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Arthritis Handbag Discussion
DaapStudent13 posted:
I am a design student and preparing to launch a line of handbags that help with arthritis pain and hard to open zippers and compartments and would love feedback for the following questions from any woman who is suffering from arthritis that has trouble using their handbags due to their hand pain.

1: What are the biggest problems you have with your handbag today (i.e zipppers, pockets, overall handbag weight)
(Please list brand and style if you know it)

2: what hand positions are hard for you to make in regards to using your handbag? Do you have trouble grabbing your zipper? reaching into your handbag? Holding the weight on your arm?

3: if YOU could have a handbag designed for your arthritis needs what would it include?

4: Do you feel you have to choose function over fashion and settle for a bag that is not as nice that helps your hands or do you choose fashion over function and deal with your hand pain? Why?

Thank you!!
Born_to_be_blonde responded:
Its great that you are designing an accessory for us with arthritus. Arthritus works in many mysterious ways by moving around the body and affecting different joints on different days. I am 27 and was actually graduated with a degree in design. One of my biggest problems is that my handbags hurt my shoulders, which hurt my neck, which causes stiffness blah, blah, blah. The straps are not thick/wide enough to distribute the weight appropitaly. It would be great to have an area designed specifically to contain perscription bottles or even a flat sturdy bottom. Instead of zippers, maybe the openings could contain magnets. Keep the inside of the handbag light in color so its easy to find what we need quickly. Suprisingly, even looking thru our purses takes quite a bit of energy and can wear us easily. Please try to make any openings on the purse the same size as the compartment it is going into. Currently the purse that I am using today, Coach Maggie bag, the main opening is smaller than the area it goes into so it makes it a little hard to get into it easily and def. makes it much harder to see into. If you put zippers on the purse, try adding a tab so that we have something larger to grab onto.
xperky replied to Born_to_be_blonde's response:
I also carry a Coach Maggie bag! My hubby gave it to me for an anniversary gift. I love the quality and the feel and smell of the leather but I am saddened to realize the heavy weight is becoming a problem now that my RA is getting worse.

I would find it easier to carry a bag with a large, long strap across my body. My shoulders hurt when it is on one side and my hands hurt if I grasp it for long. My arm complains if I carry it too long with my elbow bent.

I like to have a few pockets and divisions inside to keep things easy to find. I also need an ample opening to easily slide items in and out. Of course the opening needs to be securable too. I like magnetic snaps and a roomy zippered compartment to secure my wallet. I have trouble getting my wallet in and out quickly enough at checkouts. Zippers need big grippers and need to slide easily without grabbing the whole bag, but I don't know how to design that! I don't like my zippered coin compartment on my wallet at all.

I am still loving my fashionable/quality bag, but may need to fall back on an old nylon, across-the-body bag I have for running errands. I would still use the Coach bag for social events.

Thanks for working on this problem for us. I think you could sell an arthritis-friendly bag with the proper advertising. Good luck.
weloveshoes responded:
This is Wonderful DaapStudent13. How did you come to wanting to design a handbag for Arthritis Sufferers? Just Curious

I agree with the other bloggers. A Magnetic opening would be great. Wider Shoulder Straps, pockets, pulls and bales that are a nice size so we don't have to grip so closely and Lightweight (without all of our belongings in it). I prefer designer handbags, but I'm finding that Leather Handbags are getting to heavy especially when I have flare ups in hands, wrists and shoulders. I LOVE Soft Leather Handbags but they're not the best for Arthritis sufferers.

Good Luck with you project and I look forward to seeing what you've designed! )
DaapStudent13 replied to weloveshoes's response:
thank you all for your replies! I became interested in designing for arthritis suffers because my grandmother has arthritis, but even I have trouble opening my purse at times and I do not have arthritis! After that i kept noticing how many bags are hard to open or have tiny pockets ect! So i hope to make a difference in design by making a great product that actually WORKS!
bleeski replied to DaapStudent13's response:
Remember us when you have a design that you feel works!Many of us would probably love to help you in your endeavor.We definitely need more new approaches in all different areas.If there are any ambitious entrepreneurs out there-the arthritis community (both osteo & RA) needs new products to help us in our daily lives!
LokRobster replied to bleeski's response:
LadyNerilka responded:
I like carrying handbags on my forearm, with my elbow bent most of the time, but a bag with an option to also have a shoulder/ across body strap would always be great. What would be very very helpful is wide padded straps to disperse the weight better. And ones that aren't really slippery. Magnetic snaps for the main closure would be fantastic. Bags with more structure are easier and less tiring to dig through. Extra pockets are always nice. Pockets with elastic at the top to hold things in are usually painful to use.
Julia912 responded:
Longchamp is light and you can design your own I have short strap and long depending on what hurts me most that day! It is very RA friendly so if youre designing a bag I'd keep that in mind! I have so many- it's the only brand I can use everything else is way to bulky.
KatinaM responded:
I'd say backpack, too, except that lately I'm finding it difficult to take one off my back. There are a lot of good suggestions on here. I, too, would like a flat, solid bottom that allows the purse to stand, a large enough opening, magnetic closures, wide straps and a light weight to the bag.

Additionally, dividers or a good array of pockets to make it easy to quickly find keys, meds, chapstick, cell phone, etc.

And I like long straps that you can wear across the body the best, but I do find I have to switch shoulders often, especially if I am out shopping, so I've often wondered if it would help to have that across the body strap AND a belt for around the hips to distribute the weight off the shoulders. But a pretty belt, not a fanny bag kind of thing.

Barring that, I've taken to wearing cargo pants so I can stuff my pockets with stuff I would normally put in a purse, so take my design ideas with that in mind - lol. I'm not exactly a fashion mavin.
BarbaraPDuke responded:
The bag should be as light as possible. I find that a purse that has a expandable strap is the best. Some days might be alright over the shoulder, but some days call for a cross-over bag. I would like a nice waist purse that is not ugly to wear when I go shopping so I don't have to worry about a purse at all.
What about a nice wallet that has a belt for shopping and the put it in the purse for other times.
There is some very nice pleather that is light and comes in colors. I would like something like a messenger bag with a flap with magnetic closure, and at least 2 sections, one with a zipper with easy slide pull. It should be at least large enough to put an IPad in. The wallet could be a mini-messenger bag.
An_255635 replied to DaapStudent13's response:
Hi DaapStudent13 ... have you pursued this idea and had this handbag manufactured?

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