When Linda Janssen’s friend lost a diamond earring deep in her pocketbook, Janssen decided to do something to prevent that from happening.
It was a touchy time for her friend, who was also going through a painful divorce and Janssen wanted to do something to help her friend.
“I thought, I am going to help organize her, so she would never ever lose her earrings in her pocketbook again,” Janssen, 43, of Greenwich said.
She did just that. The result is Gemvelopes, a much cooler way of carting bling than clear zippered plastic bags.
She gave one to her friend for her birthday and people have been clamoring to get their hands on them since.
“It’s for the niche of going to the day spa or the gym or just to have in your pocketbook,” she said.
Shops from Boston to Los Angeles are carrying the bags and just about every woman who orders them for the stores buys one for herself, Janssen said.
“I never really thought that my small idea would blossom into a business that is growing steadily each month,” she said.
The 5"-by-5" pouches come in designs to match your fashion mood -- floral, leopard print, brown suede and more. If you don’t find one you’re in love with, check again soon. Janssen adds new patterns often.
Inside, there is a cushion to keep your earrings secure, there’s a strap for rings and necklaces and a pocket for bracelets or other bejeweled item your heart desires to keep with you. It all ties up neatly with a little bow -- that matches of course.
The cotton pouches go for $24.99 and the suede go for $45.
Janssen made the first batch by hand, but now a manufacturer in China makes the bags. She wanted to produce them in the United States but it was too expensive.
“China has made it way too easy for me,” she said.
They e-mail her the swatches so she can see the design and send material she is interested in so she can touch the fabric and keep control over what she is using.
They are for sale all over Greenwich, including at Empy's Day Spa, Patricia Gourley and Abigail DeG. Fox.
Ultimately, Janssen would love to be in every state and then go global.
“I take one step at a time. I don’t want to expand too quickly and not have enough in for the demand,” she said.