About a year ago from this date, I dreamt of Taryn Zhang purse hooks, and even blogged photoshopped renditions of what a Taryn Zhang purse hook might look like. (Sooo glad the actual ones look better than my photoshopped renditions…) There was also this post that disclosed some of the conception and design processes behind making a purse hook.
It’s real now. I’ve got samples of Taryn Zhang purse hooks sitting on my desk. In the above photo you can see my sketched out idea for the design that I sent to the factory and then the actual sample purse hook they sent back to me. These little guys are made in Taiwan. I’m Taiwanese American. So my purse hooks getting made in Taiwan means something poignant to me. Doing business in Taiwan has been a joy. The factory is prompt, candid, provides exceptional customer service, and we talk off-business a lot about the differences between growing up in Taiwan and growing up in the States.
The top of the medallion (the darker circle part) is black nickel plated. For the geeks among us, and I’m certainly one of them, here’s a quick wiki on nickel electroplating. When I first started design of these, I wanted black nickel because I thought they looked prettier and assumed that wear resistance and corrosion protection would be the same as the pure nickel plates (which are silver, rather than the darker metallic tone). So I chose black nickel plating because I like the darker tone look. However, after more research, it seems like the pure nickel plating is more durable, with better wear resistance and corrosion protection than the black nickel plating. Now I have to figure out a way to quantify the trade-off and determine whether I want to go with the black nickel or the pure nickel.
Overall, I love these purse hook medallions. They’re small and compact. The medallion is less than 2 inches in diameter and less than 0.5 inches in thickness. They’ll tuck away quite nicely in a clutch or small evening purse, and yet they hold 10 pounds, so you can hang any one of the TZ briefcases and even the weekender off this thing and it’ll do. (Though I wouldn’t advise that you hang it with your laptop computer or law school casebooks in the bag… 10 pounds isn’t that much!)
The little stick part connected to and jutting out of the medallion pulls out, and then slips back into the circle when you store it away. Also, the stem part that wraps around the medallion (or whatever you’re supposed to call it) is magnetic, and will cling to the medallion nicely when the hook is not in use. If you feel one of these things in your hands, you’d note they’re heavy, quite sturdy, and are of better quality than a lot of the medallion-type purse hooks that are sold on the general market.
That said, I don’t like how the black nickel part smudges. Brush a thumb across the medallion and CSI would be like, “Bingo. This is too easy. Run it through AFIS now!” I believe there is a coating we can apply to the purse hooks so that they don’t smudge and take fingerprints as easily, but the catch is two-fold: the coating would take away from the elegant sheen that you see now on the medallion (probably not that discernible in these photos, sorry) and also I’m sure the chemicals for such a coating aren’t happy stuff. I kind of like how the purse hooks right now are au naturale. I am also one of those OCD personality types and would literally go nuts every time I saw fingerprint smudges on the medallion. So that’s another trade-off I need to consider. Happy green sustainability or my sanity… haha, for anyone into logical fallacies, what a false dilemma I’ve presented myself with there.
The biggest bag in our debut collection is the Peripatetic weekender tote (see above). I suspended a reasonably filled Peripatetic, with the heavy chains of the detachable shoulder strap attached, and suspended it with the purse hook to see how it’d do. There are several file folders, notebooks, my Kindle, makeup bag, and typical stuff women have in their purses currently inside that Peripatetic and yet it hung quite securely off the hook. I wouldn’t bat the bag around while it’s on the hook, but as long as you don’t kick at it or beat it about, your purse will stay off the ground.
No clue how I ever dined out before without bringing along a purse hook! These things are fantastic! We haven’t figured out exactly how we’ll be packaging the purse hooks yet. Are we going to sell them separately? Are they going to come with every purchase of a bag? Should they come in pretty little boxes? Or drawstring velvet pouches? These are business questions for Hubby to decide on. =) Sigh… our work here is never done. Ever.