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Comedian Howie Mandel is giving this St. Louis business a boost

Mandel will feature a Belleville-based cell phone purse company on the second installment of his “Save Small Business” campaign
Credit: SLBJ

ST. LOUIS — Canadian actor and comedian Howie Mandel has taken interest in a St. Louis purse maker.

The “America’s Got Talent” judge will feature Save the Girls, a Belleville-based cell phone purse company, on the second installment of his “Save Small Business” campaign tonight at 6 p.m. The episode will stream on e-commerce platform talkshoplive, and will also feature Bake It With Mel, a New-York based business that sells specialty baking kits.

Mandel began profiling small businesses April 1, and plans to release a new episode every two weeks. Companies can pitch their products online for a chance to be featured on the show.

Mandel’s first episode, which featured Chicago-based Hungry Monkey Baking Co., got nearly 13,000 views in two weeks. According to a news release, Hungry Monkey sold more than 613 pounds of banana bread and 394 pounds of brownies — more than it shipped in the past year.

“I just think this is the ultimate kind of stimulus package,” Mandel said in an interview with Fox News.

Wednesday's episode is expected to illustrate how the former “Deal or No Deal” host is rebranding his small-business campaign as a competition-style show called “Sold Out.”

“I’m going to go back to my game show roots,” Mandel told Fox News. “I’ll have two, maybe even more than that, businesses on at the same time, and we’ll — you know, nobody loses, but we’ll see who can sell the most goods the fastest, and just have some fun with it.”

Tonight’s exposure could be critical for Save the Girls, which makes small, crossbody purses with touchscreen pockets that allow women to text and take calls without removing their phones. Founder Tami Lange started the company in late 2017 after both her daughters lost their phones in the same week. Lange was shocked to learn that her sister-in-law’s solution was to carry her phone in her bra, even though she had breast cancer.

So Lange designed a product and solicited bids from factories online, then flew to China to make the final selection. She quit her job as a marketing executive and took a vote with her five kids, who agreed to let her invest their college money in the business. Save the Girls sold $1.2 million in 2018 and $3 million in 2019. 

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