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Ridgewood Daily Voice serves Ridgewood, NJ

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Ridgewood Mom Finds Business Spark At Jersey Shore

Vacarella donated 25 percent of the proceeds to the Ridgewood Lacrosse Association Photo Credit: Lucia Donahue
Vaccarella's original styrofoam prototype Photo Credit: Instagram

RIDGEWOOD, N.J.– As a child, Kim Vaccarella of Ridgewood sold Styrofoam cups door to door. Over the years, she's assembled gift baskets and created a quick dry-hair towel.

“I've always been like a Lucille Ball of sorts," Vaccarella said.

Her latest creation: Bogg Bags .

"The idea was born on the Jersey Shore," Vaccarella said. “I came up with the idea of the bags because I'm constantly at the beach or at school with [her sons] and I couldn't find something I could carry that was washable."

Sand, suntan lotion, or sea water forced her to replace the bags.

But after buying Crocs for her boys -- Anthony, 12, and Vincenzo, 16 -- Vaccarella thought the closed-cell resin could help create the perfect container.

Working full-time and raising children kept Vaccarella from getting her side business off the ground right away.

So she started small, ordering 300 samples in 2011 that were sold by local merchants, including Tons of Treasure in Wyckoff.

When they sold out, Vaccarella doubled the order.

The next batch was in the thousands.

After Hurricane Sandy hit, Vaccarella donated Bogg Bags filled with garbage bags, rubber gloves, and other supplies to the victims.

One told Vaccarella that the bright yellow bag she received was like "sunshine in this dismal town” during that period.

A quarter of the proceeds from the customized bags and wine totes that Vaccarella sold at Saturday's Lacrosse Day in Ridgewood are going to the village Ridgewood Lacrosse Association.

She's even working on designing a lacrosse bag.

Maybe someday she'll go full time, Vaccarella said.

“I love dealing with small businesses," she said. "I love the communication I’ve built with the stores across the country (that carry her product). I think this is more of what I was meant to do: sales and design."

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