Melissa Yanovitch (left) and Jennifer Bivona, creators of the Pursebox (top right), available in three vibrant colors, are making school lunch a little more fun and a lot more stylish.
What’s a young girl to do when she wants to look cool at school but her lunchbox options are limited to Dora the Explorer and other icons of the grade-school set? That was precisely the question asked and answered by Melissa Yanovitch and Jennifer Bivona, founders of the Miami-based start-up Ma Petite and creators of the Pursebox. Inspired by Jennifer’s childhood habit of carrying her mother’s purses to school, the line consists of insulated lunchboxes that look just like luxe purses.
“We couldn’t believe there wasn’t anything on the market already and initially sent out a bunch of prototypes to Miami-based moms,” says Yanovitch. “Before we even launched, people were finding our website and the pre-orders started coming in quickly. The thing we didn’t expect is how many moms would order one for their child and then, as soon as they received it, order another one for themselves and some as gifts.”
Sales are booming for the BPA-free Purseboxes, which can be carried by hand or slung over the shoulder with the included cross-body strap, and girls everywhere are happily toting their sandwiches in style. Tweens (and their moms) are especially pleased with the bright, age-appropriate designs, which let them segue into adolescence in a suitable yet still fashionable way. Best of all, a portion of the sales proceeds are donated to Baby2Baby, an organization that provides diapers, clothing, and other basic necessities for low-income children.