Cosmetologist patents unique salon product

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Yvonne Teele uses a QuadBowl during a color process on a client. Teele is the owner and operator of Suite One Salon, 223 Main St. (Courtesy photo)

FARMINGTON — A local cosmetologist has invented a product designed to help professional cosmetologists, colorists, stylists, and barbers be more organized and better focused on their clients.

The QuadBowl will allow those in the industry to mix multiple hair colors while keeping track of the process and timing, said Yvonne Teele. She is the owner and operator of Suite One Salon, 223 Main St., Farmington.

“I’ve worked in a busy salon and often had to leave clients in the middle of applying colors,” said Teele. “When cashing another client out or answering the phone, it was easy to lose track of where I was. We learn to lay our brush a certain way or come up with another method of keeping track.”

Teele said traditional mixing bowls only allow for one color at a time. Current trends mean cosmetologists are using three or four colors, or more, at a time. This means multiple bowls are used in the process.

“Sometimes colors look the same when they are mixed. Without an indicator as to what color is what, it can get confusing,” she said.

A timer is used to keep track of the time a color is needed to process. The timer is often somewhere on a cosmetologist’s caddy or in a drawer, she said.

“The timer is not always right there,” she explained. “I thought there had to be an easier way. The QuadBowl incorporates all these elements into one unit.”

The QuadBowl features four mixing bowls; a labeling system to keep track of formulas; a needle-point indicator to mark the place in a process; and a timer. It also has an anti-slip base, she said.

“This will help hairdressers stay more focused. It will help us be more efficient, organized and accurate,” she said. “The bowls can also be used to organize clips, pins, and elastics. It really is multi-use.”

The process began almost two years ago, Teele said. She used a product designer from Arcadia Designworks in Portland to help develop her idea.

“Initially, I was going to shoot for a tri-bowl,” she explained. “Each step of the way, the bowl formed into something more than what I originally started with.”

G & G Products of Kennebunk manufactures the QuadBowl. Franklin Printing of Farmington prints the packaging. The product website, www.teelehairproducts.com, was developed by Lunarshine Web Design and Development, also of Farmington.

“It was important for me to use as many Maine businesses as I could. Everyone has just been wonderful,” Teele said.

Teele worked on obtaining a patent with Dennis Hasko of Leber IP Law.

“The easiest part of the process was getting the patent,” Teele said. “I thought that would be the hardest. The first time we submitted it, they accepted almost everything on the application. That is not typical. They really liked the indicator. That is what they thought was unique about the product.”

Teele said she had no prior knowledge of product development. Every part of the process was a learning curve.

“I was going into something blind and I did not even know where to look for answers,” she said. “Pete Roberts of Origin USA in Farmington really helped steer me to a couple of things that were helpful.”

Teele recently began delivering the QuadBowl to local stylists. The feedback has been positive, she said. The product is currently available for purchase through the website. It will be available on Amazon in the future. If prior arrangements are made, it can also be purchased at her salon.

“It was a battle to get the product where I wanted it to be. It was a long process but eventually, I got there. You have to have perseverance, for sure,” she said.

The next step is to make individual parts available for those that might not need the timer or indicator. In the future, Teele plans to put the product in the food industry.

“With the labeling system, you can mark each bowl for gluten-free offerings, different dips, or even flavors,” she said.

“My family, the community and other hairdressers have been amazing and supportive,” Teele added. “I could definitely tear up thinking about all the support I’ve had along the way.”

dmenear@thefranklinjournal.com

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