Carpinteria artist solves dilemma with wrist device
The health of himself and his family has been a top priority for Benjamin Anderson even before the COVID-19 crisis.
“At our front door, we have a go-to bag with sunscreen, hand sanitizers and other items to be proactive in guarding against the elements,” said Mr. Anderson, who lives in Carpinteria with his wife, Leigh-Anne Anderson, and their two sons, Luke, 12, and Liam, 6.
“I always carried a hand sanitizer in my back pocket when I went shopping. It was a burden. One day, I was washing my hands and looked at the yarn bracelet that I wore all the time. I wondered if I could attach a small hand sanitizer to it,” Mr. Anderson said.
“That got me wondering if there was some way for other items like bug repellent and sunscreen to be attached, too, and worn like a wrist watch.”
The result is the HandiGuru, a lightweight, refillable wristband designed to carry a variety of gels and lotions for easy, on-the-go access. Replacing bulky bottles that can leak or get lost at the bottom of a backpack or purse, HandiGuru wears comfortably like a watch and features FDA-approved, recyclable silicone, which is perfect for storing hand sanitizer, bug repellent, sunscreen and more.
To use, load any gel or lotion into HandiGuru’s self-sealing compartment with the help of the applicator bottle (included with the purchase). When it’s time to reapply, simply squeeze the silicone band to release the desired amount.
“No mess, no hassle, no worries,” said Mr. Anderson. “In light of the coronavirus pandemic, guarding against germs is more important than ever. With HandiGuru, the protection my family needs is always right at our fingertips, giving us peace of mind whenever we leave home.”
He chose the name because a guru is a “sage in his own arena, and our mantra is ‘Guarding your OM when you leave home.’ ”
OM, he explained, means spiritual well-being.
HandiGurus are available in a variety of modern colors including Guru Gray, Infinite Black and Transcendental Blue.
The refillable wristband kit, which costs $11.95, includes a one-size-fits-all silicone wristband and a BPA-free squeeze bottle, complete with a BPA-free applicator tip for easy refills.
“For each of the first 2,500 kits sold, HandiGuru will donate one kit to communities in need to help keep them safe during these difficult times,” said Mr. Anderson, who graduated from Santa Barbara High School in 1995 and earned his bachelor’s degree from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco in 2001.
After a year of study in Florence, Italy, to become a fine artist, he moved to San Francisco for six years, “painting portraits and anything to make a living,” followed by two years in Laguna Beach and then moving to Los Angeles to continue his fine art career while living in a converted firehouse in Inglewood.
“I was showing in galleries, and it was amazing living in the big city and spending weekends in Santa Barbara. But every time, my wife and I had to drive back to L.A., we were depressed,” said Mr. Henderson.
In 2008, they moved to Carpinteria permanently.
“Back to the promised land,” he said.
At his home studio, Mr. Anderson continues to create monumental oil paintings, ranging in size from 3-by-4 feet to 6-by-16 feet and costing $3,500 and more.
He has been recognized for his portraiture by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and was selected by Converse for a national ad campaign as their All Star artist. He has shown work nationally and internationally, including solo and group exhibitions in New York, San Francisco, Venice and Los Angeles.
“I’m best known for my paintings of water, a lot of them swimmers in pools, oceans and rivers, that are nostalgic. I also paint objects like trucks, bicycles and planes, dropping in water. It’s my statement on what’s really important for me.
“I’m a huge outdoor person. I gravitate toward nature in general.”
HandiGuru kits are sold at Carpinteria Lumber Co., 915 Elm Ave., in Carpinteria and online at Amazon.com. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.