My name is Darla Phillips and I am the Inventor of Luggage Spotter!
Luggage Spotter is a patented, ergonomically developed, removable wrap around handle cover that attaches to bag handles with Velcro and helps identify look-a-like bags quickly. I designed Luggage Spotter after tirelessly picking up 20 black bags to see which one was mine! After the initial idea, I quickly learned by adding a layer of cushioning inside the product, it also helped to reduce strain on my hands, neck, shoulders, and back while carrying heavy bags or toting luggage!
I wanted my personal information to be confidential, so I positioned a clear pocket inside that houses your identification or business card ensuring privacy while traveling. The durable denier fabric (the same fabric as luggage) makes this unique design long lasting for years to come!
I’ve also used Luggage Spotters as a shoulder pad, seat belt strap, backpack spotter for my daughter and now granddaughters, I wrap them around shopping bag handles, grocery bags, and so much more! Go ahead, use your imagination and see how many different uses you can create for Luggage Spotter!
Luggage Spotter has become a great success since I invented the product back in 1998 when I was a single Mom who struggled just to get by while I worked three jobs just trying to make ends meet. I didn't have self-confidence nor did I believe in myself until one day I made a decision to stop feeling sorry for myself and pursue my dreams! I was not college educated and I didn't know anyone who might be able to help me, but I knew I wanted to own my own business, so I just took a chance and never looked back!
I’ve been told I was an unlikely candidate for business success since I grew up with little to no confidence but I truly believed in my dreams and I felt my ideas were strong, but even more importantly, I was driven to build a better life for my daughter and myself!
I basically learned from trial and error and made a lot of mistakes along the way. I’m pretty sure that’s what made me so resilient! I struggled desperately trying to seek help, while many doors closed time and time again!
Overcoming many obstacles, my patents were officially filed and Luggage Spotter was scheduled for it's first debut on QVC. But two weeks before my show was supposed to air 9-11 happened and QVC cancelled all travel-affiliated items because people were too afraid to fly since the terror attacks! I never got another booking with QVC!
Even after all the hard work I'd put into Luggage Spotter I realized there is usually a blessing in disguise when something bad happens and this was one of those times! Once I picked myself up and brushed myself off, I decided to expand my network and sell Luggage Spotters in the Promotional Products Industry. It certainly wasn’t easy, but after building a solid business, employing 25 people and sales peaking at $5 million, I knew I had a winner!
The downside of my success; I was working 7 days a week and had major burn out. So I started researching licensing and discovered I could potentially license my patents, collect a royalty and sell my assets. I was fortunate that the first company I contacted wanted to license Luggage Spotter and purchase most of my assets. It was a Godsend!
After I signed the licensing deal I wanted to get Luggage Spotters printed with sports logos so I researched trade shows in that arena and went to a show in Vegas. I walked the show and met with a few companies who already had the licenses with the major leagues. Making a long story short, Luggage Spotters were officially licensed a second time with the NFL, NCAA, MLB and NBA! You can license your product multiple times if you approach it the right way. I explain this in more detail in my licensing 101 article.
Even though it took me almost 10 years to come full circle with my idea I am so glad I didn't give up! I made a tone of mistakes and wasted so much money but I don't regret seeing it through because the royalties I have received in the past 10 years has been awesome and gave me a ton of freedom to do other things I wanted to pursue.
If you have a dream, don’t push it aside! Grab onto it and do something about it! I’m not saying it will be easy but you will never know until you try! I never gave up! I made a decision to believe in my ideas and myself and kept putting one foot in front of the other!
Most importantly, I have grown into a secure, self-motivated woman who now loves herself and that is my greatest accomplishment during this journey over the past 15 years! So go ahead… hope, dream, and don’t be afraid to take the first step in making your dreams come true!