I never cease to be amazed by the kindness and ingenuity of the people in our community.
Recently, I learned of two friends with corporate backgrounds—Karen Fedyzen and Nancy Olsen—who had toyed with the idea of going into business with each other. Then one afternoon, an idea hit Nancy in the head—literally.
“I was cleaning my closet, using the quiet time to pray, and a prototype I had designed years ago fell off a shelf and on to my head,” remembers Nancy. “I took that as a sign–and an answer to a prayer.”
The prototype was for a shopping cart handle protector. This machine-washable wrap goes around the handle of a grocery cart, protecting a shopper from dirt and germs. Karen and Nancy call it the “Handle Hugger.”
“We had no idea when we started talking about the Handle Hugger that we’d be launching it in a year where it would be so useful,” says Karen, alluding to the pandemic, who has spent many a day masked up with a tape measure and her prototypes testing how they worked on carts from Costco to Home Depot to Jewel. The Handle Hugger comes in a variety of patterns and is priced at a point where you can have a few on hand, allowing you to have one in the washing machine and others in your car ready to go when you’re at the market—perfect this time of the year as you’re knocking out your holiday shopping.
In addition to being sold on Amazon and Shopify, Handle Huggers are now available at Sunset Foods. Sunset will carry several colors, plus their own privately branded Handle Huggers. “We feel it’s important to be flexible,” says Karen. “Although, we hadn’t planned on creating branded shopping cart handle covers, it makes great sense for our retail customers. It was pretty easy for us to adjust and deliver what they wanted.” Karen and Nancy have many more products in the pipeline for launch 2021–all with the same purpose.
From the beginning, Karen and Nancy have felt any business they created together was called to something higher, as both felt very moved to be “cause-preneurs.”
“Our faith has been telling us that we have an opportunity to give back,” Nancy says. “We feel very passionately about this and have decided to give 10% of our profits from Handle Hugger sales to organizations working to help victims of sex trafficking like Operation Underground Railroad. We just wrote them a check that we were proud to give them. It means so much to see this idea that we had once just talked about really flourish and work as we had hoped.”
The Handle Hugger is a great stocking stuffer or a must-have item for yourself to help keep you—and little ones sitting in the front of your shopping cart—healthy this winter. It’s the best kind of gift where everyone involved is an absolute winner.
To learn more about the Handle Hugger, visit their website.