Heavy interviewed founder Mai Lieu who said her bestselling product to date is the CreaClip, that allows you to easily and skillfully cut your hair without ever having to go to a salon. Her other signature products include CreaLash to help in applying makeup, and CreaNail, to aid in the at-home polishing of your nails.
The former hairstylist explained that inventing was always a part of her life. “When I was 8, I came up with a beauty product and five years later, saw it in the market,” she said.
At this time, Lieu is a one-person company and knows a deal with the Sharks would take her business to a new level. She hopes to get her products into CVS, Target and Bed Bath and Beyond. Currently, they are sold on Amazon and eBay.
Here’s what else she told us about…
How the Idea Came About
In 2006 is when I formed my company and that’s when I had my idea for my first invention. In 2008, I launched CreaClip on HSN, it sold out 5,000 units in 13 minutes and was a dream come true. I did everything myself, I research and read books and went to workshops to learn had to how to invent as I was a hairstylist then and didn’t know anything about inventing.
The First Prototypes
I made my very fist prototype myself out of paper mache and chicken wire and tested it on my friends. It was an exciting time. I even went to China myself to find a professional prototyper and manufacture. The final step was to get it on TV. I had heard of this this networking forum in LA called CEOSpace and there I met all kinds of experts such as attorneys, business coaches and branding experts. That’s where I connected with Bob Circosta, he’s the king of HSN. He helped get my product on HSN and he also trained me to be a spokesperson to sell on TV. After developing my first product, it was much easier to develop CreaNails and CreaLash! It took me less than a year to develop each… I had to make several prototypes, especially for CreaClip. It started first as a huge shield-like device that hangs on the back and then it transformed in to a small sleek clip! I had solutions come to me in the middle of the night of how to make it better each time! I also love testing it, and when it works it brings confidence and I have this burning desire to bring it to market! It took me about two years to develop and bring CreaClip to market, CreaNails and CreaLash only took a less than year since I had my team and everything in place already from CreaClip.
Successful Marketing on Social Media
The hardest part is marketing. I’ve been very grateful for YouTube and Facebook! My products has gone viral on both platforms and I have had sales increases over 600% in one day because of my videos going viral with 20 million views in 2 days. The best part is selling out of products during that time. My main source of marketing is social media and I’ve been really successful at it by organically trying new things.
Her ‘Tank’ Experience
For about six years I have always wanted to be on Shark Tank, but I was too intimated to stand in front of the Sharks with fear they would eat me alive. But three years ago I had reached a point in my business that I felt like I had taken it as far as I could with what I knew. And that the Sharks is who I needed to take my company to the next level. I was in a women’s mastermind group, where every two weeks we would set goals and then keep each other accountable. I had set a goal to be on Shark Tank and now after three years it’s coming true! I want to share with everyone that just because your dream isn’t happening fast enough, it doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen you just have to trust, be patient and keep moving forward.
Plans for the Future
I have two new products I want to introduce. One is a how-to color your hair at home tool! I think it will fit really well with CreaClip. I also have ideas for products for salon use. Another idea I have is to create a CreaProducts Salon franchise, where people can come get CreaClip cuts and we educate them to how to cut their own hair at home, and of course they can purchase all our products too. It’s been a idea I had for a while and we’ll see how it plays out. I have many ideas and I’m excited to bring them to market.