Notes from a Neighbor
Harveys Seatbelt Bags

When it comes to handbags, women speak of Harveys SeatbeltBags like some men discuss their favorite cars, which isn’t surprising considering the product’s origins. In 1997, while installing seat belts into a vintage 1950 Buick (cars didn’t come with seat belts then), Santa Ana resident Dana Harvey came up with an idea to create a matching handbag for his wife Melanie with extra seatbelt material. Before long Melanie’s friends all wanted a bag of their own, and the rest, as they say, is history. It’s another classic American success story. Right in our own back yard!

After a few bags were created for Melanie’s friends, a clothing store asked if Dana and Melanie would consider making more to sell to the retail public. The Harveys agreed, and the seatbeltBag met an enthusiastic, welcoming audience. Success soon brought new colors and collaborative design relationships, including corporate ideas for Mercedes Benz and Disney, and stylishly individual ideas from artists such as SHAG (Josh Agle). They’ve opened showroom galleries on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, in Las Vegas, in Detroit and even Chino Hills.

Today many women feel the iconic and popular Harveys Bags are among the best handbags ever created. They’re collected in style and color variations and some treasure them like art. A Harveys SeatbeltBag is designer smart, fashionable without ostentation, useful and practical and always very durable. Every Harveys bag has a lifetime guarantee. The bags come in a variety of sizes and make the perfect travel bag, because they can take so much abuse.

The Harveys insist that part of their remarkable success is due, in part, to their Santa Ana offices and assembly facilities. “We live and work in Santa Ana and love it,” says Dana, a New Zealander by birth, who always had a fascination with American culture, in particular autos and motorcycles. His varied background includes a Polynesian grandmother, who taught him how to weave, a mother who appreciated art and antiques and an entrepreneurial father.

“Our first manufacturing space was in a garage on North Ross, and our first retail store was at City Place,” says Dana. “My wife and I like the history of the area, the arts, the diversity and our neighborhood. This year is Harvey’s 15th Anniversary, and it’s time to celebrate.”

Harveys SeatbeltBags
3011 North Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705 / 714-550-7105

Harveys Seatbelt Bags

Published in the May/Jun 2012 edition of the Old Towne Orange Plaza Review

Written by Don Cribb, Photograph by Jeanine Hill

Don Cribb served on the Santa Ana planning commission for eight years, is currently sitting on the Environmental and Transportation Advisory Committee and is the President of the Santa Ana Council of Arts & Culture.

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