After UF implemented a clear-bag policy for football games in 2016, some students were left scrambling for a new purse.
Clarity Handbags, a clear-bag company created by Julia Renner, a 21-year-old UF public relations senior, provides affordable bags that work in venues with a clear-bag policy.
UF implemented the clear-bag policy to enhance game day safety. This limited the types of bags fans could bring inside to a clear plastic bag that shows the contents inside.
The company launched this August and sold out of the first 500 bags in two months, Renner said. Her products are available on her website, Amazon and in boutiques across the country.
Renner said her handbags are cheaper than others on the market. As a student, she said she wanted her bags to be accessible to other students. The site offers four styles for around $50 a bag. The site offers four styles for around $50 a bag.
The idea for the business came when she was driving seven and a half hours from Charlotte, North Carolina, back to Gainesville her junior year, Renner said. She and her father came up with the company after talking about her game day attire.
Renner said she wanted a bag she and her mother could bring to games, and the idea expanded from there.
After looking at options for clear bags, she said there wasn’t many to pick from.
“I wasn't going to carry a Ziploc bag,” she said.
It took over a year of product prototypes and refinements to create a bag she felt met her requirements, Renner said.
The bag is made from vegan leather and lightweight plastic. The business offers four styles, with each bag costing up to $50.
Renner has ordered 3,000 more bags, and she said she is excited to expand her brand. She said her bags have been bought from the Florida Keys to Los Angeles, but she would still like to grow the business online. With her profits, she wants to continue developing new products.
After graduation, Renner said she wants to keep up the business. She’s also looking to partner with a nonprofit organization to provide clean water to those in need.
“Clear bags, clear water,” she said.
A handwritten note sat inside Clarity Handbags customer Caroline Buchanan’s package. The 21-year-old UF soil and water science senior said she’s never received a thank-you note from a company she’s purchased from online.
“It made me feel like I wasn't just any old client, but I was Caroline,” Buchanan said.