Local product maker in nationwide Walmart contest
Entrepreneurs often come up with ideas based on a recognized need in their own lives, and Beth Tucker's Eye-Pocket cell phone carrier was born in such a way last year.
"I started searching for a way for me to carry my own phone, because for women it's often a challenge, because we don't always have pockets or use belt clips," Tucker said. "There just wasn't a real good system out there."
Tucker set out to make her own from scratch, using patterns and materials from Fabric Row in Philadelphia to create a small, fashionable carrier that would keep women from having to dig in their purse for their phone.
After a trial-and-error period of testing on friends, Tucker settled on a design. She describes the Eye-Pocket as "an innovative, sleek smart phone carrier with a touch-screen enabled sheer side." The strapped carrier's sheer element allows one to check and use their phone discreetly without having to remove it. Its adjustable strap can go cross-body or over the shoulder.
Last fall, Tucker approached the West Chester University bookstore about selling her product, and it became her first outlet.
"It went okay, but the challenge there was they have so much in that store and it kind of got lost," Tucker said. "It showed me I needed to work on a better display system, so since then, I've been able to provide a nice display rack."
Tucker said the product is now in five West Chester-area boutiques and one in New Jersey. It is also available at her website, www.eye-pocket.com.
The Eye-Pocket isn't Tucker's first design effort, as she previously created a line of fitness clothing. In selecting fabric for the Eye-Pocket's decorative side, she adjusts to fashion trends and the time of year.
"I look for things that appeal to all ages," Tucker said. "The ones that are in stores now are moving towards fall colors."
About a month ago on an entrepreneurial website, Tucker saw a Walmart promotion called "Get on the Shelf," where people can vote for products they'd like to see the giant retailer carry. Tucker submitted a promotional video, and last week was notified that Eye-Pocket is now in the running among over 200 entries in the fashion apparel category.
Through Sept. 2, people can vote once per day, and top vote-getters will take part in a web series, where another round of voting will select winners to have their product sold on Walmart.com.
Getting hooked up with the world's largest retailer would be a life-changer.
"It would be great," Tucker said. "Just being a part of the contest now is great exposure. It's pretty exciting, and I just want to capitalize on it as much as possible.