CHICAGO — For the first few months, the Super Hairo’N wasn’t even a product. It was just something Lima native PJ McGuire developed to solve her own problem.
McGuire, 35, spilled a blue conditioner gel onto her white blouse as she tried to sprint out the door to go to work. The idea for a hair towel that transformed into a styling cape — now marketed at the Super Hairo’N — was born. It started as a towel she cut into the shape of a hair salon styling cape, with a Velcro fastener on it to hold it in place.
“Initially it was something I made for myself,” said McGuire, a 1997 Shawnee High School graduate now living in Chicago. “When my mother [Jean McGuire] saw it, she wanted it. Then my mom’s sisters were in town and saw her use it, and they wanted it. It grew organically.”
One day, her father, Willie McGuire, suggested she turn this idea into a business, pursuing a patent for it and bringing it to market.
McGuire hopes to raise $15,000 on Kickstarter, a website devoted to crowd-funding capital for good ideas. As of Thursday afternoon, she had 103 backers pledging $10,838 of that goal. She has until 9 p.m. Sunday to raise the rest of the capital to make the product happen. The money will go toward American-based manufacturing, buying materials, producing inventory and brand development, in addition to paying applicable taxes and fees.
On one side of the Super Hairo’N is an absorbent towel. The other side is a waterproof, heat-resistant styling cape to protect your clothing and skin.
McGuire, who graduated from Ohio University and worked in Columbus for a while before landing in Chicago, left a lucrative job as a a corporate trainer to pursue the product full-time. She’s seen the first ones produced, and now she’s working on the packaging, which should be ready in the next two weeks.
“You go from having an idea in your head, going form a sketch on paper,” she said. “You have to think out all the way to something now being produced. It’s pretty amazing.”