Your first reaction on hearing about a raincoat for handbags might be “Are you kidding?” But it should be “What a great idea. Why didn’t I think of that?”
Maintaining a classy, put together look is hard enough to do when the weather is sunny and dry. During bad weather it becomes almost impossible. There are fashionable raincoats and high quality, decorative umbrellas to protect your clothing and your expensive coiffure, but what about that Coach Pocketbook or Louis Vuitton Bag that you sacrificed your last paycheck to obtain?
Sisters Morgan Sarner and Arley Sarner were still in college when they began to look for an innovative solution to this problem. In a June 8, 2017 article in CR Fashion Book, they recalled their weekend visits to New York City and explained: “We noticed that when caught in the rain, women are more likely to protect their handbag than their hair or anything else. You’d always see women with their bag underneath their coat or sweatshirt. It was crazy! We knew that there had to be a better solution.”
They experimented with plastic shower curtains and various shapes and fastenings, using their own pocketbooks as “models” to create the best and most versatile product. Knowing that most women owned more than one pocketbook in different colors and styles they wanted to offer something that was not only utilitarian, but also in sizes and patterns that would appeal to a wide range of tastes.
After college, Morgan Saren worked in production and merchandizing at Rebecca Minkoff for five years, during which time the sisters perfected the product and obtained a patent. The polyurethane-based cover comes in three sizes (mini, midi and maxi) and different print options (clear, opaque black, raindrop, star, jet black and city slicker) with a Velcro top that accommodates any handle and seals the raincoat to prevent leaking.
The Sarens launched their website and Facebook Page in April, 2015, and participated in Good Morning America’s “Shark Tank Your Life” competition on April 17, 2015. The Handbag Raincoat began to gather attention, and was even mentioned on the Dr. Oz Show in November of 2015, as an item that would be useful in heading out on shopping in the rain!
In May of 2017, the Handbag Raincoat was shown by Kym Douglas as a new product on Ellen! At the Paris Fashion Week Fall that same year, described as “the rainiest one we’ve attended in years,” the Handbag Raincoat was being used by many women and was noticed by CRfashionbook, leading to the article quoted above.
The Raincoat was featured in Golf Fashion Weekly on January 31, 2018 and in Harper’s Bazaar in March. Oprah put it on the “A-List” in the March 2018 issue of O Magazine.
An article on NorthJersey on February 9, 2018, featured the two Norwood natives as “the entrepreneurs behind The Handbag Raincoat” and quoted Arley as saying: “We feel The Handbag Raincoat is simply an insurance policy for any woman’s handbag. … Now you can own the rain and never let it stop you.”