LillyBit Clutch the Result of an Inspirational Invention Journey
Inspiration can sometimes strike in the most unlikely place. Lyssa Surface came up with the idea for a new invention to help new moms after feeling frustrated changing her daughter in public restrooms. She was concerned about setting her bag down on the unsanitary looking countertop or floor and had trouble diapering her baby while trying to find diapers and wipes in an oversized “black hole” of a bag.
“After having my first daughter, Lilly, and trying to manage this new life out and about with a baby, I quickly realized that there were many areas I struggled with to keep it all together,” according to Lyssa. “I am also into style and fashion (I love accessories) and didn’t understand why I couldn’t find something that was both very cute but practical.”
Lyssa started brainstorming how to solve some of those issues. “I searched and searched but never found the product I envisioned, so that’s when I decided to make one,” Lyssa said. This started the journey that led to the invention of the LillyBit Diaper Clutch.
All great products start with a vision. “I wanted a product that was as fashionable as a purse yet functional and had a place for all of my diapering necessities,” according to Lyssa. “There were also many parts of the larger diaper bags that went unused, so I wanted this product to be small and compact with no way to load it down with unnecessary things.”
An entrepreneurial drive came naturally to Lyssa and she had dabbled in a variety of creative arenas such as handmade jewelry and soldered photo pieces. Still, she didn’t sew and knew a seamstress would be needed to help her develop a working prototype. After trying in vain for some time to find someone who she felt could translate her vision into reality, she met Jessica Schifman. “Jessica has sewn since she was a child and was my age/demographic, so I knew she would ‘get’ my audience,” Lyssa said.
The two women collaborated and created several different versions of the product they had envisioned and then tested each to discover what worked and what didn’t. Two features they included in the diaper clutch prototypes were a tri-fold design with a place for everything, similar to many cosmetic cases, as well as a multi-functioning strap. They solved the problem of unsanitary public restrooms by designing the strap so a mom could wear it over her shoulder and then pop it open one-handed to be able to change her baby without ever having to take the bag off her shoulder. Lyssa and Jessica utilized a unique snapping functionality with the strap so that it could also either be worn as a wristlet or converted to a hand-held clutch.
Before deciding on the final design of the clutch, Lyssa and Jessica talked to many different moms and had them test the product. Moms were asked their opinion on what might be missing, what they would love to see in a baby/diaper bag, and what would make their lives easier. Several features were added by talking to multiple moms and by Lyssa using the prototype herself. These features include an elastic strap in the middle for diaper rash cream, a full back pocket for moms’ personal things, a swivel hook on the side of the bag to hold keys or hand sanitizer, and a turn-key lock to make the bag dressier and more secure.
The initial concept to design took about six months. Once they arrived at that stage of the journey, Lyssa and Jessica both knew they had invented a diaper clutch that was fashionable as well as functional. Lyssa realized she had finally found something she was extremely passionate about and that was also truly unique in the marketplace. Next, the two women had to find a factory that could recreate their prototypes with the same quality and integrity, as well as one that was cost effective. Six months later they found what they had been looking for and the LillyBit Uptown Diaper Clutch was officially “born”. Lyssa and Jessica were awarded a utility patent for the unique functionality of their invention.
Lyssa’s journey from inspiration to invention was complete. However, her journey was actually just beginning. You can find out more about the fascinating path Lyssa has traveled with LillyBit in future blog posts. For now, visit LillyBit’s Facebook page for more information and to learn the latest news about the mom accessories that are hard-working enough to satisfy the on-the-go mom and chic enough to delight her personal fashion tastes.