Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Why It's So Hard To Find Good Hair Clips

The Story Behind the Stone Bridge "Coast" Extra Large Barrette

This week we introduced our Coast Extra Large barrette. Normally, coming up with a new design of barrette is not much of a big deal.

You scribble some interesting shapes on a bit of paper and send it off to the factory. The real designers over there in France develop it into some hair accessories that actually work and look nice, and they go off and make a few hundred or so for you.

High Street Hair Clips

In the land of the High Street, you need to develop a design that will sell in the many thousands in a matter of a few weeks. So if you are a woman with not quite average hair - extremely thick, long, fine, curly or slippery - you just won't find any kind of selection of clips that will hold your hair.

There just aren't enough women with hair like yours walking through the town on an average day. The economic fact is that the market for clips to hold any one specific type of hair is not big enough for a retail chain to try and help you solve your problem.

Handmade Hair Clips Are Different

Stone Bridge is different. I am interested in the styling problems you have and I can carry not just one design that will work for you. Stone Bridge can actually give you a choice of hair clips, in a variety of colours, that will hold your hair.

We can do this because our products are produced in very small numbers. We sometimes only have one or two of a design because we can see it is good for a very particular type of woman. This is expensive to do, and the vast majority of our hair accessories are handmade to our specification.

Hair Accessories for Thick Hair

When I developed the Coast barrette, I was thinking about my customers with very thick hair and the difficulties they have finding a hair clip with a large and strong clasp. Most clips available on the High Street just break in these ladies' hair. They cannot do the job properly. I also wanted a clip that looked pretty. Not just a basic rectangle shape in the same old tortoiseshell and shiny black choices. *Yawn*

I put my ideas to our factory and they were 1) astonished at the size of the clasp I specified, and 2) couldn't believe anyone would wear such a large barrette.

The conversations went back and forth. They refused to make it because they would have to buy several thousand blank clasps (which are expensive all by themselves, trust me) and they worried no one else would ever request such a large design again. After many, many ... many ... conversations back and forth, my order was finally accepted and the Coast Extra Large barrette was made for you.

They look beautiful. And if you have thick hair, I hope you like them!

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