Star Tracks: Monday, May 16, 2016 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Mother of Murdered 12-Year-Old Recalls the Day of His Death: 'I Was in Complete Shock'
- Read the Cover Story: Brad & Angelina Split After 12 Years: It's Over
- Warren Beatty Would Want Ronald Reagan (or Maybe President Obama) to Play Him in a Biopic
- WATCH: Justin Theroux's Cousin Louis Takes on Church of Scientology in New Movie
- WATCH: Verne Troyer Opens Up About Being Called the M-Word As a Child – and How He Physically Defended Himself Against a Bully
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- October 05, 1981
- Vol. 16
- No. 14
Rosella Shapiro Declares War on Muggers with Designs to Hide Savings for a Rainy Day
In 1976 she had begun to fight back by marketing what she called a "holdee pack" purse, a small (3"x4") pouch suspended on a gold neck chain. It was designed to conceal money, credit cards and keys. The purse, however, may have lost some of its appeal since thugs began snatching gold chains from people's necks in New York and elsewhere two years ago. In 1978 "Ro" Shapiro designed the "scarf purse," a large oblong kerchief with a zippered pocket concealed in one end. And this year she has another patent pending on a pocketed umbrella with a zippered pouch on the underside of an extrawide strap that wraps around a furled umbrella. Her designs, she believes, will prove to be a boon to travelers as well as full-time urbanites. "The world is full of people who are afraid to travel, and rightly so," she says. "But with our creations, at least their valuables are protected. They feel secure."
Last year, with two longtime friends, Pat Surie and Frances Fingerhut, Ro incorporated under the trade name "Christine Lane." The three women operate their business out of an office in downtown Chicago. "We are small," says Ro, "but the very fact that we are surviving in this day of low inventory and high interest rates is pretty darn good." Some 60,000 scarves (at $8 to $15) and 20,000 purses (at $5 to $7) have already been sold.
Ro was raised downstate in Pekin, studied business administration at Illinois State University and worked for an accounting firm before she married patent lawyer Norman Shapiro in 1956. Their son, Scott, 21, is a part-time student in Chicago. In 1960 she helped found the Chicago-based Barren Foundation, a nonprofit information research organization for the study of infertility, with endocrinologist Dr. Jay Gold. But she didn't work full time until she and her husband divorced in 1979. She has lived for the past 20 years in an elegant Lake Shore Drive apartment, where she practices her bridge and piano playing and mulls another design for people who have something to hide. The details aren't final yet, but the main idea is, well, keep it under your hat.
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!