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From Hot Mess to Hero: Headphone Tacos

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Oftentimes, a new design idea comes from a purely functional need. I was inspired to create the headphone tacos because I was getting frustrated with having to rummage in my bag for my earbuds only to find them in a tangled mess. 

I had seen other cord keepers on the market but often times they were in hard plastic cases that took up too much room in my bag, or made from flimsy materials that couldn’t keep the cords contained securely. As I am always striving towards a zero waste business model I begin to think about how to use up the small bits of materials.


I started experimenting with some of my spare parts from my flower pins and I realized that I could employ the same technique of heat-embossing the scraps. But instead of flower shapes (the individual petals would have tangled the cords) I tested out ovals, triangles, rectangles and and circles. I passed them around to some of the other designers and advisors at my fashion accelerator to get their feedback.

After a few test runs and trial and error with various leathers, taffeta, snaps and heat temperatures - I narrowed down the design to a clamshell-like oval for the headphones, and a large vintage-style leaf for laptop cords - which could then be embossed with a distinctive texture from one of many of my vendor’s 100 year old waffle-maker-like heat dies. 


I punched a ⅛” hole through the side to allow for the headphone jack to thread through, and centered a pearlized snap to secure the cord. Et Voila! Headphone tacos!


Now it is easy to find my headphones inside of my bag because I can feel for the distinctive texture inside my bag. It's a simple three-step process:

1 push jack through the bottom hole to secure

2 wrap cord around my fingers (keeping the earbud part at a safe distance)

3 coil inside center and Snap closed


creative process

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About Crystalyn Kae

Crystalyn Kae Brennan Crystalyn is a handbag designer in Brooklyn, NY. Her sustainable luxury handbags are made in USA with ethically-sourced leather and unique vintage fabrics. Read more »

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