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Title:
MANICURE AND PEDICURE IMPLEMENT CASE
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A washable manicure and pedicure implement case is comprised of a rectangular fabric body that includes a bottom edge, top edge, first edge, second edge, a plurality of pockets, and a closing structure attached to the first edge and wraps around the body when the case is rolled into the closed configuration. In one embodiment, the case is constructed of a cotton blend home decorating fabric and the closing structure is comprised of satin double-sided ribbon. In another embodiment, the case is constructed of terry cloth allowing the invention to also be used as a towel. Another aspect of the present invention is directed to the above-described manicure and pedicure implement case further comprising a set of manicure and pedicure implements including toe nail separators, wood stick cuticle pushers, cuticle nippers, nail file, pumice stone, file and rasp, nail clipper, nail buffer, callus remover, nail brush, and sanitizing tablets.


Inventors:
Ferrence, Christy (Henderson, NV, US)
Whelan, Jan (Henderson, NV, US)
Application Number:
12/701489
Publication Date:
03/31/2011
Filing Date:
02/05/2010
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45D29/20
View Patent Images:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A washable manicure and pedicure implement case comprising: a rectangular fabric body comprised of a top edge, a bottom edge, a first edge, a second edge, an interior layer, an exterior layer, and a plurality of pockets located on the interior layer and linearly positioned along the bottom edge; and a closing structure comprised of a first closing member and a second closing member wherein the first closing member is positioned on top of the second closing member when the case is open and the first closing member and the second closing member are both attached to the midpoint of the first edge, wherein the case is closed when the body is configured into a roll with the second edge positioned inside the roll and the exterior layer exposed and the first closing member and the second closing member are tied around the roll.

2. The case of claim 1 wherein the body and the closing structure are constructed of terry cloth and the case can also be used as a towel.

3. The case of claim 1 wherein the body is constructed of a cotton fabric.

4. The case of claim 1 wherein the body is constructed of a cotton blend home decorating fabric.

5. The case of claim 4 wherein the first closing member and the second closing member are constructed of satin double-sided ribbon.

6. The case of claim 1 wherein the plurality equals eight and the plurality of pockets is comprised of a first pocket, a second pocket, a third pocket, a fourth pocket, a fifth pocket, a sixth pocket, a seventh pocket, and an eight pocket.

7. The case of claim 2 wherein the plurality equals seven and the plurality of pockets is comprised of a first pocket, a second pocket, a third pocket, a fourth pocket, a fifth pocket, a sixth pocket, and a seventh pocket.

8. A combination towel and manicure and pedicure implement case comprising: a rectangular towel body comprised of a top edge, a bottom edge, a first edge, a second edge, an interior surface, an exterior surface, and a plurality of pockets for holding manicure and pedicure implements wherein the plurality of pockets is located on the interior surface and is linearly positioned along the bottom edge; and a first closing member and a second closing member wherein the first closing member is positioned on top of the second closing member when the case is open and the first closing member and the second closing member are both attached to the midpoint of the first edge, wherein the manicure and pedicure implement case is closed when the towel body is configured into a roll with the second edge positioned inside the roll and the exterior surface exposed and the first closing member and the second closing member are tied around the roll.

9. The combination towel and manicure and pedicure implement case of claim 8 wherein the towel body, the first closing member, and the second closing member are constructed of terry cloth.

10. The combination towel and manicure and pedicure implement case of claim 8 wherein the plurality equals eight and the plurality of pockets is comprised of a first pocket, a second pocket, a third pocket, a fourth pocket, a fifth pocket, a sixth pocket, a seventh pocket, and an eight pocket.

11. The combination towel and manicure and pedicure implement case of claim 8 wherein the plurality equals seven and the plurality of pockets is comprised of a first pocket, a second pocket, a third pocket, a fourth pocket, a fifth pocket, a sixth pocket, and a seventh pocket.

12. The combination towel and manicure and pedicure implement case of claim 8 wherein the towel body is constructed from a standard hand towel.

13. A manicure and pedicure system comprising: a washable manicure and pedicure implement case comprising: a rectangular fabric body comprised of a top edge, a bottom edge, a first edge, a second edge, an interior surface, an exterior surface, and a plurality of pockets located on the interior surface and linearly positioned along the bottom edge; and a first closing member and a second closing member wherein the first closing member is positioned on top of the second closing member when the case is open and the first closing member and the second closing member are both attached to the midpoint of the first edge, wherein the case is closed when the body is configured into a roll with the second edge positioned inside the roll and the exterior surface exposed and the first closing member and the second closing member are tied around the roll; and a set of manicure and pedicure implements comprising a pair of toe nail separators, at least one wood stick cuticle pusher, a cuticle nipper, a nail file, a pumice stone, a file and rasp implement, a nail clipper, a nail buffer, a callus remover, and a nail brush, wherein the plurality of pockets contain the set of manicure and pedicure implements.

14. The manicure and pedicure system of claim 13 wherein the set of manicure and pedicure implements further comprises at least one sanitizing tablet for sanitizing foot bath water used in pedicures.

15. The manicure and pedicure system of claim 13 wherein the body, the first closing member, and the second closing member are constructed of terry cloth and the manicure and pedicure implement case can also be used as a towel.

16. The manicure and pedicure system of claim 13 wherein the body is constructed of a cotton fabric.

17. The manicure and pedicure system of claim 13 wherein the body is constructed of a cotton blend home decorating fabric.

18. The manicure and pedicure system of claim 13 wherein the first closing member and the second closing member are constructed of satin double-sided ribbon.

19. The manicure and pedicure system of claim 13 wherein the plurality equals eight and the plurality of pockets is comprised of a first pocket, a second pocket, a third pocket, a fourth pocket, a fifth pocket, a sixth pocket, a seventh pocket, and an eight pocket.

20. The manicure and pedicure system of claim 13 wherein the plurality equals seven and the plurality of pockets is comprised of a first pocket, a second pocket, a third pocket, a fourth pocket, a fifth pocket, a sixth pocket, and a seventh pocket.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of priority under 35 U.S.C. §119 of provisional application Ser. No. 61/246,122, filed Sep. 26, 2009, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to hygiene products. More particularly, the present invention relates to a sanitizable device used to transport and store manicure and pedicure implements and may be used as a towel and/or hygienic barrier from unsanitary surfaces.

BACKGROUND

Each year, millions of women and men go to resorts, nail salons, or spas for manicure and pedicure services. During the course of manicure and pedicure procedures, various implements may be used such as nail clippers, nail files, emery boards, cuticle nippers, cuticle pushers, nail buffers, pumice bars or stones, callus removers, toe separators, and nail brushes. These implements are used to shape and trim the nails and cuticles, exfoliate dead skin and remove calluses, prepare the nails for polish, and otherwise come into direct contact with the recipient's hands and feet. Most of these implements are reused for more than a single session, and salons customarily reuse these same implements from customer to customer, and from one day to the next.

The Risks

Unfortunately, numerous customers each year also receive something they did not expect during their pedicure: fungal, virus, or staph infections. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, pedicure health risks include fungal infections, such as athlete's foot and nail fungus, and bacterial skin infections, including MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), a potentially serious antibiotic-resistant staph infection.

Bacteria and fungus can easily move from one person to the next on pedicure implements that have not been properly sterilized. Germs, bacteria, fungus, and other contaminants can accumulate on the surfaces of various implements, such as on the blades of cuticle nippers, the pumice stones used to exfoliate dead skin cells and rub off calluses, and the porous surfaces of toe separators. While most reputable nail salons should clean their pedicure implements regularly, customers have no way of knowing just how thoroughly their particular implements have been cleaned since the last visitor, how often those implements are replaced, what kinds of disinfectants are used, or how long those disinfectants are used on each implement during each cleaning session. Often, people receiving a pedicure are doing so on vacation, at an unfamiliar or new location, or were sent to a new nail salon for a pedicure as a gift from a friend. In each of these situations, the customer knows nothing or very little about the cleanliness or sanitary procedures of the salon.

Even at the cleanest salons, some implements like nail buffers, toe separators, and nail files cannot be sterilized, and these implements are rarely replaced after each customer. Further, the Center for Disease Control mandates that disinfection of pedicure equipment should be done with an EPA hospital disinfectant for at least ten minutes between clients. Clearly, not all nail salons enforce that rule. In fact, many salons schedule appointments closer than ten minutes apart, which does not allow for proper cleaning and sterilization of pedicure implements. Such practices increase the risk of transmission of fungal or bacterial infections from customer to customer.

Even in the rare case when a nail salon allows customers to rent lockers, cubicles, or other storage space to keep their own pedicure implements at the salon, these lockers or cubby holes are inefficient and difficult to administer by salons and are often expensive. Further, the customer has no way of knowing if other users are using or tampering with either the cubby holes or the implements themselves or if the salon is renting out the same storage space to more than one customer. There could also possibly be cross-contamination through either airborne contaminants, dripping from other pedicure implements, or splashing of used foot bath water. Also, this setup requires a user to only visit a single nail salon, and is ineffective if a customer wishes to try out a new salon, or is on vacation.

Additionally, cross contamination can occur from dirty towels used at nail salons. Towels are not only used to dry the hands or feet of a client, but manicurist often use them as mats or barriers for placement of hands and feet while performing manicure and pedicure procedures. As a result, towels often catch sloughed off skin cells and nail clippings and may even have blood if the customer happens to bleed while getting his or her cuticles cut or during some other manicure or pedicure procedure. Such barriers may be ideal in preventing cross-contamination from occurring between the client and potentially unsanitary surfaces such as manicure tabletops and footrests used for manicures and pedicures. However, as discussed above with respect to the manicure and pedicure implements, there is no guarantee that towels are properly sanitized and washed or even replaced. Some salons may use the same soiled towel on multiple clients without being washed in-between uses.

Further, even if a consumer is fortunate enough to find a salon that does take extraordinary precautions, that particular salon may be overly expensive or in an inconvenient location. Clearly, there is a need in the art for a device that will help allow all customers to ensure optimum cleanliness and reduce the risk of infection, achieve piece of mind, and reduce stress and the need to research the sanitary practices of multiple salons, all while remaining affordable and effective at any nail salon.

The Solution

The safest approach in preventing pedicure-related infection is for clients to bring their own pedicure implements to any pedicure appointment. In order to eliminate the risk of infection due to improperly-sterilized pedicure implements, the American Podiatric Medical Association recommends that pedicure customers bring their own implements. This approach will eliminate the chance of cross-contamination of bacteria, viruses, or staph infection from other people. Also, this gives each pedicure recipient control over their own implement sterilization, allowing them to ensure the cleanliness and safety of their own implements at any nail salon location.

What is needed in the art is a device that can contain all the necessary manicure and pedicure implements used by professionals, keeps these implements bundled together and organized, and is easily portable. Moreover, what is needed in the art is such a device that is also sanitizable to further ensure that the implements themselves are sanitary and a device that can also function as a towel and/or barrier between potentially contaminated surfaces. Such a device would make it easier for, and thus encourage, customers to bring their own sterile implements to each manicure or pedicure while ensuring that there is also no cross-contamination via unsanitary towels or surfaces used for hands or feet placement during manicure and pedicure procedures.

The advantages of such devices would be numerous. They would encourage pedicure customers to bring their own sterile implements, which would eliminate the risk of cross-contamination of fungus, bacteria, or staph infections. They would reduce the spread of these forms of disease. They would give users piece of mind, open up more choices in pedicure locations, and allow them to more thoroughly relax and enjoy a pedicure procedure that is meant to be soothing, relaxing, and healthy.

Drawbacks and Potential Improvements

While various cases exist that could be used to transport and store manicure and pedicure implements, none fulfill the need in the art as discussed above. Consumers require a device that can serve to not only contain the various implements, but to keep them organized, be lightweight and easily portable, make it easy for the user or pedicurist to find the proper implements and return them to their place, and be unobtrusive and stylish, making it more likely that users will actually use the device and take it with them in public. Consumers would also benefit from a case that includes the necessary high-quality implements used by professionals as well as a case that can also function as a towel and/or barrier from unsanitary surfaces.

Devices that currently exist in the art are customarily made of rigid materials such as plastic, vinyl, leather, metal, or other non-breathable material, which does not allow the pedicure implements to properly aerate and dry out after each use. Many of the cases currently on the market are rigid in shape (e.g., box shaped) and are limited in size (e.g., many of the cases are wallet-sized) so it is unable to contain the necessary implements used by professionals. Given that many of the cases currently on the market are adapted for use for specific implements and are shaped and sized accordingly, it is often difficult to replace an implement with different versions or varieties of that implement.

The implements in such devices are not easily assessable since each implement is often tightly encased in a specific compartment or negative mold-like structure specifically adapted for that particular implement which not only prevents versatility if the user decides to switch out a particular implement, but makes the interior of such cases (and all surfaces that come in contact with the implements) difficult to thoroughly clean. Such devices may be wiped down, but since such devices are typically made of plastic, vinyl, leather, metal, or combinations thereof, they are not machine washable making it difficult to completely sanitize. Moreover, the devices currently on the market cannot also function as a towel and/or barrier from unsanitary surfaces on which a client's hands and feet are placed during a manicure and pedicure procedure.

Cases currently on the market that are sold with implements as manicure or pedicure sets are rarely sold with the necessary implements used by professionals. Instead, such kits include unnecessary implements such as scissors and tweezers which are not used by professionals during manicure or pedicure procedures while other sets include metal nail files and metal cuticle pushers which are rarely used and may even cause injury.

Other advantages of the present invention will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art in light of the ensuing description of the present invention.

SUMMARY

The present invention provides a sanitizable device that can encase the necessary manicure and pedicure implements, keeps these implements bundled together and organized, and is easily transportable. The present invention allows users to bring their own sterilized implements needed for any manicure or pedicure and eliminates the chance of cross-contamination of bacteria, fungus, or staph infections from other people. Such a device gives each manicure/pedicure recipient control over their own implement sterilization, allowing them to ensure the cleanliness and safety of their own implements at any pedicure location. The device of the present invention is sanitizable since it is completely machine or hand washable to further ensure that the implements themselves are sanitary. Furthermore, the present invention also functions as a sanitary towel to dry the hands or feet of a client and/or functions as a mat or barrier for placement of a client's hands and feet while performing various manicure and pedicure procedures. Such barriers are ideal in protecting cross-contamination from occurring between the client and unsanitary surfaces such as unclean manicure tables and pedicure footrests.

To achieve the foregoing and in accordance with the purposes of the present invention, the present invention is generally directed to a washable manicure and pedicure implement case comprising: (a) a rectangular fabric body comprised of a top edge, a bottom edge, a first edge, a second edge, an interior layer, an exterior layer, and a plurality of pockets located on the interior layer and linearly positioned along the bottom edge; and (b) a closing structure comprised of a first closing member and a second closing member. The first closing member is positioned on top of the second closing member when the case is in the open configuration, and the first closing member and the second closing member are both attached to the midpoint of the first edge. When the case is in the closed configuration, the body is configured into a roll with the second edge positioned inside the roll and the exterior layer exposed (i.e., the body is rolled from the second edge toward the first edge while exposing the exterior layer to form a roll), and the first closing member and the second closing member are tied around the roll into a knot or bow. In one embodiment, the body and the closing structure are constructed of terry cloth which allows the case to be also used as a towel. In alternate embodiments, the body is constructed of a cotton fabric, as for example, a cotton blend home decorating fabric which are typically used for drapery and upholstery. The first closing member and the second closing member may be constructed of satin double-sided ribbon in certain versions of the invention. Additionally, the plurality of pockets may be comprised of eight pockets or may be comprised of seven pockets in other embodiments.

Another aspect of the present invention is directed to a combination towel and manicure and pedicure implement case. In this embodiment, the present invention may be used as a towel or alternatively, as a manicure and pedicure implement case. Such embodiments provide an all-in-one feature for any manicure and pedicure. The combination towel and manicure and pedicure implement case comprises (a) a rectangular towel body comprised of a top edge, a bottom edge, a first edge, a second edge, an interior surface, an exterior surface, and a plurality of pockets to hold manicure and pedicure implements wherein the plurality of pockets is located on the interior surface and is linearly positioned along the bottom edge; and (b) a first closing member and a second closing member wherein the first closing member is positioned on top of the second closing member when the case is in the open configuration, and the first closing member and the second closing member are both attached to the midpoint of the first edge. When the manicure and pedicure implement case is in the closed configuration, the towel body is configured into a roll with the second edge positioned inside the roll and the exterior surface exposed (i.e., the towel body is rolled from the second edge toward the first edge exposing the exterior surface to form a roll) and the first closing member and the second closing member are tied around the roll. The towel body, the first closing member, and the second closing member are constructed of terry cloth or of any other absorbent material suitable for towels. Indeed, the combination towel and manicure and pedicure implement case may even be constructed from a standard hand towel. The plurality of pockets may be comprised of eight pockets or may be comprised of seven pockets in other versions of the invention.

Yet, in another aspect of the present invention, a manicure and pedicure system is comprised of a washable manicure and pedicure implement case (as described hereinabove) that includes a plurality of pockets containing a set of manicure and pedicure implements. The manicure and pedicure set includes a pair of toe nail separators, at least one wood stick cuticle pusher, a cuticle nipper, a nail file, a pumice stone, a file and rasp implement, a nail clipper, a nail buffer, a callus remover, and a nail brush. In other embodiments, the set of manicure and pedicure implements also includes sanitizing tablets to sanitize foot bath water used for pedicures. In one embodiment, the body, the first closing member, and the second closing member of the manicure and pedicure implement case are all constructed of terry cloth allowing the manicure and pedicure implement case to be also used as a towel. The body of the manicure and pedicure implement case may be constructed of a cotton fabric such as a cotton blend home decorating fabric used in drapery and upholstery. Also, the first closing member and the second closing member of the case may be constructed of satin double-sided ribbon. Nonetheless, the plurality of pockets may be comprised of any suitable amount of pockets. For example, in one version of the invention, the plurality of pockets is comprised of seven pockets and in another version, the plurality of pockets is comprised of eight pockets.

The above description sets forth a summary of embodiments of the present invention so that the description that follows may be better understood and contributions of the present invention to the art may be better appreciated. Some of the embodiments of the present invention may not include all of the features or characteristics listed in the above summary. There may be, of course, other features of the invention that will be described below and may form the subject matter of claims. In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in further detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of the construction and to the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or as illustrated in the drawings.

The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Furthermore, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

Other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of the invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, various features of embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a perspective view of a manicure and pedicure implement case in the closed configuration in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2. depicts a perspective view of the manicure and pedicure implement case shown in FIG. 1 in the open configuration in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3. depicts a top view of the manicure and pedicure implement case shown in FIG. 1 in the open configuration in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 depicts a perspective view of a manicure and pedicure implement case in the closed configuration in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In the following description of embodiments of the invention, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part of this application. The drawings show, by way of illustration, certain embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a manicure and pedicure implement case in the closed configuration in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The case of the present invention is comprised of a body 100 which includes a top edge 102 and a bottom edge 101. While in the closed position, the case is held closed by a closing structure 400. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, closing structure 400 is comprised of a first closing member 420 and a second closing member 440 which are both attached to the midpoint of first edge 103 of body 100 (see FIG. 2). First closing member 420 and second closing member 440 may each further include an end 445 (see FIG. 2) which is comprised of a cup-like structure formed of at least one seam that protects the ends of first closing member 420 and second closing member 440 from fraying and tearing and also provides uniform arrow-like end points as components of a bow which is aesthetically pleasing.

When the case of the present invention is in the closed position (i.e., rolled up), first closing member 420 is wrapped around one side of the body 100 and the second closing member 440 is wrapped around the other side of the body 100 as shown in FIG. 1. In the embodiment of the present invention illustrated in FIG. 1, first closing member 420 and second closing member 440 are tied into a bow or knot to secure body 100 closed. In such embodiments as shown in FIG. 1, first closing member 420 and second closing member 440 may be comprised of a ribbon material, the same material as body 100, or any suitable material that acts like a tie to secure body 100 in the closed configuration. FIG. 4 illustrates an embodiment of the present invention wherein both the body 100 and closing structure 400 are made of the same fabric material, as for example, a towel-like or terry cloth material. In such embodiments of the invention, the manicure and pedicure implement case may also be used as a towel for manicure and pedicure procedures and as a barrier form unsanitary surfaces such as pedicure tables and footrests. FIG. 4 illustrates that closing structure 400 is not limited to a particular configuration, size, width, length, or shape so long as it is long enough to wrap around and secure body 100 closed.

FIG. 2. depicts a perspective view of the manicure and pedicure implement case shown in FIG. 1 in the open configuration. A shown in FIG. 2, the manicure and pedicure implement case of the present invention is comprised of a body 100, a plurality of pockets 200, and closing structure 400 which includes first closing member 420 and second closing member 440. Body 100 includes a bottom edge 101, a top edge 102, a first edge 103, and a second edge 104 which forms a rectangular shape. First closing member 420 and second closing member 440 are attached to the midpoint area of first edge 103. First edge 103 is the edge to which closing structure 400 is attached to, but the positioning of first edge 103 is not limited to the left edge of body 100 as shown in FIG. 2. In other variations of the invention, first edge 103 may be positioned on the right side of body 100, and second edge 104 may be positioned on the left side of body 100.

As shown in FIG. 2, body 100 is further comprised of a interior surface 110 that engages with the manicure and pedicure implements and a exterior surface 120 that is exposed when the case is rolled up onto the closed configuration. Exterior surface 120 is positioned below interior surface 110 when the case of the present invention is in the open configuration as shown in FIG. 2. Interior surface 110 and exterior surface 120 may be comprised of one layer of fabric (and thus the terms refer to the surfaces only), or interior surface 110 and exterior surface 120 may be comprised of separate layers of fabric adjoined together.

The manicure and pedicure implement case shown in FIG. 2 is configured into the closed position as shown in FIG. 1 by: (i) rolling up second edge 104 toward first edge 103 into a roll so that second edge 104 is positioned inside the roll and exterior surface 120 is exposed, (ii) wrapping first closing member 420 around one side of rolled body 100 and wrapping second closing member 440 around the other side of rolled body 100, and (iii) tying first closing member 420 with second closing member 440.

Body 100 may be made of any suitable machine or hand washable fabric that allows for the easy rolling of body 100 into the closed position. The washable feature of the fabric allows the user to thoroughly sanitize the manicure and pedicure implement case to further ensure the cleanliness of the implements to be contained inside the case. Because of the fabric quality, the manicure and pedicure implement case of the present invention may also function as a mat or barrier between the user and unsanitary surfaces that a user may come into contact during a manicure or pedicure procedure. Such surfaces may include footrests used in pedicures and the surfaces of manicure tables. Additionally, in the embodiments wherein the case body is made of absorbent materials (e.g., terry cloth, velour, etc.), the case of the present invention may also function as a towel. Other suitable fabrics for body 100 (as well as closing structure 400) may include purely cotton fabric, cotton blends, other natural and washable blends, or blends comprised of synthetic fibers such as polyester so long as the fabric is washable. For example, in one embodiment, body 100 may be constructed of a cotton blend home decorating fabric which is typically used for drapery and upholstery.

FIG. 4 illustrates an embodiment of the present invention wherein body 100 and closing structure 400 are both made of a terry cloth or a towel-like material. The embodiments made of material used for towels have additional functions as they also can be used as a sterile towel during or after the manicure or pedicure procedure as discussed above. For instance, the user may rest his/her feet or hands on the case during a pedicure or manicure, and such embodiments may be used as a towel to dry the user's hands or feet. Thus, another aspect of the present invention is directed to a combination towel and manicure and pedicure implement case. In embodiments which are constructed of terry cloth or other absorbent fabrics suitable for towels, the present invention may be used as a towel or alternatively, as a manicure and pedicure implement case. Such embodiments provide an all-in-one feature for any manicure and pedicure. In alternate variations, a standard hand towel may be used to construct the manicure and pedicure implement case of the present invention. In such variations, the plurality of pockets 200 may be formed by folding the hand towel (which would be designated as body 100 or towel body 100) longitudinally to a less than half way point to permit the formation of pockets (wherein the crease or fold forms bottom edge 101 and the bottom part of the pockets), sewing vertical seams in-between designated pockets, and attaching closing structure 400 to the first edge 103 of towel body 100. Alternatively, the plurality of pockets may be sewn directly onto towel body 100 without longitudinally folding towel body 100.

Referring back to FIG. 2, the plurality of pockets 200 is positioned linearly above lower edge 101 of body 100. Each pocket may hold at least one manicure or pedicure implement. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 2, the plurality equals eight and the plurality of pockets 200 includes a first pocket 210 with a first pocket opening 211, a second pocket 220 with a second pocket opening 221, a third pocket 230 with a third pocket opening 231, a fourth pocket 240 with a fourth pocket opening 241, a fifth pocket 250 with a fifth pocket opening 251, a sixth pocket 260 with a sixth pocket 261, a seventh pocket 270 with a seventh pocket opening 271, and an eighth pocket 280 with an eighth pocket opening 281. Pockets 210, 220, 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, and 280 are linearly positioned parallel to top edge 102 and bottom edge 101 of body 100, and each of the pockets 210, 220, 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, and 280 is separated from the adjacent pocket by stitching running vertically on each side of the pocket. Pocket 210 includes stitching 31 on first edge 103 of body 100, and the right side of pocket 210 includes stitching 32 separating pocket 210 from pocket 220. The left side of pocket 220 includes stitching 32 separating pocket 210 from pocket 220, and the right side of pocket 220 includes stitching 33 separating pocket 220 from pocket 230. The left side of pocket 230 includes stitching 33 separating pocket 220 from pocket 230, and the right side of pocket 230 includes stitching 34 separating pocket 230 from pocket 240. The left side of pocket 240 includes stitching 34 separating pocket 230 from pocket 240, and the right side of pocket 240 includes stitching 35 separating pocket 240 from pocket 250. The left side of pocket 250 includes stitching 35 separating pocket 240 from pocket 250, and the right side of pocket 250 includes stitching 36 separating pocket 250 from pocket 260. The left side of pocket 260 includes stitching 36 separating pocket 250 from pocket 260, and the right side of pocket 260 includes stitching 37 separating pocket 260 from pocket 270. The left side of pocket 270 includes stitching 37 separating pocket 260 from pocket 270, and the right side of pocket 270 includes stitching 38 separating pocket 270 from pocket 280. The left side of pocket 280 includes stitching 38 separating pocket 270 from pocket 280, and the right side of pocket 280 includes stitching 39 on second edge 104 of body 100. Seams 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, and 39 assist in encasing and organizing the manicure and pedicure implements within the case of the present invention, and may be of any suitable dimensions and configuration.

Although the plurality of pockets 200 is depicted with eight pockets 210, 220, 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, and 280, any suitable quantity of pockets are possible so long as they accommodate the necessary implements for a manicure or pedicure. In alternate embodiments, multiple implements may be placed in each of the pockets. The size, dimensions, shape, and configuration of each of the eight pockets 210, 220, 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, and 280 may also vary in other embodiments of the invention so long as the pockets are so dimensioned as to be able to contain manicure and pedicure implements.

For example, in one embodiment of the invention, the plurality of pockets 200 is comprised of eight pockets and first pocket 210 may measure about 2 inches wide, second pocket 220 may measure about 4 inches wide, third pocket 230 may measure about 2½ inches wide, fourth pocket 240 may measure about 3½ inches wide, fifth pocket 250 may measure about 2½ inches wide, sixth pocket 260 may measure about 3⅓ inches wide, seventh pocket 270 may measure about 3 inches wide, and eight pocket 280 may measure about 2 inches wide. In another embodiment of the invention, the plurality of pockets 200 is comprised of seven pockets and first pocket 210 may measure about 2 inches wide, second pocket 220 may measure about 4 inches wide, third pocket 230 may measure about 3 inches wide, fourth pocket 240 may measure about 4 inches wide, fifth pocket 250 may measure about 3 inches wide, sixth pocket 260 may measure about 4 inches wide, and seventh pocket 270 may measure about 3 inches wide. Of course, the above measurements are presented for example only, and they are not limited to the exact measurements since variations are possible so long as the pocket is so dimensioned as to be able to contain a manicure or pedicure implement and variations inevitably may occur during the sewing or manufacturing process. Additionally, the order or configuration of the various pocket sizes is not limited to a particular configuration.

FIG. 3 depicts a top view of the manicure and pedicure implement case shown in FIG. 1 in the open configuration and includes broken lines representing manicure and pedicure implements. For purposes of illustration, one embodiment of the present invention may hold the following manicure and pedicure implements: a pair of toe nail separators 710, wood stick cuticle pushers 715, cuticle nipper 720, nail file 730, pumice stone 740, file and rasp implement 750, nail clipper 765, nail buffer 760, callus remover 770, nail brush 780, and sanitizing tablets 785 which are used to sanitize foot bath water used in pedicures. By way of example, pocket 210 may hold toe nail separators 710 and wood stick cuticle pushers 715, pocket 220 may hold nippers 720, pocket 230 may hold nail file 730, pocket 240 may hold pumice stone 740, pocket 250 may hold file and rasp 750, pocket 260 may hold nail clipper 765 and nail buffer 760, pocket 270 may hold callus remover 770, and pocket 280 may hold nail brush 780 and sanitizing tablets 785.

Of course, the foregoing manicure and pedicure implements may be held in any suitable pocket as each pocket is not limited to a specific implement. For instance, pocket 210 may hold nail brush 780, pocket 240 may hold nail buffer 760, pocket 250 may hold callus remover 770, pocket 260 may hold pumice stone 740, pocket 270 may hold nail buffer 260, pocket 280 may hold toe nail separators 710 and wood stick cuticle pushers 715, etc. Nail clipper 765 may be held in or clipped onto any of the pockets. Also, any of the pockets may further hold a bottle of nail polish or any other item or implement that the user may wish to bring to a manicure or pedicure.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, another aspect of the present invention is directed to a manicure and pedicure system that is comprised of: (1) a manicure and pedicure implement case comprised of (a) body 100 that includes a bottom edge 101, top edge 102, first edge 103, second edge 104, a plurality of pockets 200 with seams separating each of the pockets, and (b) a closing structure 400 that includes at least one closing member to be wrapped around body 100 when in the closed position (see also FIGS. 1 and 4); and (2) a set of manicure and pedicure implements. In one embodiment, the set of manicure and pedicure implements include: toe nail separators 710, wood stick cuticle pushers 715, cuticle nippers 720, nail file 730, pumice stone 740, file and rasp 750, nail clipper 765, nail buffer 760, callus remover 770, nail brush 780, and sanitizing tablets 785.

Any suitable implements known in the art may be used. For example, the system of the present invention may include: straight line deluxe clippers, All Season Professional™ nail file, rubber grip professional nipper, European “blade” callus remover, ergonomic, 2-sided professional file & rasp, “Sani-Tab”™ sanitizing tablets, all-wood stick mani/pedi cuticle pushers, Pumi-Bar™ pumice stone, 4-sided nail buffer, and 5 inch Easy-Grip™ nail brush. Of course, in alternate embodiments, the contents of the manicure and pedicure implements may vary so long as they contain the necessary implements for manicure and pedicures unlike the sets currently on the market which contain unnecessary implements such as scissors and tweezers as discussed in the Background section above.

EXAMPLES

In the foregoing description of embodiments of the invention, reference was made to the accompanying figures, which form a part of this application. The figures show, by way of illustration, certain embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. It is to be understood that other variations are possible and modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention. A variety of embodiments are possible wherein each embodiment includes a different combination of the different aspects and elements of the present invention.

For example, in one embodiment, a manicure and pedicure implement case comprises: (a) a rectangular fabric body comprised of a top edge, a bottom edge, a first edge, a second edge, an interior layer, an exterior layer, and a plurality of pockets located on the interior layer and linearly positioned along the bottom edge; and (b) a closing structure comprised of a first closing member and a second closing member. The first closing member is positioned on top of the second closing member when the case is in the open configuration, and the first closing member and the second closing member are both attached to the midpoint of the first edge. When the case is in the closed configuration, the body is configured into a roll with the second edge positioned inside the roll and the exterior layer exposed (i.e., the body is rolled from the second edge toward the first edge while exposing the exterior layer to form a roll), and the first closing member and the second closing member are tied around the roll into a knot or bow. In one variation, the body and the closing structure are constructed of terry cloth which allows the case to be also used as a towel. In further variations, the body is constructed of a cotton fabric, as for example, a cotton blend home decorating fabric which are typically used for drapery and upholstery. The first closing member and the second closing member may be constructed of satin double-sided ribbon in certain versions of the invention. Additionally, the plurality of pockets may be comprised of eight pockets or may be comprised of seven pockets in other embodiments.

In another example, an alternate embodiment of the invention is directed to a combination towel and manicure and pedicure implement case. In this embodiment, the present invention may be used as a towel or alternatively, as a manicure and pedicure implement case. Such embodiments provide an all-in-one feature for any manicure and pedicure. The combination towel and manicure and pedicure implement case comprises (a) a rectangular towel body comprised of a top edge, a bottom edge, a first edge, a second edge, an interior surface, an exterior surface, and a plurality of pockets to hold manicure and pedicure implements wherein the plurality of pockets is located on the interior surface and is linearly positioned along the bottom edge; and (b) a first closing member and a second closing member wherein the first closing member is positioned on top of the second closing member when the case is in the open configuration, and the first closing member and the second closing member are both attached to the midpoint of the first edge. When the manicure and pedicure implement case is in the closed configuration, the towel body is configured into a roll with the second edge positioned inside the roll and the exterior surface exposed (i.e., the towel body is rolled from the second edge toward the first edge exposing the exterior surface to form a roll) and the first closing member and the second closing member are tied around the roll. The towel body, the first closing member, and the second closing member are constructed of terry cloth or of any other absorbent material suitable for towels. Indeed, the combination towel and manicure and pedicure implement case may even be constructed from a standard hand towel. The plurality of pockets may be comprised of eight pockets or may be comprised of seven pockets in other versions of the invention.

In a further example, another embodiment of the invention is directed to a manicure and pedicure system comprising a washable manicure and pedicure implement case (as described in the two examples above) that includes a plurality of pockets containing a set of manicure and pedicure implements. The manicure and pedicure set includes a pair of toe nail separators, at least one wood stick cuticle pusher, a cuticle nipper, a nail file, a pumice stone, a file and rasp implement, a nail clipper, a nail buffer, a callus remover, and a nail brush. In other variations of the invention, the set of manicure and pedicure implements also includes sanitizing tablets to sanitize foot bath water used for pedicures. In one variation, the body, the first closing member, and the second closing member of the manicure and pedicure implement case are all constructed of terry cloth allowing the manicure and pedicure implement case to be also used as a towel. The body of the manicure and pedicure implement case may be constructed of a cotton fabric such as a cotton blend home decorating fabric used in drapery and upholstery. Also, the first closing member and the second closing member of the case may be constructed of satin double-sided ribbon. Nonetheless, the plurality of pockets may be comprised of any suitable amount of pockets. For example, in one version of the invention, the plurality of pockets is comprised of seven pockets and in another version, the plurality of pockets is comprised of eight pockets.

It can be realized from the embodiments described herein that the present invention provides a manicure and pedicure implement case that can securely hold the necessary manicure and pedicure implements, keeps these implements bundled together and organized, and is easily transportable. The user simply rolls up the manicure and pedicure implement case and takes it with him or her to the salon. The present invention allows for safer and more sanitary manicures and pedicures as it allows users to bring their own sterilized implements and eliminates the chance of cross-contamination of bacteria, fungus, or staph infections from other people. The present invention provides each manicure/pedicure recipient control over their own implement sterilization, allowing them to ensure the cleanliness and safety of their own implements at any salon.

The device of the present invention is sanitizable since it is completely machine or hand washable to further ensure that the implements themselves are sanitary. The user can simply wash the manicure and pedicure implement case of the present invention, and the user can easily sanitize the implements with hot water and a capful of bleach or Barbicide® or by any other suitable method known in the art. Furthermore, the present invention also functions as a sanitary towel to dry the hands or feet of a client and/or functions as a mat or barrier for placement of a client's hands and feet while performing various manicure and pedicure procedures. Such barriers are ideal in protecting cross-contamination from occurring from unsanitary surfaces such as unclean manicure tables and pedicure footrests.

In the embodiments of the present invention directed to a manicure and pedicure system, the manicure and pedicure set includes every implement a professional uses for a pedicure and manicures unlike the devices currently on the market which contain implements not suitable for—or used by professionals such as tweezers and scissors.

It is to be understood that although some advantages of the present invention are described herein, it is not necessary that all the advantageous features and/or all the advantages need to be incorporated into every embodiment of the invention.

Further Embodiments

Although the present invention has been described above in considerable detail with reference to certain versions thereof, other versions are possible. Some of the components of the invention (e.g., pockets and closing structure) may be of any suitable shape, size, and/or configuration; may further include structures not described hereinabove; and may be positioned at alternate suitable locations within the device without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

In other embodiments of the invention, body 100 may be constructed of fabrics other than cotton blends such as polyester, bamboo, flannel, twill fabric, denim, chenille, velvet, etc. so long as the fabric is a washable version thereof. Also, the positioning of first edge 103 (which is attached to the closing structure 400) is not limited to the left side of body 100 as it also may be positioned on the right side of body 100 with second edge 104 positioned on the left side of body 100.

In alternate variations, first closing member 420 and second closing member 440 may be comprised of any suitable lasso, rope, cord, belt, or similar structure and may further include buttons, clasps, a hook and loop closing mechanism commonly known as VELCRO®, or any suitable fastening system. For instance, first closing member 420 may include the female part of a button system and second closing member 440 may include the male part of a button system wherein the female and male parts of the button system inter-engage when closing the case of the present invention. Similarly first closing member 420 may include a hook system and second closing member 440 may include the loop system and when first closing member 420 and second closing member 440 are wrapped around body 100, the hook and loop system inter-engage thereby securing the case of the present invention in the closed configuration.

Yet, in other variations, closing structure 400 may be comprised of only one closing member which wraps around the entire body 100 in the closed position. For example, closing structure 400 may be comprised of an elastic loop which wraps around and stretches around the entire body 100 in the closed configuration. In another example, the one closing member may allow for adjustability. The closing member may be belt-like in form or like a tying member made of any variety of any materials (various types of ribbon, the same material as body 100, or other suitable material) and may include any suitable fastening system such as VELCRO®. For instance, one side of the closing member may include a hook system and the other side of the same closing member may include a loop system and when the closing member is wrapped around body 100, the hook and loop system inter-engage within the closing member thereby securing the case of the present invention in the closed configuration. Thus, closing structure 400 is comprised of at least one closing member.

In further embodiments, the manicure and pedicure system of the present invention may be specially adapted for use with manicures only and thus would not include pedicure implements and the case would be configured and sized accordingly.

While the description above refers to particular embodiments of the present invention, it will be understood that many modifications may be made without departing from the spirit thereof. The presently disclosed embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive.