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Smart Ideas 09/06

Fashionable fanny packs, charter jets and music school.

This story appears in the September 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

What: Multifunctional and fashionable fanny packs for women who experience chronic back and neck pain
Who: Kristy Sobel of LaNeige Purse
Where: Tampa, Florida
When: Started in 2003

What began as a solution to her chronic back and neck pain is now a line of purses for women who share Kristy Sobel's condition--or simply want a fashionable fanny pack. After three car accidents that resulted in extensive back and neck surgeries, the 35-year-old entrepreneur realized she couldn't do the traveling her then-job required. That's when "life took a very different direction," she says, and even the simplest tasks, like holding her favorite purse over her shoulder, became a burden.

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