In 2004, I learned of hair extensions and, since I could never grow my hair very long, decided to try them. Like many who get extensions, I loved them and was hooked! I began to get my extensions put in at a salon regularly which cost $800 every 3 months. (And that was a good deal. Lots of places in my hometown of Minneapolis charge $1200 to $1500 and even up to $2500 for a hair extension installation.)
At the time I was a 10-year owner of a new construction cleaning company and my husband, a realtor. The housing market was tanking and no one was building new homes, buying or selling houses at all. Our budget tightened and unable to manage such treatments. I was devastated and desperate to get my hair extensions in.
I’m always asked, how did you start this, how did you come up with it?
And I can only tell you that once I couldn’t afford a piece of meat or half gallon of milk, this for sure meant zero visits to the salon and I really missed my hair extensions. I had to find a way to get them in myself!Do-it-yourself Hair Extensions?
From what I knew about hair extensions I really didn’t think there were many ways to do this oneself. So I began to experiment.
Of the many products I tried to manage on my own, I didn’t like any of them.
I knew I didn’t want to use glues as I had a frightening picture in my head of bald spots I saw on celebrities from fusion hair extensions. I thought I could find a better way and began to experiment. Everyday I would test different products and methods and, after a year or so, I happened upon my first batch of non-adhesive hair extension bond and was back to wearing my hair extensions. My first installs were really primitive, of sorts; but I was on my way to something far better than what I had ever worn and, with what was available on the market, could ever imagine to. Pressed So Hard
After a while, when jobs and opportunities began to disappear altogether, my financial state became beyond grim. My mortgage was falling behind and I couldn’t even afford food!
At this point, I got really upset and yelled at God, screamed and cried, “YOU SAID YOU WILL GIVE ME THE DESIRES OF MY HEART! WHY IS THIS HAPPENING!”
I woke up the next morning with a story in my head. The story was of a poor farmer who couldn’t grow crops on his land and so couldn’t feed his family. (Hmm, like me.) The farmer sold the land and moved his family in search of food. (Hmm, like we might have to do.) The men who purchased the land found it to be full of oil and riches. (If only the farmer knew!)
I instantly felt the moral of this story in my heart. The poor farmer and his starving family were sitting on the means that would have fed them, yet didn't access them!
God was telling me I was “sitting” on our means to eat and pay the bills.
The thought appeared. Market the hair extensions! Creating a Company
This began my walk into a territory I knew nothing about. I had run my own small business for a decade and half so, fortunately, I knew a little of the formalities of that. But hair extensions? Beauty and fashion? Internet marketing? Nope, totally unfamiliar ground for me.
Without any funds for this business, I had no choice but to use my already existing ‘TiffanyTwist.com’ website, purchased when the pen-name was created for my books, to market the extensions. This is why you might find history under Tiffany Twist DIY and Tiffany Twist Hair.
Once I needed to, I made everyone brainstorm for a new name. We could find nothing good, nothing right. The next day, and after going nearly batty from paying close attention to every word I was hearing for the last 24 hours, I came up with the word Mane and the word Maxx. I fiddled with Maxx Mane, Mane Maxx. ManeMaxx stuck.Here Goes A Crazy Ride!
The first year of test marketing my product was unreal. I had written as much information as I could on the product, took photos and made videos explaining what the product does and how I apply the hair extensions myself and possibly due to a really low testing price or maybe girls’ desire for a very “different” hair extension method, or maybe both, I immediately sold product.
The feedback came in right away and, fortunately, girls were so kind to offer thorough reviews and were so patient and helpful while I continued to perfect the technique. Actually, if I they hadn’t been so positive and encouraging, I may have given up early on! I think a great accomplishment to note happened right after applying for the patent, when my very first customer came back to purchase again. I always wondered about that girl! Huge Challenges Along The Way
This new product test run was far from fun and games for me. I stuck with anyone who was having trouble and spent hours upon hours trying to solve an issue, tweak the instruction, find the root of a problem if one came up. I knew that if I could do this, so could others. We had a warmer temperature issue, stirring issues, proper hair prep issues and then a faulty product from a certain supplier which caused me to have to reformulate and recall a bunch of TemBond, back-track to every customer, and apologize profusely.
(You may want to keep in mind as you read this stuff on the Internet, the ManeMaxx 2008 info is relevant for product info and instructions. The changes made cause little to no info and instruction from 2007 to apply any longer.)
One by one, long day by long day, I helped girls achieve what I was; to apply and wear their own hair extension application safely and successfully for months at a time with absolutely no damage to hair.
Now, after 5 years testing and successfully marketing the product, I look forward to this company's growth and expansion. I look forward to the successes our tight technique and gentle product will bring to our users as hair extension wear becomes more and more mainstream. I also look forward to the additional paths we will navigate this year within the professional industry. UPDATE: Tiffany Twist has created a product exclusively for the professional industry. WEST COAST HAIR® provides professional hair extension installations in Minneapolis and Los Angeles!
All in all, it’s been so hugely rewarding and fun for me. It may be fun to know the product has caught notice from some big names, including an Oscar winner, Hollywood actresses and top daily talk show, but my heart is truly in the “quiet” successes, this being a customer who maybe, like myself, needs an option which allows her to wear the hair extensions, build up her self esteem and self confidence and have beautiful, long and full hair from home or even safely via an experienced stylist, if she wants to!
Thanks for letting me share!