I recently had the pleasure to conduct a Q & A with the amazing Tricia Scribner, Creator of Knotty Tamer. This unique hair detangler solves the problem those with long hair, no matter the texture, have been dealing with since the beginning of time – knots and tangles that just won't quit.
Knotty Tamer is not like an ordinary comb or brush which can cause breakage and even make the issue worse. Instead, it deals with knots and tangles faster, with little to no damage. After years of struggling herself, Tricia conceptualized a new idea, and after lots of dedication, hard work, and the drive to make her idea a tangible product, Knotty Tamer was born. Her hair has never looked better, and for those seeking the same, Knotty Tamer will be their solution too!
Here, Tricia answers questions about her start, her highs and lows, what it takes to make it as an inventor, and advice only someone who has "been there, done that" can offer. And learn what makes Knotty Tamer the mane solution for those pesky knots and tangles!
Q: When did you first realize you wanted to be an entrepreneur and what was your first endeavor?
A: I think I've always known I wanted to be an entrepreneur since a very young age. If I wanted something, I figured out how to get it by raising capital. If I needed some Christmas money, I would literally work with what was around me, like make ornaments from cones on trees, glue them together, make a wreath, and go door to door, and I'd sell some. Or I would make things to put in my grandma's antique stores to sell, or mow my neighbor's lawn to earn money for a dog. I did these things since I was around 8. We charged kids a nickel or quarter to watch little plays we'd make up. I placed a value on everything.
As I got older I would come up with ideas that either solved problems, or were new ideas and I am so glad I didn't pursue them all or I would be dead broke! The key to knowing which idea to run with is knowing that it will truly be worth the money, will make money, will solve a problem, and that there is nothing like yours out there.
Q: How did the idea for Knotty Tamer come about?
A: My hair has always been quickly tangled, hard to get through, you name it. Most things on the market are just another version of the same thing already out there and still doesn't address the tangle differently. I had been working on a detangler for many years, from solutions, to different tool ideas, sketches... it just took me closely examining an actual knot/tangle and understanding how it got there and how I think I could get it out better, quickly and with less breakage.
I knew I had an idea and off to Home Depot, Michael's, and back to Home Depot and several visits and aisles later with additional online research, I was onto something. I recommend always looking outside of your industry, look at industrial websites for materials, other industries, you'd be surprised. It took a few attempts a few months apart, but I finally had my first working prototype!
Q: What has been your biggest challenge with the product/company thus far?
A: The biggest challenge has truly been finding an injection mold maker. There are a lot of them out there, but they cost a lot, and your CAD design, which you will need, can also be costly. I'm someone who likes to look you in the eyes and meet face to face to discuss my ideas, and most of the makers I had found were online, costly but quick, but in another state. I did look locally but I hadn't found one. Then my boyfriend saw the trouble I was having and came up with a few contacts for me locally and it wasn't easy, nor on the timelines I was hoping for, but we finally got there and working on full production.
My biggest lesson here was thinking I could have this done so quickly. Most entrepreneurs think big, so we have it in our heads that we will be to market selling in XYZ amount of time, and the most crucial time spent is getting your actual product done right. You must allow time for changes, communication, things out of your control, mistakes, etc. Double or triple your time if you must, and this was a hard lesson because I was ready to pounce. However, I am right where I am supposed to be currently, it all aligned up, I found the best packaging company to work with, and I couldn't imagine having my product sooner at this point, so trust the process and stay vigilant.
Q: What has been the most rewarding experience throughout the process?
A: Besides my friends loving how the Knotty Tamer functions and response to some pre-sales and stop-ins, I'd have to say the most rewarding experience was finally seeing the actual product produced from the injection mold itself. It still needed some minor tweaks, but overall, I'm thrilled! To see your idea go from your little glued-together prototype to a fully functioning live product, priceless!
Q: What is different about your invention compared to other products in its category?
A: The Knotty Tamer is unique, it's not a brush, it's not a comb, It's completely different in how it functions, is held, used... it attacks the tangle right where it's at, versus your typical product that just moves the tangle around, compacts it, and tends to break your hair in the process. The Knotty Tamer looks different, is held different, and goes through hair differently, and removes knots and tangles quickly with little to no breakage. Most people think I have extensions because my hair is in such good condition, and I see their frayed ends, and if they had my product, they could save those ends.
Q: How were you able to finance the development and launch of the company?
A: I finally created Knotty Tamer while I was already self-employed and went with it, I don't advise that, but you never know when you'll invent something. I have had to utilize many sources of income from my other business, credit cards, savings, family, friends, garage sales, loans, you name it! Of course, planning and preparing is essential and practical, but much of entrepreneurship is risk, and you have to learn the highs and lows and quite honestly embrace it.
Q: Where can people purchase your product?
A: For now it can be purchased on knottytamer.com but will soon be in select beauty retailers, salons, suppliers, etc. Truly, it's limitless where we will be, in the hands of people with knots and tangles is the best spot!
Q: Where do you see the company going in the future?
A: I definitely have more products to add to the line and I am excited about that. I want to make sure we are continually solving a problem for people because I understand the frustration, and unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all product, but I want to help as many people as I can to get ready faster and have healthy hair.
I do see opportunities for private labeling, licensing agreements, growing and selling the brand - that's what pretty much everyone wants!
Q: What advice would you give a budding entrepreneur seeking to launch a new product or service?
A: This whole interview could have been based on this one question, I have so much advice! I truly feel anyone can invent something, just figure out how to solve a problem that is viable, but from that point on is where I think it's tricky, not everyone is cut out to see it through, you have to know your skill sets and be willing to learn new ones. That can be hard sometimes, it's uncomfortable. I've taught myself a lot because I am naturally curious so I learned trademark laws, patent laws, how to seek out packaging and create it, create logos, etc. I have an excellent graphic guy who understands me, I would have been a great graphic artist but I am not about to take classes at this point, so I have a great guy. I paid way too much for my first website for another business, and a boyfriend told me to use a different platform so I could be in charge. I was hesitant at first, but then I went for it and learned so much about the design. I am now in control and it's great.
Don't buy into the lies of overnight online success! While timing is important, it's more important to know how to grow your business sustainably. There is a right time to know when to pull the trigger on paying for online ads, and the more you can do in the beginning yourself the better so you learn it! You can create beautiful ads with sites like Canva.com, write your own content, etc.
Learn to run as lean as you can for as long as you can, use your garage, spare room, don't even think about office space until you have truly outgrown your current situation. Cook or learn to cook before Top Ramen becomes a food group! This is not a time to be prideful, you may need a business loan or to raise capital, borrow from family or friends, or keep your job until you can truly self-fund your business. This can be the most exciting time of your life and truly the most frightening, I prayed a lot and believe in prayer, lots of prayer!
Q: How many people work for the company at this time?
A: It is still just me. I will operate alone as long as possible with hiring on a contract basis, commission, people willing to help me with their time in the early stage, and make sure that when I do need to pay or hire that it truly brings an ROI. Again, running lean as long as possible or sustainable!
Q: Sum up your company philosophy (or your own personal "mantra") in 3 words:
A: For me personally, "Make It Happen." I try to live by that.
Q: What about your personality makes you a successful entrepreneur?
A: I'm still finding my way through success, but I believe what makes me think I can be successful is that I don't give up. I see the big picture and I'm extremely resourceful. My optimism can also cause some of my biggest issues, but I always find a way. With social media, you have to truly self-promote and this is something I am not comfortable with, but learning to be. I like to stay private, although most think I am extroverted, I'm probably more of an introverted extrovert. I need downtime to create and think up these ideas. So, I am learning to be out there more and open to promote my brand. I've spent my entire career in sales, so now it's my turn!
Q: Anything else you'd like to share?
Yes, so much more to share, but I will keep it simple. Be careful who you get advice or opinions from, because it can throw you off. Advice from people close to you, experts, people who have been there is great. Don't stress yourself out with the competition, be aware, but focus on your journey and how to get there, you can do this! Be willing to do what others won't, this isn't for everyone. Have someone close to confide in as you will most likely be spending a lot of time alone in the beginning while you start up. There are many ways to make money, find your niche and God Bless!
Knotty Tamer will change the way people with long hair (even extensions) detangle. Quick, easy, pain-free, and less damaging, this new product is the future of hair care!
Let’s face it: this sucks.
After a massive vaccine campaign, a pretty successful hot-vax summer, and a pre-holiday season which made us believe things would finally-finally be getting back to normal, we were introduced to the Omicron variant.
As booster shots slowly rolled out, none of us were prepared for how hard and how fast this surge would hit. Unlike other variants, Omicron is more resistant to the vaccine and is infecting even those with booster shots and antibodies.
And it’s really effing scary.
Places like New York are teetering on the edge of another lockdown as restaurants close, offices shut down, and events get canceled. In short: it feels like March 2020 again.
In the words of the perpetually relatable Olivia Rodrigo: “do you get deja vu?” Yes, Olivia, we do.
There are some differences to this surge. Luckily most people — especially the vaccinated among us — are experiencing mild symptoms. While numbers are up, hospitals are not as overwhelmed as they were when the virus first slammed us.
However, this time, many of us are experiencing pandemic burn out — mentally and financially.
When the pandemic first began, no one could have imagined how long it would last. Many people who were furloughed or working from home saw it as taking a few weeks off to relax and unwind. Obviously, this was not the case. Rates of unemployment skyrocketed and some were forced to move out of their homes to save money or take other dramatic, unexpected measures.
What did this look like? Burning through savings accounts, plunging into credit card debt, and adopting the precarious paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. According to CNBC “42% of U.S. adults with credit card debt have increased those balances since the Covid-19 pandemic began in March 2020.”
And while employment rates are up in 2021 and the Great Resignation has seen people seeking and finding better opportunities, the Omicron surge proves it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.
In a recent money confessional on Slate’s “Pay Dirt” column, one reader expressed their frustration at the financial setbacks they experienced during the pandemic. While they were not totaled by the changes, they had to drastically adjust their life plans.
The columnist responded: “A lot of people had their dreams shattered in 2020 … Just because your situation isn’t the same as your more-hard-hit co-workers’ doesn’t mean that you aren’t grieving the loss of your income,” giving us all permission to feel the negative feelings. They continued: “Toxic positivity is very real in the United States and inspires a lot of people to say that no matter what their life is like, they should be happy … But you can be happy and grateful, yet still, acknowledge the suck in a situation.”
This perspective reflects a necessary shift that we all need to make. Especially as we approach yet another perilous year in the land of Covidia. It’s soooo hard to continue — and continue and continue — being grateful and not be, quite frankly, fed up. So what can we do about it?
As everything is spiraling out of control, there are small things you can do to feel less overwhelmed. And maybe, less bitter, sad, or resentful — provide room to process and accept this unfortunate reality as best you can.
Feel Your Feelings
Toxic positivity festers when we assume we should feel a certain way and don’t pause to let ourselves feel our negative feelings. Emotion comes from the Latin emovere - to "move out, remove, agitate." If we really break it down we get ex "out" + movere "to move." What does that mean to us living in America in the early days of 2022? Get those negative emotions outta here. Feel them and move ‘em out.
Then take a deep look, free from judgment, at how you’re actually doing in your day-to-day life. Try daily journaling, or delve into meditation.
Take Stock of your Life
Often, without realizing it, we fall into habits that become patterns and routines that eventually become our whole lives. So, when these habits are disrupted …. by, I don’t know, a global pandemic … we’re shaken out of our comfort zone and into reality. Take a glance at your life. What are you actually, truly, grateful for? What is mere distraction?
Make a Plan
Our spending habits are the first thing to spiral out of control and the most difficult to course-correct. If you’re worried about your financial health during this time — or you want to be more vigilant just in case — try the Cleo app. This holistic service manages your money for you and helps you gain control and improve your situation. Managing your money no longer feels like a chore, and it’s actually fun!
All in all, Meet Cleo makes you feel like you have a handle on your finances. And in these uncertain times, just being aware of your standing can offer a world of comfort. With Meet Cleo as your side, you no longer have to cave to toxic positivity. This app keeps it real and chats with you like your honest, most blunt friend. And for that, we thank her.
Find out more about Cleo here and put yourself on the path to financial control.
When you think of personal finance, what springs to mind?
Kevin O'Leary of Shark Tank fame? Dave Ramsay yelling into a podcast mic? Finance bros tracking their bitcoin? Unfortunately, these are the images we're constantly bombarded by. So they're the archetypes overwhelmingly represented in personal finance.
But it's not all Chads in down vests and dad-types shaming you about your financial faux paus, the personal finance world has grown increasingly more dynamic and diverse.
With the rise of social media, the importance of financial literacy has entered the mainstream, as essential information is no longer confined to impenetrable, official documents. Instead, educators have changed their approach and are making the intimidating world of managing your money far less scary.
Through graphics, memes — and other whimsical mediums — online financial advice that's geared to younger generations is more and more common.
Now, with the help of TikTok — an app unique for wildly popularizing previously niche subjects — personal finance talk has become ubiquitous.
Who's Doing the Talking
The beauty of social media is its power to democratize. Though TikTok has been criticized for promoting those its algorithm chooses — and has even resulted in strikes from Black Creators demanding to be given more credit — it's also granted platforms to people with different experiences and backgrounds.
When it comes to financial advice, TikTok makes it super relatable. No longer is advice restricted to "skip your morning latte" and "quit that avocado toast" or other millennial-shaming behavior. These days, young people directly advise their peers by sharing sympathetic experiences.
From debt repayment to financial freedom journeys, people are engaging with the obscure realm of finances in a charismatic way.
Financial Feminists … But Don't Call Them Girlbosses
One huge TikTok sub-movement that's emerged is the Financial Feminist movement, which urges women specifically to take charge of their finances.
However, this isn't a repeat of the early 2010s Girlboss Feminism or even Corporate Feminism which encourages women to rise up within an established system. This is a whole new ball game.
By empowering women to speak to each other, personal finance is no longer a shame-game. Instead of scrolling through Reddit threads that mock people who support the trappings of the patriarchy like makeup or highly-feminine clothing — which are often deemed necessary for society to take one seriously, if not by Reddit bloggers — women learn from other women about how to manage their lives.
There's also information about unlearning feminized behaviors, helping women break out of socially coded patterns which hold them back from asking for help, asking for more or asserting — and believing! — their true value.
Financial Feminism takes into account the wage gap, talking about gendered norms and systems that prevent us from living financial lives equal to male counterparts.
Even more radical, however, are accounts which incorporate intersectional politics and social commentary. Instead of merely assessing the numbers, they examine the social structures and hierarchies that cause people to treat their money differently and radically affects how they live their lives.
These little communities have become hubs for financial empowerment for marginalized genders with the mission of helping them know themselves better, do better — and have fun while doing it!
Despite its addictive charm, you can't live your life on TikTok alone.
So while Personal Finance TikTok is an okay place to start, taking effective action means getting off TikTok… and onto a better app. Cleo is a budgeting app that's as engaging as TikTok, but actually helps you do the things you're learning.
According to their website, Cleo integrates all your accounts and — like a financially savvy and brutally honest friend — reveals what's truly going on in your wallet.
Cleo is like the coolest finance major you'll ever meet. Simply text her all your questions about your spending, your habits, and your current balances, and she'll give it to you straight.
She'll also tell you when you're running low — like when you really should skip that Starbucks stop so you'll have money left for the subway home — and keeps you on track of your goals.
Ah yes, 'tis finally the giving season!
As someone whose love-language is gift giving, I relish most opportunities to spoil my friends with sweet tokens of appreciation. I am the queen of spontaneous gifts. When I'm puttering around the city, doing my silly little tasks, I always perk up when I find some small trinket that I can give my friends.
Nothing says "I love you" more than saying, "hey, this reminded me of you." And then handing them a nod to a past conversation, or a memory we share. So, sorry to my friends for cluttering your houses with sentimental junk, but I'm even more apologetic for my fatal flaw: when it comes to the holidays … I always draw a blank!
To me, organic gifting is much more genuine than holiday gifting. Yet, if I were to use that as an excuse for turning up empty-handed to every single holiday party this season. I fear I'd start the new year off with fewer friends. And, as someone who loves to receive gifts just as much, I don't want to chance burning bridges that might hold presents on the other side.
So, when the holiday season arrives, I spend far too much of my precious time strategizing my gifts for my friends.
Often, when I draw a blank, I end up splurging on expensive gifts — a luxury candle, a decadent face oil, a classy bottle of perfume. Sure, these opulent gifts are a cop out, but they're guaranteed successes. Upon opening a package containing their favorite, overpriced indulgence who wouldn't smile?
Due to my holiday default, I'm forced to do some serious budget planning to accommodate my lavish spending. Or, more often, I go spectacularly over-budget.
However, this year, I must make a change. After my summer of post-vax hedonism that granted justification to spend more money than I'd ever dare, my holiday budget's looking pretty lean.
After sitting myself down and giving myself a strict talking to about prioritizing my savings, I've come up with some tips on how to save money around the holidays:
Review your budget
The amount of money we think we spend and the money we actually spend are two very different numbers. Grab a drink, pull out your bank statements, it's time to get to the bottom of your spending.
Take a look at two or three months and categorize your purchases. Which ones were intentional? Which ones were emotional? And how many times did you go to the coffee shop just to feel something and leave with a $10 latte and pastry? Once the truth is laid out in front of you, it's easy to see where you're bleeding money.
For me, it's coffee shops and boutique clothing stores I discover during jaunts around trendy neighborhoods. Whatever your vices are, do your best to become aware of them.
Budgeting apps like Cleo have helped me curb my impulse spending a ton! Cleo talks to me like a friend would — a friend who is not afraid to tell me no and call me out on my overspending. We all need a friend like Cleo, so download the app and watch your budget change overnight.
via Cleo App
Cut out what you don't need
It's all well and good to glance at your spending, but the next step is brutal: get honest with yourself about the purchases you could have gone without. But this isn't about deprivation, it's prioritization. What can you relinquish now to ensure you have a great holiday season later?
Cringing at past impulse buys I've made, I vowed to avoid my typical temptations, since I couldn't resist them. I know I'm easily lured into charming little storefronts downtown. So I took new routes home, avoiding the streets where all the cool clothes lie, waiting for me to cave.
I'm sure, in good time, I'll be back. But that's a problem for 2022-me. Until then, we just have to hold out for less than two months, get the gifts our friends deserve, and then it's back to regularly scheduled planning.
Make a spending plan
Saving without a plan usually leads to spending. As you narrow down what you can afford, figure out what you want to buy. I like to split it into categories: larger expenses vs. affordable picks.
Here's the fun part: shopping around. Sometimes I only have a general idea of what I want to buy, and sometimes I have specifics in mind. Either way, I love to shop around for a deal.
When it comes to saving money, research is paramount. Various vendors might have different prices, promotional codes, or sales. A quick Google search can often save you 10% or more, so don't take the first price you see as gospel.
via Cleo App
After finding the best price, I can budget for what I'm going to buy and when. Which takes me to ….
Take advantage of sales … strategically
The holiday season brings with it the promise of big, blowout sales. But, if you're not careful, you can end up spending more money during a sale — which is precisely the stores' intention.
Don't fall victim to the allure of those big, red "SALE" stickers. Instead, plot out how to take advantage of a number of sales for different products. Adding those sale prices to your spending plan will keep you focused and on track, instead of buying frivolous items no one will ever use just because the prices are slashed.
Saving money over the holidays doesn't mean you have to make a Scrooge of yourself. You can still gift and gift well, just more intelligently. Spending with intention is key to savings, while investing thoughtfully into your relationships.
Apps like Cleo can help you keep your finances on track without feeling overwhelming. With one download, you could be on your way to mega-savings.