Jeanne C. James
Owner & Founder
~ While many people who are familiar with the retro hair curler Spoolies have noticed that they are back, not a lot of people know the reason why.
As a mother, I know what it’s like to want to provide everything that my children need to help them grow and succeed. Unfortunately, the ability to do that is not always a reality for some families. When our sons were young, our family lived abroad for a year in Kenya, where I saw firsthand the real need for support in girls’ education. Due to a culture that strongly favors boys, I saw Kenyan girls were given far fewer opportunities to grow and thrive outside of the everyday tasks of village life. Sometimes, the most attractive alternative for a young woman was a potentially dangerous move to a city area that, many times, led to prostitution and drug use.
I wanted to help provide a future filled with opportunity for these girls, and as a woman of faith, I prayed for a business idea that would support this cause. After our family returned to the United States, it was frustrating for a while as I sometimes felt that an idea would never come to me. But, I knew that waiting to invest in the right idea was important.
One day I remembered how as a young girl, my mom used to give me terrible, smelly at-home perms until I finally promised to curl my hair on my own. I started using Spoolies, an easy to use little hair curler that I could wrap my hair in every night—and avoid the frizz that came with those perms!
They were a lifesaver for me, so it was exciting when I checked in 2003 to see that the product was no longer being made which meant I could start fresh to recreate the once popular brand. I finally had the answer to my prayers! Now, after years improving the design, and two new U.S. Patents, I’m excited to bring back a revamped version of Spoolies—manufactured here in the U.S.A.!
In the ‘60s, Spoolies were made out of latex rubber, but I wanted to make sure the version we put on shelves today was a safe and healthy option for everyone. Girls nowadays are looking for healthy and natural beauty products, so I made sure the new-patented technology uses medical-grade, hypoallergenic silicone and absolutely no PVC plastic. They’re also heat resistant and safe for those occasions when a hair dryer is used. These qualities garnered a lot of attention at Cosmoprof, a beauty and cosmetics convention, where we were chosen for a Trendsetter Award 2 years in a row, and we had the opportunity to meet with buyers for product placement in their retail stores. We also received a Beauty Award from Girls' Life Magazine 2019.
When Spoolies curlers were introduced in December 2014, we began setting aside funds to help the Kenyan girls. To date, proceeds from Spoolies have gone to Sister Freda’s Foundation, which operates as a girls’ high school, a college for nursing, a nursery school and feeding program for vulnerable children, and a center for HIV/AIDS testing and counseling.
When the new girl’s high school opened, many of the incoming students were poor and orphaned and willing to sleep on the floor just for the chance to be in school. Spoolies heard of this and quickly helped by purchasing bunk beds for the high school and nursing school dorms. We have also helped to support the need for school supplies and food, in addition to laptops for the girls to be trained in computer skills. We currently have girls on scholarship in both the high school and nursing college.
As our business grows, it is our privilege to continue to partner with Sister Freda’s Foundation to help girls receive an education and the hope of a brighter future. Through our sales, private donations, and the opportunity to work with retailers, we are confident we will succeed in helping more girls benefit by receiving their education and the possibility to achieve their dreams.
Did you ever think a little hair curler could change the world? It’s fun to think our Spoolies curlers made for girls, will in turn, benefit many girls in need. It’s our hope for the future, and my personal dream come true.