The fashion world is always full of wonderful stylish surprises. We have discovered another fashion gem that will change the way you dress. Gone are the days where you have to wear plain hair ties to wear a pretty ponytail. Introducing DesignerTails, a revolutionizing hair accessory that takes hair from plain to perfect! These one of a kind ponytail cuffs offer a new and original way to be classy and elegant even if you are wearing something casual. We are honored to learn more from inventor and Founder, Susan Barnard Wendschuh, the great mind behind this must have fashion item…
Beverly Hills Magazine: Tell us a little bit about yourself…Where you grew up, family, currently living, hobbies, etc.?
Susan Barnard: I grew up in a small town near Pittsburgh, PA and am the youngest of 4 children. I currently live just north of Naples, FL, where I golf, love to bicycle, and weight train 3 x/week with a trainer. I also do volunteer work, raising money for the fight against human trafficking.
Beverly Hills Magazine: How did you get into the fashion industry?
Susan Barnard: I am new to the fashion industry. I was working as an interior designer when I invented DesignerTails in 2012 and have devoted myself full-time developing, getting a US patent, overseeing manufacturing, and selling it on www.DesignerTails.com, Amazon, and in fine salons like Rik Rak and The Four Seasons on Miami Beach.
Beverly Hills Magazine: Who or what are your inspirations?
Susan Barnard: I am inspired by Sara Blakely because of her persistence and outrageous success in developing her product, building a brand, and in giving back. I am also inspired by Ashton Kutcher, not just because he is a successful actor, but he also seems to be such a genuine person. We share the same passion: to end human trafficking.
Susan Barnard: As an interior designer and the wife of a cardiologist, it has been essential to present myself in a stylish, professional manner. There is a saying: “God is in the detail” (Generally attributed to architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe), which means, to me, that details are important and must not be left unfinished. I disliked wearing a plain 10-cent elastic with my designer clothes. I was looking for a clean, elegant, high-quality ponytail accessory and could only find scrunches, inexpensive items, or ornate ponytail accents. In addition, I did not like having the elastic band directly connected to the accessory, making it difficult to work with both parts behind my head. So, I invented a simple, all-leather ponytail cuff that is separate from the elastic and fast & easy to apply, great for busy, active women.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What is the mission behind the brand?
Susan Barnard: To give women a fast, easy, elegant way to finish their look. And to use my blessings to do good in the world.
Beverly Hills Magazine: How do you hope to transform the fashion world with your work?
Susan Barnard: About 90% of women who wear ponytails wear only the plain elastic band. I am hoping that women will be able to upgrade their ponytail from plain to elegant for times that they want to look chic. “Elastic bands are for working out. DesignerTails are for going out,” as my stylist Kat Bishop put it.
Susan Barnard: It started with bulky sections of PVC pipe. Then I tried slap bands from China. They rusted and would not coil tightly enough for most ponytails. So, I learned about constant force springs. They won’t rust and are designed to recoil 25,000 times. In order to use these, I had to invent a special tool to keep the spring straight for sewing, so that the worker’s hands would not be injured. Next, I had to address the Velcro. Velcro is on the back of the accessory and embeds into a pre-placed elastic to make the hold very secure. It took me 2 years to figure out how to make the Velcro look professional and not like a “kitchen table project”
Beverly Hills Magazine: What makes your work unique?
Susan Barnard: This product is completely new to the marketplace. I have a utility patent on it because it is a technology newly applied to ponytail accessories and will self-adjust to the size of your ponytail, without any hinges or clasps. The design and function are simple and I feel that is what makes it elegant.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What is your signature as a designer?
Susan Barnard: Simplicity. But with the best function.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What do you think of the Fashion World?
Susan Barnard: It is exciting and always changing. I have had 3 model shoots. It is fun to see professional models, make-up artists, hair stylists, and pro photographers in action and working with DesignerTails.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What do you love most about it?
Susan Barnard: The attention to principles of good design.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What do you dislike about it?
Susan Barnard: For me, inventing, patenting, developing, manufacturing and selling have always presented steep learning curves for me.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What is your favorite item to design?
Beverly Hills Magazine: What is your definition of style?
Susan Barnard: Simple elegance. Less is more.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What makes clothing beautiful?
Susan Barnard: Quality, beautiful lines, and a special feature of the piece that brings something unique to the table.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What can our readers look forward to from your future collection?
Susan Barnard: More options so that they can customize the product to their personal hair style. And always high quality.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What advice would you give to aspiring fashion designers out there?
Susan Barnard: I humbly will leave that to the designers who have become icons in the industry.
Beverly Hills Magazine: Have you discovered a personal purpose in your contribution to the world?
Susan Barnard: Yes, at age 18 I was almost abducted from a college campus. I was one of the lucky ones who got away. There are many caught in a web of these most sinister people. Those victims could have been me. I am driven to fight for them. I visualize holding them in my arms and telling them it will be ok.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What do you hope to be remembered for most?
Susan Barnard: For being a designer who can take design and function to its most elegant, simple form. And for giving back, even if it saves just one child.
Beverly Hills Magazine: If you had one wish, what would it be?
Susan Barnard: For a kinder, more caring world – and to end human trafficking for good.
Beverly Hills Magazine: How has God played a role in your life?
Susan Barnard: I believe that God has abundantly blessed me in more ways than I deserve. Because of this it is my responsibility to give back. I live my life by the Golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do you unto you.