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!
As anyone who has ever sold a house will tell you, you must prioritize curb appeal. Before a potential buyer even considers looking inside your house, they notice the outside first. Does it attract the right kind of attention? Does it take away from the feel you're going for? If you plan to sell sometime soon, you must think about these things. Here are some landscaping options to increase your home's curb appeal, so you can get the best price on your home.
Extensive Plants and Greenery
A barren front yard won't get you the price you want on your home. So, invest in at least a little bit of greenery to keep the surrounding area from looking too dead. Shrubs and bushes tie the house to the lawn that precedes it, and flower beds bring a pop of color to an otherwise drab structure. You can also strategically plant some trees to improve the overall feel of your home's exterior.
As we mentioned, your lawn is one of the most prominent features of your home's exterior. A patchy, dried-up lawn will quickly drive your home's price way down. Some of the best landscaping options for your home's curb appeal involve improving your lawn for the next inhabitant. Overall fertilization, ground aeration, underbrush removal, proper mowing—all of these lawn care tasks contribute to a greener and more lively area that invites people to see your house, rather than stay away from it.
There's nothing like a broken and disheveled pathway to make someone think twice about buying a property. Just as you want the entryway in your house to be welcoming, so too should the pathway leading up to the house be inviting. The pathway from the street to your front door provides plenty of real estate to get creative with. You don't have to settle for a boring concrete pathway. Consider something more eye catching, like a cobblestone path or intermittent brick patterns, as a way to better welcome potential buyers.
Usable Outdoor Furniture
Landscaping doesn't just involve the ground you walk on; also included are the items you use as extras to the overall look. Outdoor furniture is one such extra that you don't necessarily need but can look quite attractive if done correctly. Staging is important with outdoor furniture. Old, broken-down pieces will only look like more work to the potential buyer. A few comfortable chairs, a bench, or a table with an umbrella really go a long way to improving your outdoor aesthetics.
A good tip for deciding on curb appeal items is to decide what you personally would want to see as a part of a welcoming home's exterior. You don't need to go overboard, but a little bit of forethought could net you quite a lot of extra cash in the sale.
Many people strive to support their community by donating their time or their money. When you find a meaningful cause, you might be quick to cut a donation check. Though it's admirable to be quick to act charitably, you should be wary of several common mistakes made when giving to charity. Being mindful of these mistakes and learning tips for making informed charitable choices can help you make the most out of your generous check.
Acting Quickly Out of Emotion
Mission statements are meant to be compelling. If you're an emotionally driven individual, it's natural to pull out your wallet at the sight of a sad puppy on TV or when informed about food insecurity over the phone. Unfortunately, not all charities are as effective or official as they may seem.
Take your passion for helping others one step further by making sure your chosen charity is legit. Speaking with a representative, reviewing their website and social media accounts, and looking at testaments online can give you a better idea of whether the organization is worth your donation.
Forgetting to Keep Record of the Donation
Don't forget that you can reap some financial perks from giving back! With the proper documentation of your donation, you can acquire a better tax deductible.
If you donate more than $12,400 as a single filer or $24,800 as one of two joint filers, you're eligible to deduct that amount from your taxes. So, when a charity asks if you'd like a receipt of donation, always answer yes.
Donating Unusable Materials
Most charities can utilize a monetary donation—it's the physical donations that usually cause some issues. Providing a local nonprofit with irrelevant materials or gifting them with unusable products are surprisingly common mistakes made when giving to charity.
Always check your intended charity's website for a list of things they do and do not accept. The majority of places will provide a guideline to donating or offer contact information to clarify any questions.
Strictly Giving at Year's End
As more and more people get into the holiday spirit at the end of the year, nonprofit organizations see an influx of donations. While it's great to spread holiday cheer via a monetary donation, it's important to keep that spirit going year-round.
With regular donations, charities can more effectively allocate their annual budget. Setting up an automatic monthly donation with the charity of your choosing can maximize your impact. You can account for a monthly donation by foregoing a costly coffee every once in a while.
Knowing how much you should spend on home maintenance each year is hard to figure out and may be preventing you from buying your first home. The types of costs you'll incur depend on the house you buy and its location. The one certainty is that you should start saving now. Read on to figure out how much to start setting aside based on the home you own.
The Age of Your House
Consider several factors when budgeting for home repairs. If you've purchased a new home, your house likely won't require as much maintenance for a few years. Homes built 20 or more years ago are likely to require more maintenance, including replacing and keeping your windows clean. Further, depending on your home's location, weather can cause additional strain over time, so you may need to budget for more repairs.
The One-Percent Rule
An easy way to budget for home repairs is to follow the one-percent rule. Set aside one percent of your home's purchase price each year to cover maintenance costs. For instance, if you paid $200,000 for your home, you would set aside $2,000 each year. This plan is not foolproof. If you bought your home for a good deal during a buyer's market, your home could require more repairs than you've budgeted for.
The Square-Foot Rule
Easy to calculate, you can also budget for home maintenance by saving one dollar for every square foot of your home. This pricing method is more consistent than pricing it by how much you paid because the rate relies on the objective size of your home. Unfortunately, it does not consider inflation for the area where you live, so make sure you also budget for increased taxes and labor costs if you live in or near a city.
The Mix and Match Method
Since there is no infallible rule for how much you should spend on home maintenance, you can combine both methods to get an idea for a budget. Average your results from the square-foot rule and the one-percent rule to arrive at a budget that works for you. You should also increase your savings by 10 percent for each risk factor that affects your home, such as weather and age.
Holding on to savings is easier in theory than practice. Once you know how much you should spend on home maintenance, you'll know what to aim for and be more prepared for an emergency. If you are having trouble securing funds for home repairs, consider taking out a home equity loan, borrowing money from friends or family, or applying for funds through a home repair program through your local government for low-income individuals.