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!
Over the past month, both Haiti and Afghanistan have been pummeled by tragic disasters that left devastation in their wake.
In Haiti, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake erupted, leading over to 2,189 deaths and counting. A few hours later, in Afghanistan, Kabul fell to the Taliban just after U.S. troops had pulled out after 20 years of war.
In many ways, these disasters are both chillingly connected to US interference. The United States invaded Haiti in 1915, ostensibly promising to restore order after a presidential assassination but really intending to preserve the route to the Panama Canal and to defend US creditors, among other reasons.
But the US forces soon realized that they were not able to control the country alone, and so formed an army of Haitian enlistees, powered by US air power and intended to quell Haitian insurrection against US controls. Then, in 1934, the US pulled out on its own, disappointed with how slow progress was going. Haiti's institutions were never really able to rebuild themselves, leaving them immensely vulnerable to natural disasters.
Something similar happened in Afghanistan, where the US sent troops and supported an insurgent Afghan army – only to pull out, abandoning the country they left in ruins, with many Afghans supporting the Taliban.
In both cases, defense contractors benefited by far the most from the conflict, making billions in profits while civilians faced fallout and devastation. While the conflicts and circumstances are extremely different and while the US is obviously not solely to blame for either crisis, it's hard not to see the US-based roots of these disasters.
Today, in Haiti and Afghanistan, civilians are facing unimaginable tragedy.
Here are charities offering support in Afghanistan:
1. The International Rescue Committee is looking to raise $10 million to deliver aid directly to Afghanistan
2. CARE is matching donations for an Afghanistan relief fund. They are providing food, shelter, and water to families in need; a donation of $89.50 covers 1 family's emergency needs for a month.
3. Women for Women International is matching donations up to 500,000 for Afghan women, who will be facing unimaginable horrors under Taliban control.
4. AfghanAid offers support for people living in remote regions of Afghanistan.
5. VitalVoices supports female leaders and changemakers and survivors of gender-based violence around the world.
Here are charities offering support in Haiti:
1. Partners in Health has been working with Haiti for a long time, and they work with the Department of Health rather than around them, which is extremely important in a charity.
2. Health Equity International helps run Saint Boniface Hospital, a hospital in Haiti close to the earthquake's epicenter.
3. SOIL is an organization based Haiti, "a local organization with a track record of supporting after natural disasters." They are distributing hygiene kits and provisions on the ground to hospitals and to victims of the earthquake.
4. Hope for Haiti has been working in emergency response in Haiti for three decades, and their team is comprised of people who live and work in Haiti. They focus on supporting children and people in need across Haiti.
When the new Tiffany's campaign was unveiled, reactions were mixed.
Tiffany's, the iconic jewelry brand which does not (despite what some might be misled to believe) in fact serve breakfast, featured Jay Z, Beyoncé, and a rare Basquiat painting in their recent campaign.
The aesthetics were undeniably luxe and historic. The campaign showcased the rarely-seen Basquiat painting Equals Pi (1982), which the brand acquired for the background's proximity to its distinctive Tiffany blue. Also notably historic is that Beyoncé was the first Black woman to wear the 128.54 carat Tiffany Diamond.
Before Beyoncé, the only other stars to wear the yellow diamond were Mary Whitehouse, wife of American diplomat Edwin Sheldon Whitehouse, Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn, and singer Lady Gaga.
"Beyoncé and Jay-Z are the epitome of the modern love story …. Love is the diamond that the jewelry and art decorate," said the press release accompanying the campaign.
The campaign, titled "About Love," is stunning and has both classic and contemporary references. The image of the couple posing in front of high art recalled the iconic stills from their "APESHIT" music video, for which they famously rented out the Louvre and posed in front of the Mona Lisa.
THE CARTERS - APESHIT (Official Video) www.youtube.com
Their "APESHIT" photo made a giant cultural impact for its juxtaposition of Western beauty and Blackness. Tiffany's campaign seemed to have similar goals — showcasing Beyoncé and Jay Z as the peak of luxury, this time juxtaposing the Basquiat and the Tiffany diamond.
As a Black couple, their appearance in such a luxury campaign was a big move for representation, but in a post 2020 landscape, there was an outcry of criticism.
Despite the aesthetic beauty of the image, the high capitalist undertones didn't sit right with some on the internet — largely younger demographics. Though this campaign was an effort by Tiffany's to appeal to younger audiences and make the brand feel more relevant, Twitter's verdict was clear: a blood diamond wasn't the way to go.
The diamond, which was mined in South Africa in 1877, comes from origins laden in the implications of colonialism. The practice of mining in South Africa at the time was exploitative and destructive, eschewing the livelihoods and safety of African miners and their communities for... what? Money? So Tiffany could try to sell us some dream of affluence using Black celebrities as to "Blackwash" the history behind their treasured piece?
The Washington Post also had some choice words, saying: "Its campaign does not celebrate Black liberation — it elevates a painful symbol of colonialism. It presents an ostentatious display of wealth as a sign of progress in an age when Black Americans possess just 4 percent of the United States's total household wealth. If Black success is defined by being paid to wear White people's large colonial diamonds, then we are truly still in the sunken place."
Alongside the campaign, Tiffany & Co have promised to donate $2 million to HBCUs to fund scholarships and internships. But this measly amount (considering the multi-billion dollar net worth behind LVMH) is not enough to cover up that, despite their performative efforts to promote "diversity," Tiffany's is entrenched in a colonial history that neither beauty nor Beyonce can make us ignore.
While Black representation has been increasing over the past few years, the question of how we are represented is starting to be considered with more nuance. And as we examine the structures of wealth and hierarchical values, many people are starting to ask whether these should be the standards we aspire to anymore.
Jay Z and Beyoncé have come under fire before for their promotion of Black Capitalist values — which the kids don't seem to want. Jay Z especially seems invested in the trappings of traditional (read: white) success and wealth. His cannabis line recently unveiled a campaign based on the work Slim Aarons — which was famously focused on "attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places" — and its unashamed opulence raised some eyebrows.
Images like this aren't as revolutionary as they once might have been since they reinforce the status quo and tell marginalized people to reach for the same luxuries and lifestyles deemed aspirational by the people who have oppressed them.
Anti-capitalist theory has been around as long as capitalism has, but younger generations are more likely to question the status quo — even when it comes packed with Basquiat and Beyoncé.
The conversation about the Tiffany campaign is indicative of how Gen Z thinks differently about money and what it means to them. They are less likely to be seduced by the luster of the aspirational, and more receptive to relatability.
No more does financial literacy seem restricted to the pretentious or the elite — we get it, finance bros; you love capitalism. With Cleo, understanding your money is something that can align users with their values.
And those values don't look like blood diamonds or corporate pandering.
- Sorry, Beyoncé, but Tiffany's blood diamonds aren't a girl's best friend - Washington Post
- The Black-white wealth gap left Black households more vulnerable — Brookings
- The Unashamed Opulence of Jay Z's Luxury Cannabis-Themed Slim Aarons Photoshoot — Popdust
- ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE DOING ATTRACTIVE THINGS IN ATTRACTIVE PLACES WITH SLIM AARONS — Elle Decor
Road trips can be a lot of fun — but they can also drain your wallet quickly if you aren't careful.
From high gas costs and park admission fares to lodging and the price of eating out every night, the expenses can add up quickly. But at the same time, it's very possible to do road trips cheaply and efficiently. Without the headache of worrying about how much money you're leaking, you can enjoy the open road a whole lot more. Here's how to save money on a road trip.
1. Prepare Your Budget, Route, and Packing List in Advance
If you want to save money on a road trip, be sure you're ready to go. Try to count up all your expenses before you hit the road and create a budget. It's also a good idea to plan your route in advance so you don't end up taking unnecessary, gas-guzzling detours. And finally, be sure to pack in advance so you don't find yourself having to buy tons of things you forgot along the way.
2. Book Cheap Accommodations — Or Try Camping
All those motel rooms can add up surprisingly quick, but camping is often cheap or free, and it's a great way to get intimate with the place you're visiting. You can check the Bureau of Land Management's website for free campsites. Freecampsite.com also provides great information on If you don't have a tent or don't want to camp every night, try booking cheap Airbnbs or booking hotels in advance, making sure to compare prices.
camping road tripConde Nast Traveler
If you're planning on sleeping in your car, a few tips: WalMart allows all-night parking, as do many 24-hour gyms. (Buying a membership to Planet Fitness or something like it also gives you a great place to stop, shower, and recharge while on the road).
3. Bring Food From Home
Don't go on a road trip expecting to subsist on fast food alone. You'll wind up feeling like shit, and it'll drain your pocketbook stunningly quickly. Instead, be sure to bring food from home. Consider buying a gas stove and a coffee pot for easy on-the-go meals, and make sure you bring substantial snacks to satiate midday or late night cravings so you can avoid getting those late night Mickey D's expeditions.
Try bringing your own cooler, filling it with easy stuff for breakfast and lunch — some bread and peanut butter and jelly will go a long way. Bring your own utensils, plates, and napkins, and avoid buying bottled water by packing some big water jugs and a reusable water bottle. Alternatively, try staying at hotels or Airbnbs with kitchens so you can cook there.
4. Avoid Tolls
Apps like Google Maps and Waze point out toll locations, so be sure to avoid those to save those pennies. (If it takes you too far off route, you might have to bite the bullet and drive across that expensive bridge).
You can also save on parking fees by using sites like Parkopedia.
Road TripThe Orange Backpack
5. Save on Gas
Gas can get pricy incredibly fast, so be sure that you're stopping at cheap gas stations. Free apps like GasBuddy help you find the most affordable gas prices in the area. Also, try going the speed limit on the highways — anything faster will burn through your tank. Be sure that you don't wait till you arrive at touristy locations or big cities to fill up.
6. Get a National Park Pass
All those parks can get really expensive really fast. If you're planning on visiting three or more parks, it's a great idea to get an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass. For $80 you can get into every National Park for one year.