The Story of The Glo Bag
The Glo Bag was developed by next door neighbors Jennifer Koutouras and Kendra Cunningham. The initial idea for the Glo Bag came to Jennifer during her many trips to the gym where she would either swim or take Pilates classes. As a swimmer, Jennifer had a wet swimsuit, dripping goggles, and a swim cap to contend with after her workout. She would scurry into the locker room, a trail of water behind her, and open her locker where her duffle bag was waiting. It was usually turned sideways and smooshed into the locker so that when she opened the door it was likely to fall out onto the floor. The bag then made its way onto the bench(if there was an open spot) where it was opened and rummaged through in the hopes of locating the ever-elusive toiletries needed to proceed to the shower. Quite frequently this search led to Jennifer dripping water into the bag, onto her clean clothing. After the shower she would start over again with the bag and the bench. Usually what she would find in her bag was a stew of clean clothing, dirty clothing, lotions, face products, etc. And each time, something was invariably missing. It might be a pair of clean underwear or face cleanser, or any other number of things. This was because she was haphazardly loading and reloading the bag, without much of a system. Nothing was organized.
Each time Jennifer stood staring into her locker she would visualize a bag that hung from the hooks in the locker and opened to showcase everything inside without the need to remove it.
«I literally saw myself removing my toiletry bag without having to remove my bag from the locker and getting to the shower in no time at all. I wanted the bag to utilize the space within the locker, and I wanted to be able to avoid the bench altogether. Also, I wanted everything separate. Clean clothes, dirty clothes, cosmetics, shoes. All separate, all in their own space, and all accessible. I wanted that bag to stay in that locker until it was time for me to go home. I also wanted it to be easy to carry and durable, yet stylish.» (Jennifer Koutouras)
It was at this point that Jennifer went home and enlisted the help of her next door neighbor, Kendra Cunningham. She knew that Kendra was very creative, and that her experience as a seamstress and stylist would make her the ideal partner in the creation of the perfect gym bag. Jennifer drew the initial idea for the bag on the back of a white envelope, and Kendra took the drawing and turned it into the first prototype of the Glo Bag. Kendra’s daughter Kylie, who was ten at the time, came up with the acronym «GLO», which stands for Gym Locker Organzier, and they were off and running.
The bag was finally manufactured in October of 2009, and Kendra and Jennifer had a launch party in their hometown of Kenilworth, Illinois that month. They used the opportunity to raise awareness for «Girls in the Game» of Chicago, the charity that they had partnered with in order to help fight childhood obesity.
Kendra and Jennifer love it when they hear from satisfied customers, especially those who say it is the best gym bag they have ever used! They are thrilled to have been able to bring their vision into reality, and hope to continue along the path to success.
It is with great sadness that I write about the passing of Jennifer Koutouras, co-founder of The Glo Bag and a very close friend. Jennifer left this earth on September 7, 2016 due to complications associated with an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer which she fought with all her strength and determination for almost one year. Jennifer was only 45. She leaves behind two children Sofia and Dean, husband George, and mother Marlene. She also leaves behind many friends. Jennifer made friends everywhere she went from Starbucks to her children’s school and most recently through her battle with cancer. However, many of her closest friends were her friends from high school in Detroit. Jennifer was a true entreprenuer. She came up with the brilliant idea for the glo bag and nothing would stand in her way when it came to getting it produced. She also opened a boutique real estate brockerage in Los Angeles called Roost. Jennifer will be missed by everyone who ever had the chance to spend time with her and she will live on forever in our hearts.