Today, I want to learn about:
near me:
Category: Arts & Crafts
Views: 10090
Comments: 0 Favorited: 0
Average Rating:
You must be logged in to vote.
This MonthAverage: N/A, Votes: 0
All TimeAverage: .00, Votes: 0

Topsy Tail, The $100 Million Hair Gadget That Could...and Did!

» Introduction
Accessory Brainstorms founder Joan Lefkowitz details how "Topsy Tail", a hairstyling tool that turned everyday pony tails into unique creations, progressed from an idea in an inventor's head to an overnight "must-have" sensation, selling $100 million in retail.
» Step 1
Back in 1991, while our New York fashion accessories salesrep showroom, Accessory Brainstorms, Inc., was figuring its way out of a national recession, we received a call from an editor of ACCESSORIES magazine about a great new hair invention called TopsyTail tm, that was not a hair accessory but a hair tool.

The inventor, Tomima Edmark, had convinced the editor that the TopsyTail tm had the potential to turn the accessories industry on its head and create a sales revolution despite the fact that it was only selling in a few boutiques at that time. The editor, knowing a good thing when she saw it, advised Dallas based Tomima to secure a New York salesrep that would sell it into the major department stores and provided her with several recommendations. Tomima selected Accessory Brainstorms, as we were already focusing on ‘out of the box’ accessory items that would get the media’s attention and drive sales in the weak economy, We immediately reached out to buyers to introduce them to the product wonder that turned a ponytail inside out to make numerous beautiful hairstyles.
» Step 2
Meanwhile Tomima, a former marketing person for IBM, was busy at work securing a Direct Response TV (DRTV) deal. TopsyTail tm would become the first fashion accessory to appear on a television commercial. TopsyTail tm had all the makings of a successful DRTV campaign. It catered to a huge demographic --‘anyone who can ponytail can TopsyTail tm,’; was inexpensive to produce, it could be marked up for profit many times and still be offered at less than $20, it’s effect made people feel special and more attractive,
it was simple to use, and had an element of magic. At about the same time of establishing the TV connection Tomima hired a New York public relations firm with credentials in promoting both fashion accessory and beauty products, to deliver the news on TopsyTail tm into the hands and heads of American girls and women.

Even before the TV and PR campaign took hold, the department stores responded and orders started to roll in. Only Bloomingdales buyers turned down the TopsyTail tm, stating it did not fit into their product mix. When the media exposure did hit all hell broke loose. The department stores placed reorders for monthly deliveries for up to a year out.
One morning we received an urgent telephone message from the top executive at Bloomingdales asking us to call their buyers ‘As soon as possible!’
» Step 3
Tomima had also hired salesreps in other key markets nationally. She had all targets covered. The orders were coming in so fast and furiously that she could no longer run the operation from her garage. She was running out of funds to produce the goods. A decision had to be made on how to keep up with demand. She formed an alliance with a DRTV company to fund the production of goods (allowing Tomima to retain oversight of quality control), run the TV campaign worldwide and oversee distribution.
In addition, she established an extensive network of outsourced vendors to deal with everything from manufacturing to servicing retail stores; keeping her own company very small (3 full time employees) and creating an economy of scale. By allowing herself to focus on what she did best—which was creating the TopsyTail tm , and effectively managing the business, she was able to capitalize on her whirlwind dream.

This tsunami of sales continued for well over a year in the US and reached into international markets as well. In the summer of ’92 while on vacation in Barcelona I was watching TV in my hotel room and lo and behold a TopsyTail tm commercial appeared on CNN! After a year and a half, just as TopsyTail tm had thundered into the marketplace, the storm had run its course.

The market was saturated and was ready for the next ‘big thing’ which was to be the Hairdini tm , (but that’s another story.) By that time, TopsyTail tm had generated
over $100 million in sales to take its place as the best selling hair invention in history.

» Step 4
ACCESSORY BRAINSTORMS, Inc., is a licensing agent, marketer and consultant for Fashion Accessory/ Beauty/Personal Care and Lifestyle Inventions and products. From its showroom in New York’s ‘accessories district’, the company licenses inventor’s products to major corporations and markets to Mail Order Catalogues, TV Shopping programs and retail. Some very successful products launched by the company have been TOPSY TAIL (which sold over $100m at retail), HOLLYWOOD FASHION TAPES, CLOCAP, BOSOM BUTTON, WHIRL-A-STYLE and MISS OOPS and, most recently, LUMBARWEAR and TAG TAMERS… Accessory Brainstorms specializes in representing unique products and inventions in its categories and is always interested in *seeing new products. The company has been in business since 1984 and was recently awarded "Most Inventive" by ACCESSORIES MAGAZINE.
To learn more about us and our products, or to contact us, visit our website at

Tell others about this page by Digging it:

Share and Bookmark This Article on Other Sites
NEW! Share Your Favorite Videos and Articles with Your Friends on Facebook using the OneMinuteU Facebook Application.

Loading Playlist...
By Joan Lefkowitz, of ACCESSORY BRAINSTORMS, New Y...
Views: 14634
Accessory Brainstorms founder Joan Lefkowitz detai...
Views: 10091
"Few can believe that suffering, especially b...
Views: 4457
Learn about which inventions and/or products sell ...
Views: 3961
So you have an idea for an invention? What do you ...
Views: 11746
A motivational story about a woman and mother who ...
Views: 115878