After finding herself out of work at 52, Gisborne’s Suzanne Carroll decided she wanted remain in the workforce – but she wasn’t sure how.
That was until she came up with the idea to create a handbag and cooler bag in the one product.
“I just felt I was too young to retire,” she said.
“[And] Nobody was actually marketing cooler bags to women.
‘It was just a case of I wanted one and I couldn’t find one anywhere in the world.”
Ms Carroll pitched her idea for a cooler clutch to manufactuers in 2015. When they showed interest she decided to aim bigger and created her own business Cool Clutch. She sold her first bag in 2016.
“One of the first ones I started with was just a tiny cooler bag that on the outside looks like a handbag and holds two wine bottles on the side,” she said. “It looks like a handbag but when you look inside, it has the silver lining and it is very much an cooler bag,” she said.
“I’m very proud of the product.”
Ms Carroll’s online business was recently named as one of Australia’s top 50 e-commerce retailers.
The businesswoman is hoping her award and success will inspire other older women to follow in her footsteps.
“I’ve reinvented myself – this is a completely new venture,” she said. “If I can do it, anybody can.”