A simple change in daily routine can have an enormous effect on everything else in life. Even something as small as how we bring our shopping bags from the car into the house can set us on a path no one could have predicted. Ten years ago, Kim Meckwood, the inventor of Click & Carry, was living in an upstairs apartment in Brentwood, California. Bringing groceries to her apartment required carrying groceries up several long flights of stairs and through multiple doors just to get to the front door. After finishing shopping, she would call her boyfriend from the car to come down the stairs to help her bring up the groceries. Then life happened; the two parted ways, and Kim found herself struggling to carry the shopping bags herself.
Kim knew she needed to come up with something that made shopping easier. Like the beginnings of so many inventions, she had identified a common problem that many people dealt with and the stirrings of a solution began to take hold in her subconscious.
She dreamt of a simple, strong device that could hold multiple bags and be placed on the shoulder for easier carrying. She made several iterations of her device and ultimately created the perfect prototype. Once that was accomplished, she filed for a patent and made a mold. Kim received two utility patents on the Click & Carry. U.S. Patent No. 7874602 protects the original invention while U.S. Patent No. 8182008 incorporates a fracture-inspired innovation. Her attorney foresaw that the device would be used for other functions and wrote the patent to encompass a wide range of purposes and materials.
Well, what is a Click & Carry?
Click & Carry is a simple, handle device that allows shoppers to manage and carry multiple bags at once – comfortably. Click & Carry may be CARRIED in the HANDS or WORN over the SHOULDERS. When worn over the shoulder for easier carrying, the device uses the weight of the bags to counterbalance for a “hands-free” carry.
Click & Carry benefits Shoppers with a Conforming Gel Grip, a Rotating Top to easily load/unload bags, it provides Even Distribution of Weight, Carries up to 80 lbs. and is CARRIED in the HANDS or WORN over one’s SHOULDER.
Click & Carry is also used for paint cans/construction pails, for dry cleaning, as a ski boot tote, to carry sports equipment and to walk multiple dogs at once.
After receiving the patents, Kim continued her career as a successful saleswoman in medical devices at Medtronic, but she would often discuss her idea with close confidants and clients. Then, life happened again. Kim had a life-altering experience when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. The journey through cancer gave her the faith and determination to quit her stable job and follow her true passion of bringing her product to market. She remained at Medtronic until the end of 2012 and then set out on her journey to launch Click & Carry nationwide.
Kim’s breakthrough occurred at the Home + Housewares Show in Chicago where, unbeknownst to her, she had been discovered by QVC. Skinnygirl mogul, Bethenny Frankel, was ending her syndicated talk show. On her show, Bethenny had a weekly segment titled “Bethenny in your Business” where she would highlight a woman owned business each week and offer the owner business advice and a $5,000 or $10,000 stipend to help move the business forward. Bethenny wanted her final “Bethenny in your Business” to be huge. Kim was asked to come onto her show where she received the surprise of a lifetime. Not only did she receive amazing advice from Bethenny, but Kim was also honored with a QVC contract by QVC’s most popular hosts David Venable and Lisa Robertson. Needless to say, Kim is VERY appreciated to Bethenny, QVC and Ellen DeGeneres, The Bethenny Show’s executive producer, for her “Big Break”. Later that year, Click & Carry was awarded The QVC Sprouts Gadget of the Year.
Click & Carry is currently sold at QVC and QVC.com, at Ralphs, The Container Store, Corningware Stores and ShopRite. She will be selling at Lowe’s in the near future in the paint department. She has ideas for new designs that expand the applications of the technology as well as diversified marketing plans. She is currently seeking an equity investor to help her move her business to the next level. She is also an accredited member of WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) because Click & Carry is 100% woman owned and operated.
In time, all the pieces will certainly “Click” into place for Kim.
When asked what she would say to fellow women entrepreneurs, she said, “My advice for others is to not give up. So many people are naysayers and they will shoot down your idea. You need to do your own research of the competition and marketplace to ensure you aren’t wasting your time. Once you get to that stage and you realize, hey, this is a viable product, that’s when you know that you have something good on your hands. Or in your hands in Click & Carry’s case.”