NICOLE MANNS WITH INVENTION
Every woman has bought a lip-gloss, gotten to the end and been frustrated with not being able to get that last bit because the applicator was too short, and then had to throw it away. With the average cost of a “good” lip-gloss being more than $12, it feels like you’re throwing your money into the trash along with the tube.
Well Nicole Manns, a resident of Penn Hills and a cosmetic consumer who was also frustrated with wasting money and make-up, decided to create Nikki’s Magic Wand, a portable, sleek, yet flexible tip that allows you to reach where most applicators cannot; thus eliminating the waste.
Earlier this month not only did Manns get a rare opportunity to introduce Nikki’s Magic Wand to celebrities and the press at New York Fashion Week, but her creation placed first place in QVC’s Sprout Contest, a competition that allows the public to vote for which up and coming product they would like to see featured on their website. According to Manns her product received approximately 34,000 votes.
“It feels amazing (to have won) because we received thousands of votes. I don’t have 34,000 friends. So it makes me feel great to know that people outside my circle, the general public, are interested in what we’ve invented, and that it’s relevant and interesting to people,” she said.
The idea for Nikki’s Magic Wand, which was launched in December 2012, was created when Manns was driving through Monroeville, talking to her friend on the phone and was at a stop light trying to apply the lip-gloss she had purchased weeks earlier.
She said she had grown frustrated with not being able to get the gloss out of the bottom of the tube. “I told my friend that I should create a tool to reach the bottom of the tube. She said, ‘yeah and you can call it Nikki’s Magic Wand.’” And the rest is history.
Nikki’s Magic Wand was selected for QVC’s contest when an intern submitted her product to the online retailer, unbeknownst to her. She said the product went up on the television and Internet retailer’s website on Aug. 31 and the public had two weeks to vote. The winner was announced on Sept. 13 and presales began the next day. She said she already has a request for 250 units.
Currently, the wand can be purchased through their website, http://www.nikkismagicwand.com, along with Amazon and QVC.com, but Manns said she would like to see their distribution grow and have Nikki’s Magic Wand in major retail stores.
“I would love to see the wand in every Sephoria,” Manns said.
Manns’ business partner and friend of more than 20 years, Bre Abbensetts, of Atlanta, described the last year for the company, saying, “It’s wild to us. We have seen a lot of fiscal and business growth and learning, about as much as we could have hoped for (in the first year). We launched our product to an international audience (at Fashion Week) and the response and feedback to the product was positive, which is great for a business owner to hear.”
Abbensetts was the friend Manns had been talking to when the idea for the wand was created.
When describing their partnership, both Manns and Abbensetts said they balance each other out.
“With our 20 year friendship we’ve been through everything. We’ve been friends longer than we’ve been married, parents and had careers,” said Abbensetts. “She has talents that I don’t have so we balance each other. It was a very seamless transition from friends to business partners.”
Abbensetts said along with looking to continue their distribution growth, they would also like to develop more tools for women to use with their beauty products.
When Manns isn’t finding creative ways to make the beauty conscious woman’s life more easier, she works as the manager of Affirmative Action & Compliance at BNY Mellon and spends time with her family, consisting of her husband and two children, her friends and enjoys volunteering.
When asked what keeps her going, she said, “I work hard, like I do, for my children. As a mother and African-American woman, it is important for me to build a legacy for my children by creating a business and wealth that will continue for generations.”
(For more information on Nikki’s Magic Wand, visit www.nikkismagicwand.com.)
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