Kim Meckwood loves shopping but hates struggling with multiple bags and too often losing. The solution came to her in a dream. Really. She got out of bed, sketched the gadget as she envisioned it, and, after her long and eventful journey and some luck (both good and bad), we have the Click & Carry.
Click & Carry is a simple handle device designed to carry up to 80 pounds (40 pounds on each side) evenly distributed. The ergonomic padded gel grip fits comfortably into the hand or over the shoulder, leaving the hand, or hands, free for carrying the baby or holding the toddler’s hand (or both!), locking the car door, opening the house door—any of the many things that have frustrated you when laden with bags. The Click & Carry has a column that twists in the center for easy loading and unloading. Twist to open, load/unload the bags, twist (click) it back into place. You can always have the Click & Carry handy—it’s small (5.25″ x 1.5″ x 2″) and lightweight (5 ounces).
Kim’s Click & Carry Journey
Kim was fortunate to have helpful neighbors. A young woman studying at the Pasadena Design School took the sketch and created a 3D Cad virtual reality model. A man who worked for Ty, the Beanie Baby behemoth, directed her to a factory in China to create the mold. Once she had the perfect mold, she applied for a patent. Next stop was selling her product. She made some cold calls on stores small and large and set up shop at Farmers Markets and swap meets. The good part was that she was quite adept at approaching potential customers. She had studied engineering at the University of Scranton and marketing at San Diego State University and was a pharmaceutical and medical device sales representative. The bad part was she was still working a full-time job. She only had nights and weekends to devote to Click & Carry. Until the worst thing happened: breast cancer. As a survivor and thriver, Kim gained a new perspective on life. No matter how much she enjoyed her job or how successful she was, she needed to put all of her energy, time and money into Click & Carry.
Her first foray into the “big time” was the Home + Housewares trade show in Chicago. She was able to set up shop in the “Inventors Corner.” It is one of the most popular destinations of the show for large companies to find the best and the brightest new entrepreneurs and their products. The Click & Carry generated a lot of interest, and it led to Kim’s appearance on Bethenny Frankel’s television show in a segment devoted to new women-owned businesses. From that, she was invited to appear on QVC. In 7 minutes, her 13,000 units sold out, and she was awarded the QVC Sprouts Gadget of the Year in 2014. Then QVC ordered 60,000, which entailed a large outlay of cash for Kim. She couldn’t continue to finance her business and pay her ordinary-life bills, so she went back to working full-time in pharmaceutical sales.
A great boon was entering the “5-Minute Pitch” Podcast, a Shark Tank-like competition with 4 young, successful entrepreneurs as judges. It started out with 32 contestants. Once the 32 were whittled down to 8, the audience voted. The top 4 appeared in person, and the judges picked the winner. Kim! She won $50,000 and the value of “been there done that” mentoring by the judges.
Click & Carry Today
Some of the stores carrying the Click & Carry are Ralph’s (a California supermarket chain), Kroger, Walmart and The Container Store. It is still selling on QVC and is available on Amazon. Kim checked off another goal when she was able to offer the Click & Carry on her own website.
On the website, Kim invites users to post photos of themselves using the Click & Carry. In addition to the ordinary trips to the supermarket and mall, people are carrying sports equipment, paint cans, construction buckets, bags of salt rock or dirt, and dry cleaning. For anyone who has ever trudged to beach loaded down with all that “stuff,” you can carry beach chairs with the help of a bungee cord. And you can walk multiple dogs! Just load the handles, straps or leashes onto the rotating top, click it closed and be on your way.