"As a 25-year NFL season ticket holder, I feel this purse ban is beyond ridiculous," said Beth Saacks, a die-hard New Orleans Saints fan. Saacks is a dentist. Her friend, Rachael Couvillion, is an appraiser for a mortgage company. Neither has any retail or manufacturing experience, but they are Americans, by golly, and if there's money to be made, Americans figure out how to make it!
The two women put their heads together and created Aunt Fleaux's Gameday Packs, selling hand-sized purses big enough to carry a few items while maintaining privacy. Most importantly, they hide any feminine products—hence the name, "Aunt Fleaux."
Before you wince uncomfortably, realize that probably one in four women at a football game is, you know, needing feminine products. Saacks and Couvillion developed the concept and created prototypes specifically for Saints fans bearing the team logo with the tagline, "I Bleed Black and Gold." They decided to expand the idea to include bags for LSU fans with purple and gold.
Next came a Facebook page and Twitter account, and the two women ordered a thousand bags manufactured, pricing them from $9.99 to $14.99.
"We sold several hundred in our first week," Saacks said. "We likely would have sold more if women could understand that an approved purse does not have to be clear." Again, only bags larger than the size of a hand need to be transparent.
Other entrepreneurs are promoting their products as solutions to the NFL bag ban. Sholdit sells scarves with pockets in them. "Gets You Into Any Stadium" is the new headline on the company's website. "Not only will this solve the handbag-ban dilemma facing women this football season, it will also keep them warm on chilly game days!" said Sholdit's Jenna Watson.
The Shark Tank blog has come up with a list of "NFL Bag Ban Game-Changers." One includes an invention called the Scottevest. The vest lets you carry all kinds of personal items in pockets, and you can even control your iPod through the outer material.