The Story of “The Lubber Tote”
My name is Dennis Brazzell. I am the inventor of the “Lubber Tote.” The “Lubber” story began under tragic circumstances. I worked for Ford Motor Company for 14 years. As with many other manufacturing jobs in the United States, my job ended abruptly in December of 2006. Not knowing what I was going to do with the rest of my life, I decided to take my wife Suzanne and my daughters Emma Grace, and Hannah to Florida for what I thought would be the last trip I could afford to take them on for a long time.
While on my vacation, wondering what I was going to do with the rest of my life, I began to notice many people wearing the new, colorful, “rubber clog shoes.” It seemed everyone had a pair. I wondered how these shoes could be so popular. We ended up purchasing pairs for the whole family.
One day I thought, “A woman always matches her shoes to her purse.” Surely, with so many companies manufacturing these shoes, someone would offer a tote or purse that would match the shoes. After much research, I couldn’t find anyone that offered a product like my idea. I couldn’t wait to end my vacation and get to work on a design.
After arriving back home to Tennessee, I would stay up to the wee hours of the morning doing sketches of what I truly believed was a great idea. I finally settled on one design. I showed it to many people to get their reaction. Most all people thought it was a great idea, but most thought it was just an idea. They never really believed I would actually produce the product. I continued to work on the tote at night and found a sales job to work during the day.
When we received the first tote shipment, it was like Christmas morning to all of us. I could hardly believe it; I actually created a product from start to finish. My little girls would help pack the orders, In addition to the Lubber tote, my wife and I agreed to add and design unique charms called “Lubbs”. These charms enable the owner of a Lubber Tote to individualize their tote in a unique and fun way. Everyone in my family was working and enjoying what they were doing. People around our town found out what we were doing and were cheering us on. We even got our story in the local newspaper.
During 2008, I was invited by “The Big Idea with Donnie Deutsch” show to be featured in a contest with 2 other products. It was my first time to ever be on TV. The “Lubber Tote” won.
It has been a long ride developing my company. There have been many ups and downs. I have had many people ask me how I did it having no experience in this inventor / manufacturer field. I always tell them the same thing, “When your backs against the wall and you have 3 lovely girls depending on you, you will do whatever it takes to take care of them.” Besides, look at them, how could you not want to work with these beautiful ladies every day.
My Inspiration; Hannah, Suzanne and Emma Grace