The idea is for the user to personalize the functionality of the bag to suit her needs. Some early testers of the bag, for instance, have found that the button can be a clever way to get out of an awkward Bumble or Tinder date.
When it's clear that the conversation is not going anywhere, these women surreptitiously press the button inside their handbag, which they previously programmed to call their iPhone. So when their phone rings on command, they apologize, say they have an emergency, and leave in a hurry.

Tracey Hummel launched Bee & Kin after several years of working in shoe production at Tory Burch. As someone who has spent her career in the fashion industry, she's well aware that the handbag market is crowded with startups, including Cuyana, Clare V, Mansur Gavriel, Jemma, Marcher, and Sofia Fima.

But Hummel believed there was still room for bags that incorporate just the right amount of technology in them. Her introductory selection of bags, which include a $500 crossbody, a $595 bucket bag, and two tote bag silhouettes (from $600 to $725), come equipped with programmable smart buttons as well as lights that help you see inside the bag.
"The use cases are almost endless. I knew from the start that the lights would be a must. I have wasted so much time digging through my purse for my keys or a MetroCard. This was a relatively easy thing to add, but it would make a huge difference." Tracey Hummel, Bee & Kin's founder.

Hummel chose the name of the brand because the word "Hummel" in German means bee. In keeping with the name, she has incorporated a hexagon motif that she weaves throughout all the bags, from the handle of the bucket bag to the shape of the crossbody. It immediately conjures a honeycomb and serves to make the brand easily recognizable, much as some other startups have done. Senreve, for instance, is known for its convertible Maestra bag, and Danse Lente has distinctive circular magnetic closures. Hummel has opted for vibrant colors in the collection, including orange, yellow, turquoise, and silver, alongside the more neutral black and blush. The bags are manufactured in India using Italian leather.

The aesthetic of the bags will draw in some customers. But others will be intrigued by the "smart button," which comes in most bags. Bee & Kin uses a system designed by a Swedish company called Flic. An app lets you program the button to do various things, like find your phone, text your location to a predetermined person, start a playlist, send a pre-written email, or even order an UberX. "We wanted to make the technology as flexible as possible, because we realized women have very different needs. Our goal was to allow women to customize the experience as much as possible." Tracey Hummel, Bee & Kin's founder.