INnovators: Safety, Style Drive Fashion Tech Startup

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(Image courtesy of Aubry Lane.) (Image courtesy of Aubry Lane.)
INDIANAPOLIS -

A Hoosier entrepreneur has launched a startup marrying peace-of-mind with fashion. Indianapolis-based Aubry Lane designs and manufactures handbags that integrate GPS tracking technology and cellular "S.O.S." devices to alert contacts during dangerous situations or when the bag is lost. During The INnovators with Dr. K, founder and Chief Executive Officer Jordan Hetlund said the company is poised to grow by $30 million - $60 million within the next five or six years. Aubry Lane is already planning to enter international markets, including Mexico and Brazil.

The U.S. handbag market alone is valued at $10 billion annually and Hetlund says crossing over into personal safety boosts the company's potential universe of buyers. "We sell all over the United States," Hetlund told Donald "Dr. K" Kuratko, who serves as Jack M. Gill Chair of Entrepreneurship at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business in Bloomington. "Our customer base is 16-89 and we just released some kids bags, so it's going to open up that market and then the Mexico piece is important and Brazil is tremendous for us."

Dr. K provided Hetlund with a "prescription" for the next steps:

  1. Publicity- "try to create an awareness for you product for concerned women, so I think you're trying to do that... getting on Facebook and getting this out."
  2. Partnerships- "think about establishing industry partners for inclusion in either other safety products or other fashion products, which I think would be fabulous, because you can do some licensing there."
  3. Product Development- "(the company could develop) further derivative products off of this."

Aubry Lane bills itself as a first-of-its-kind company and you can find our more about it by clicking here.

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