It all started from a conversation I had on an airplane with a mom who’s daughter is in gymnastics. This flight was April 10, 2017 @ 3:30pm cst on flight from anaheim back to austin.
I told her I invented the stunt stand and she asked how I came up with the idea. I told her I found a problem that needed a solution and just started designing. She then said she has a huge problem getting her daughter’s hair ties out after competing and how her daughter is always crying and screaming when she takes out the hair tie. I said I don’t have any experience with hair ties but I would do some research.
After that, I got back home and started researching hair ties, easily removable hair ties, etc and noticed that there was very little content out there and saw an opportunity to market and sell a better hair tie. No one was really paying for ads in the hair tie space or promoting their hair ties as better than other’s. No one that knew what they were doing at least.
I started with drawings and discussing it with Ricky. From there, I thought that instead of designing the first prototypes in China, that I could test a basic version here in the US to not waste time in China. I made the first physical prototype up in Frisco, TX on April 14, 2017 after setting up for an event in my hotel room. I went to west marine and bought the smallest rope cleat I could find. I used an older style hair tie from china and tested it by tying one end of the hair tie onto the screw part of the cleat and then wrapping it around. It worked pretty well, except it kept cutting the elastic.
From there, I took the prototype to china and we began prototyping and adjusting the design (at least 20 different designs.. maybe up to 50, will have to count at ricky’s) until we had an all-ball version. We tested different size balls, and finally found one that worked. The issue that we began to notice was that it kept breaking, so we made the balls thicker.
I took the hair tie into a running store in San Jose and that is when a lady mentioned that we could also use them as a headband if we made them all flat. I mentioned that we couldn’t make them all flat because they would slide out of the clasp. I later looked into what she said more and thought that maybe we could design it with every other ball flat to help keep the hair tie from rolling out off of girls heads as a headband, but also making it more secure if they had their hair in a ponytail.
We originally thought the shiny style would look more attractive to girls, but we had complaints of it pulling on their hair when they put it in.
I was in china and we were visiting a hair tie factory when I saw a version of silicone hair ties that were extremely soft and I asked Ricky what material it was and he said it was the same as ours. I asked how it was so soft and he mentioned that they sprayed it, but it would be really expensive and not worth. I told him that we should try it and see what girls think. I thought they would like it and once we showed it to a few girls, they agreed.
We then removed the shiny plating we had added to the mold and made it back to the original more porous mold, so that when we sprayed the non-stick it would adhere better to the ridges of the silicon as opposed to coming off from a completely flat surface.
I believe it is very close to the final version, but we are now testing a slightly thinner version along with making it two more links longer so it fits more comfortably on girl’s wrists and also so it looks more visually appealing than the bigger, thicker material it is currently as of 11/1/2018.