Made In Chicago: PortaPocket

Bernie Tafoya
July 15, 2019 - 6:00 am

“It was kind of an embarrassing moment,” said northwest suburban entrepreneur Kendra Kroll.

Sometimes, that is how products are born. Such is the case of PortaPocket. Kroll said she was working out on a weight bench when it happened 12 years ago.

“I was laying flat on the bench and my extra feminine hygiene item flew out of my pocket and rolled across the room and sat there," Kroll said..

Kroll went home and started working on a product that would hold things like cellphones, credit cards, passports or an EpiPen and strap around an arm, thigh, calf or waist

“I made models and I measured all kinds of body parts of people. ‘Don’t mind if I measure your thighs down here?’ she asked models. "Only with permissions, of course."

The PortaPocket straps are made of neoprene and can velcro on the straps or attach through a belt loop.

Kroll's PortaPockets come in a variety of sizes and can stick to skin or clothes with its strap. (Bernie Tafoya/WBBM)

Now, the product has reached wide success and has been featured on the Today Show, Yahoo! News, USA Today and more. Kroll markets her product for everyday use but she is also trying to get the amusement park industry interested because she has heard many people complain of items falling our of their pockets while on rides or in crowded spaces. 

While Kroll said the product has reached overseas, she puts the decorative features on them in Rolling Meadows — everything from generic things to dog paw prints and American flag.

Karen Kroll said PortaPockets can be designed to uniquely fit the user, as she has done with her own pockets. (Bernie Tafoya/WBBM)

The PortaPockets come in five sizes and you can order them online or on Amazon.