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Stay At Home Mom Reinvents the Fanny Pack for a Water Bottle

Joey Carlile has been credited with creating “the fanny pack of today.”  Her Orange County, California based company, JoeyJean Inc., makes a new kind of fanny pack that goes around a water bottle and holds your keys, cell phone and other necessities while jogging, walking or working out.

Carlile invented her modernized fanny pack to make her own life easier, and accidentally stumbled upon a successful business.   She was a stay at home mom with three children that liked to go for walks, but she hated struggling to carry a cell phone, keys, water bottle and identification along.

“I would go on walks and fumble with all of my gear,” Carlile said. “I wanted to carry one thing that would hold all of these items.”   So out of frustration she did something about it.  Her first design was created from an old weight belt of her husband’s to which she added pockets and wrapped around a water bottle.  She started carrying her creation on walks and people began asking about it and encouraging her to market the design.

At first she worked the business part time while focusing on being a mother.  She started with samples of nylon, neoprene and other materials and found a seamstress to help make her first “Joey Jam Pack”.  The design is insulated, has pockets and an adjustable hand strap.  The pack can be wrapped around a bottle or kept flat and in addition to the hand strap, it can be worn around the waist or over the shoulder.

JoeyJean Inc. has taken off from there.  The product was originally marketed at trade shows and sold through fundraisers at schools and non-profits.  Big companies like Carnival Cruises and Nestle eventually asked JoeyJean to make them promotional products.  Carlile’s packs have since been promoted on the QVC shopping network and have appeared on CNBC’s “The Big Idea” with Donny Deutsch.

Carlile credits her family as being her main driver.  Her husband, son, mother and sister all help out with the business which was recently honored at the annual Family Owned Business Awards luncheon with the Up-and-Coming Award. 

The family currently works from a 1,300-square-foot office, where they perform functions such as research and development, warehousing, marketing and sales.  Family members have also inspired new products for the JoeyJean collection, such as a washable pouch to hold dental retainers call the Joey Retain ‘Um, and the Pooch Pouch, similar to the Jam Pack but created with a foldable water bowl for pets.

Read more about Carlile’s story in the Orange County Business Journal, or visit her website at JoeyJean.com

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