How COVID Revived The Fanny Pack

fanny pack
Mary Grace Sahagun

Lifestyle Writer

Sep 27, 2022

 Aussie entrepreneurs Emily Bitkow and Sarah Hua have brought the fanny pack back. Here’s how!

 Emily Bitkow and Sarah Hua
 Emily Bitkow and Sarah Hua

VIVRA was founded by two friends in Brisbane as a side hustle to provide trendy and practical magnetic belt-free bags to local markets and shops. The RFID lining in the totes prevents identity thieves from stealing your credit card information.

When Covid struck, and most of their shops went out of business, the two Brisbane locals feared it was the end of their business. They made the decision to try selling VIVRA online, and almost immediately ran out of supplies over the next four months.

In what was a gamble, Emily, 35, said they put in their biggest order — of 25,000 units. Luckily it paid off and VIVRA, which won Small Retailer of the Year last year, is now a six-figure business, going from selling 10 units a day to over 100 units a day.

“It was a risk, but a risk worth taking,” says Emily. “While runners and people into their fitness have always bought the bags, the travel industry was huge for us prior to Covid as the bags have RFID fabric which protects credit cards from being skimmed.

“When the country was on lockdown and all the retailers started closing down we initially thought we’d have to go into hibernation. 

Then we figured it was worth pivoting and going online, so people would have funky bags to carry their hand sanitiser and things around in – and it went gangbusters.

“It blew up overnight and we sold out four months’ worth of stock immediately. That’s when we decided to just go for it and put in an order of 25,000 bags, and it saw us through Covid.

“It’s been an incredible ride since then and we’re constantly taking risks in the hope that it will pay off.

“Thankfully it has done so far.”   

More fashion stories here!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

By Mary Grace Sahagun

Lifestyle Writer

Mary Grace Sahagun is a Lifestyle Writer for The Carousel and Women Love Tech. Mary Grace turned her hand to writing after she began her career as an aircraft engineer.

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