BizVoice July/August 2014 - page 51

July/August 2014 – BizVoice/Indiana Chamber
Students in Indiana State
University’s TAM-111 course
(textile and apparel merchandising)
hastily entered a 2013 design
contest conducted by Fort
Wayne-based Natril Gear – an
outdoor company specializing in
bicycle accessories.
Despite having less than
three weeks to design and
create their submissions, the ISU
students’ wallet and wristlet
product was selected runner-up
winner in the contest.
“We got a flyer from the
company that there was a
contest, and the design had to
use scraps (from backpacks the
company makes for cyclists),”
explains course instructor Edie
Wittenmyer. “We went online
and looked at the backpacks
and the students began to think
about what (cyclists) would want to carry with them.”
Natril has placed the wallets/wristlets into production.
“We hadn’t anticipated an entire university class would submit an
entry in our contest, so that was a great surprise,” reveals Natril Gear
owner April Reinhard. “Part of our mission statement is to encourage
people to try new things and help others live their dreams. We loved
the creative and original features in their wallet prototype.”
The design includes:
• A clear pocket that holds a phone, map or other small items
• A secure snap closure system
• A wristlet for those who don’t want to carry a full wallet, which
features two pockets and a window to display identification
The wallets debuted at the National Bike Summit in Washington,
D.C. on March 3, and Natril sold out its inventory at the time.
“We’ve had a great response from our customers to them being a
100% scrap product, so even if it means they’ll be out of stock
occasionally, we are committed to making them entirely out of our
scrap,” Reinhard mentions.
Wittenmyer adds that much of the excitement stems from the fact
that her course includes sewing beginners.
“Our students can now put it on their resumes that they are
designers for Natril,” she points out. “Every time Natril talks about the
wallet, they always mention that it was from ISU students.”
Indiana State Students Innovate Cycling Fashion
Beginning fashion design students
at Indiana State University turned
scrap material into a convenient
accessory for cyclists.
April Reinhard, Natril Gear, at
| Edie Wittenmyer, Indiana State University, at
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