The power of social media lies in its ability to give everyone the chance to promote their creations to an audience outside of traditional forms of marketing. We see it with everything from baking blogs to the Instagram pages of artists whose creations have a special humility that is often missing from things sold in the traditional marketplace.
Everyday innovators get to share their ideas in a way that feels the most organic while opening themselves up to valuable feedback to help them improve upon their concepts.
There’s typically a mistrust of buying things off of social media, and many times for good reason, but occasionally you might find something interesting enough that you’re willing to take a gamble on.
I recently found out about something called The Jurse.
The Jurse is a faux leather jacket that folds into a 12-inch cross-body bag. It features an internal shoulder strap and a large 7-inch pocket just for the essentials. The jacket’s exterior pockets are still accessible even while in purse form. It comes in a few different colors and denim and costs anywhere from $70 – $120.
It was created by a Black American chemist-turned-designer named Brandi Long. Her creation (along with a hoodie that turns into a backpack) has gathered a bit of media attention for being a creative solution to womens’ struggle with always needing to carry so much stuff. She’s been quoted saying she got the original idea from her own frustrations about where to put her jacket during a night out.
I first found out about the brand, B.Long Fashion, and The Jurse when my friend sent me an Instagram link to the brand’s account page. Knowing I’m a “purse person,” she wanted to get my opinion on the idea and whether it’s one I would ever consider adding to my collection. And since I write about purses for a living I decided to share my thoughts here.
Truth be told…
I love it.
I know we all love our high-end handbags, but whether anyone else considers the design as needless or simply a social media gimmick, I think it’s pretty neat. I’m a fan of stuff like this (I already own a phone-charging clutch), so I immediately saw the value of the bag for a few reasons:
1. It’s innovative
As a purse aficionado, I’m always happy to see a new and interesting take on the accessory’s design. This has become especially meaningful during a period that feels like bigger brands have simply begun to feed off of each other’s ideas, giving us five different versions of the same bag with varying logos. True innovation is coming up with a product that customers didn’t even know they needed. The Jurse and The Jurse Hoodie have introduced a new hybrid garment that directly addresses a problem that many of us face.
2. It’s practical
Also, as someone who has lost three (yes, three) leather jackets at bars within the past fifteen years, the creations stand out to me due to their practicality.
If you live somewhere with drastic temperature swings, you know all too well that adding and removing layers becomes a frequent annoyance when you’re just trying to frolic around town.
Not every activity warrants hauling around a $2,000 bag full of gum and receipts. Sometimes you just want to go for a long walk in the city center without worrying about getting cold or getting robbed once the sun goes down.
At just $120, The Jurse is something that seems to be a low-risk and useful purchase.
3. It’s calculated
In my post about the 4 Qualities to Consider When Buying from Contemporary Brands, I mentioned that you should avoid brands that have a “here today-gone tomorrow” business strategy. Despite B.Long Fashion being a newer small business, its founder appears to have done her research.
According to her website, the bag took three years since inception to actually produce. During that time she tweaked her design, wrote and applied for a patent, and worked on the website and branding. She even went on to win $15,000 in investment capital from an innovation summit.
This type of visible, consistent effort from a creator shows they have a genuine passion for whatever it is they’re trying to sell me. And that’s something I truly can get behind.
On top of that, it’s 10x cuter than my other packable jacket. I think I’ll get one in red.
But what do you all think?
Do you think there needs to be more innovation in the fashion industry? Do you have any neat bags with extra functional features? Have you ever bought something from social media?