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Inside Iowa State
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October 24, 2003

Hair-raising help

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by Linda Charles
A few years ago, cosmetologist Sandy Lunde had one of those "eureka" moments -- but she wasn't sure what to do next.

So, the Ellsworth beautician called Iowa State with her idea for a new hair-lift styling device and asked for help. She got it.

Staff at the Center for Industrial Research and Service put her in touch with an engineering student, who helped her design the "Clip-N-Lift." Faculty and staff in the College of Engineering made her first prototype and then told her about a business in Nevada (that has since moved to Roland) that could make additional prototypes for her. Students in the Design college helped design the packaging. And staff at the Pappajohn Center hooked her up with New York contacts to help her market her product.

The Clip-N-Lift currently is sold at a beauty supply store on the West Coast. Lunde also has had several nibbles from major companies, but so far none has signed on the dotted line. She hopes a coming meeting with Wal-Mart officials will clinch a deal.

But wait, there's more!
Lunde's Clip-N-Lift retails for just under $10, not pricey enough for television sales ("Everything on TV sells for at least $19.99."). But she is working with a New York firm to package the Clip-N-Lift with other products so she can break into the TV market.

In addition, Lunde has created a second hair product, Fantale, which she also has started marketing.

The Clip-N-Lift is clipped into the hair near the roots. Hair spray or similar beauty products then are used and the clip is removed. The Fantale hooks over the top of a ponytail and turns it into a "messy bun."

She credits Iowa State with getting her started on her entrepreneurial journey, saying the information she received was "very valuable. I didn't know how to start."

And she still looks to Iowa State for information. Right now, she needs a source of flexible plastic. "I think I'll call Engineering," she said.

... Becoming the Best
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Published by: University Relations,
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