HYDE PARK - Local artist and entrepreneur, Lyn Marsteller, found her niche in a stitch—and is putting Americans back to work.
She shows off her large printed artistic photography, momentos from her world travels.
But in 2001, Marsteller returned from a trip... frustrated as usual, she said walking up the wooden stairs to her sewing room and office above the garage at her home.
"We'd just come back from a trip to Europe and before every trip we take, I'd always thought I'd find the perfect purse and if I didn't find it here, I would find it somewhere in Europe. And I never found the perfect purse," said Marsteller.
Several prototypes later, she came up with something to perfect in the inside of her purses she already had... The Purse Perfector.
"It was my way of organizing everything in my purse so that I could go from one purse to the next, to a brief case."
The multi-faceted artist and non-profit enthusiast showed off the insides to her Perfector.
"I created a set of pockets that are linked by a zipper so they're four pockets on one side and four pockets on a shorter side,” said the inventor and president of Purse Perfector, a product of Steller Accessories.
Manufactured in San Francisco, the Purse Perfector was featured recently in ABC's “Made in America” series—but it also has more roots in Cincinnati than just her home office. It’s packaged by the Easter Seals.
"I knew they did this sort of training of individuals for work that was meaningful and to me this seemed just a natural, it just made perfect sense. It tied together my sewing with the interest of all my friends—every woman I'd shown the Purse Perfector to wanted it, so I was now able to make it in America and then to connect my non-profit world with this endeavor just seemed like the right thing to do."
Since the 58-year-old started production in 2009, she has sold more than 4,000 Purse Perfectors, shipping to 44 countries—and is already seeing a profit. In fact, she said, she’s taking new orders daily.
“This is what a small business looks like,” she said from behind her desk.
It's something her mom, who taught her how to sew at age 5, would say is a ‘perfect’ fit.
“The way she looked at it is that I then created something that fit every woman. I didn't have to worry about, 'did it fit' 'did the skirt fit you the way it fit me'–well, the Purse Perfector fits every woman and her purse.”
The Purse Perfector was named 2010's “Best New Product” by the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce—and was featured in the New York Times' fashion section earlier this month.
For more on the Purse Perfector or to order your own in medium or large, visit PursePerfector.com .
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