Saturday, August 9, 2008

Exchange: Honda for Granny

Recently I was visiting my friend Moya in Washington, DC. One of her roommates was running out to the store and taking the Granny cart with her. One of those rickety metal bin type things with wheels that look like they are about to fall off at any moment. Clunky, and too expensive if you ask me, but they get the job done when one if car-less with arms full of stuff.  

As I was cutting up mangoes for the fruit salad I asked Moya why in the world someone doesn't invent a better Granny cart that doesn't make everyone who owns one feel like a loser. She stopped mashing up the avocados for the guacamole, looked over at me, and said, "I nominate you." And then she went back to her guacamole. 

I have been thinking about this now for weeks. I was toddling around the Container Store this weekend because I am on the brink of trading in my beloved Honda which has seen me through more moves than I care to admit, and many a tough time. I'm joining the legion of Granny cart owners in NYC - and those metal rickety things are indispensable here. You must have one for laundry, groceries, etc., unless you are fortunate enough to have some big hulk-y man follow you around for the express purpose of carrying all your packages. I don't have that man, so it's me and Granny. And because I refuse to spend $40 on something at the corner store that might make it a month or so before falling apart, I bought one that was slightly more expensive from those wonderful people at the Container Store. 

Not to be purposely critical, but the Container Store could do better. Or as Moya told me when I sent her a picture of the Container Store model, "You could do better." She's right, and I need to stop complaining and start prototyping. I am critical by nature - my mother will back me up on this one - and I am now at a point where I can improve products and bring them to market if I put my mind and muscle to the test. 

Already I'm compiling a list of improvements to Granny. The challenge is I haven't the slightest idea of how to get a product like this made so I have begun researching manufacturing, shipping, etc. It's fascinating to learn how all of these products that we take for granted in a store actually get on those shelves. And I'm excited to work on the project. So if you've been wishing for a better Granny, she's on the way!    

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