NFL bag ban? Bah. Fans make stadium-friendly purses
Nothing may be more of a necessity to a woman than her purse, but the NFL this year banned all backpacks and purses larger than the size of a hand.
It's a safety measure, and it is also supposed to reduce the time it takes to go through security checks at football games. Any bag larger than the size of a hand must be made of a clear material, but no woman wants people seeing the innards of her purse.
Some fans are furious, but Beth Saacks, a dentist and die-hard New Orleans Saints fan, and Rachael Couvillion, an appraiser for a mortgage company, see an economic opportunity.
"As a 25-year NFL season ticket holder, I feel this purse ban is beyond ridiculous," Saacks said.
The pair have 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.”
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. They have ordered a thousand bags to be 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 personal items in pockets, and you can even control your iPod through the outer material.
Saacks is hoping to expand Aunt Fleaux's to more teams, but not to all. "We are fully prepared to market them to the whole NFL, except our enemies, the Atlanta Falcons, as I promised my teenage son I would not."
—By CNBC's Jane Wells; Follow her on Twitter @janewells.