute upon minute rummaging in your bag for something or the other? Well, this finally happened to me for the last time.
It was a Monday morning and I had a million things to do. Standing at my car in freezing cold weather, I couldn’t find my car keys. The more I dug around in my bag, the more I encountered lipstick tubes, coins and papers, telephone cable, sunglasses, but no keys. And I was getting really late! In sheer exasperation I dumped my bag onto the cold wet pavement. There they were, wedged somehow into a side pocket of my wallet. Sadly, everything else, wet and dirty now, had to go back into my bag. For the rest of the day, every time I reached into my bag and got a wet, sandy reminder of that morning episode, I couldn’t help but think how utterly frustrating and unacceptable this situation was. That day, I vowed that I’d come up with a solution. Now I’ve Stashioed my way out of experiencing that ever again – and want to share it with you!
How did I do it?
Well, the first step in solving a problem is identifying it. And if a problem raises its ugly head several times a day – like this one had been doing – you will at some point recognize it for what it is (unless you happen to be a super-zen mindfulness master). So . . . I had the problem down.
I first checked out the range of organizers already on the market. They all seemed curiously similar and, even more curiously, none of them addressed the time factor, which I believed to be the crux of the handbag problem. For the most part, they were tedious and actually time-consuming to use (elasticized micro-pockets . . . seriously?!), and ironically only succeeded in creating new self-contained black holes of their own. I realized this was up to me!
Fairly quickly I was able to identify the organizational equivalent Newton’s laws of physics – in other words, the universal underlying principles that make organizing systems work. These are categorization, verticality, modularity and color coding/labeling. I let those percolate and after some time – voila! Stashio emerged. And it has turned out to be miraculously practical and portable, while being intuitively simple and super fun to use. I was more than pleased and couldn’t wait to tell the world!
Great in theory, but what about in practice?
After I had the design all figured out, and knew that Stashio was going to be a game changer as far as functionality goes, I thought – wait a second – my bag should be my own beautiful personal space! I wanted Stashio to not only save me time, but to be a joy to have in my bag. Remember William Morris’ quote: “I’ll have nothing that I don’t know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” (paraphrased a little)? Well, I now had useful under control, but wanted to tackle beautiful as well. My lifelong oscillation between art and engineering was rearing its hopefully beautiful head. The bottom line was that I wanted Stashio to make me smile every time I opened my bag. In other words, no yucky parachute material allowed. Stashio had to be soft and natural. So I chose 100% cotton and, for starters, decided to go with two design options. For color lovers, I worked with a graphic artist to create a set of various bright prints that would color code themselves, and for those at the more elegant/subdued end of the design spectrum I chose a rich hand woven black warp / white weft cotton.
Photo of me looking at fabrics maybe?
The magnetic system was further perfected to keep the compartments together easily – to let them mix and match and add and subtract – and in a super fun way. Who doesn’t love magnets?!
The concept was based on an array of single hand-sized single compartments, but I added a fat compartment for wallets and larger things and a flat compartment for papers and other flat things that always end up damaged in an unorganized bag.
I tried to think of everything.
And, yes, we think you are going to love it!
Since then, the possibilities on the horizon seem to be endless. Look for new colors, designs, shapes, sizes and functions to come!
We are still working on Stashio and would love to hear about your ideas! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions. If you do, we’ll send you a really cute token of appreciation.