I was inspired to create the Spallow neck cushion to help ensure comfort during and after a salon sink shampoo. Why? A couple of years ago, after I surprised my wife with a gift card to her Salon, she was very happy with her new hair style. But, the next morning I discovered she spent the night and the next morning putting Ice Packs on her neck.
Her problem was caused by the uncomfortable, unnatural position of her neck at the Salon Sink.
I was determined to come up with something that would change that. I wanted a solution that would provide comfort at the Salon Sink for my wife and others like her so people will enjoy their pampering at the salon.
I talked with many Salon Stylists and surveyed people who frequent Salons. My market research revealed that many people felt the same discomfort my wife did at the salon sink.
I learned that no one likes sitting with their neck hanging over the salon sink and, yes, for many, the shampoo experience is very uncomfortable. Many people say they dread that part of the Salon Visit. Some hairdressers told me they have clients who refuse to get their hair washed at the salon because they don't want to lay their neck over the salon sink.
Discomfort at the Salon Sink is the Number One Complaint at Salons!
To solve this longstanding problem, I began developing our Spallow project with a three-person team, including an engineer, sales executive, financial expert, and eventually added a marketing consultant to the team.
Using a combination of Memory Foam and Gel, along with various prototype improvements, we eventually designed a very soft comfortable Pillow that supports the neck. Each Spallow cushion is hand sewn into a luxurious leather-like cover. The Spallow is packaged with a flexible, molded-foam basin Adapter with a built-in Velcro® tab that aligns with another durable Velcro tab on the Spallow pillow. The Adapter fits nicely into the neck depression of virtually all salon sinks. After the insert is set on the sink rim, the Spallow cushion attaches easily and snugly to the adapter. Lightweight, Water resistant, and Anti-Microbial, the Spallow can be cleaned with just normal household cleaner, if needed. It also comes with a supply of Spallow Caps, to keep the Spallow clean and dry at the salon sink. The Spallow, adapter, and caps all fit into a small drawstring carry/storage bag that will fit in a Purse and weighs less than a cell phone.
After a few years of development and testing, and having produced a few hundred Spallows, we are getting great testimonials and are ready to produce this Patent Pending product in volume and provide neck comfort for many others.
I ask for your support of this project to help make Life a little better, a little easier, and a little more comfortable.
Your Neck will Thank You!
The development of the Spallow began with basic research of commonly used salon sinks, and then the purchase of two sinks to experiment with. At the same time, we also experimented with various common materials to develop the basic idea behind the sink insert and the Spallow pillow. The design started with handmade prototypes for the Spallow insert. The initial Spallow pillows were made of slightly different construction and evolved along the way until we created the final product, which we named and trademarked Spallow.
We self tested early prototypes with family and friends. Prototyping studies helped us develop our early 3D conceptual model and related drawings, which, in turn, helped us communicate our design concept to the various suppliers we started working with. Over two years, we developed various versions of the Spallow basin adapter, which we initially 3D-printed. As we got closer to the final design, we had silicone molds created so we could experiment with different types of foam and develop the most flexible product—a flexible adapter molded to fit salon sinks.
The video below provides a glimpse of the the development of the Spallow sink insert
As the design process advanced, we began market testing the various prototypes with salon professionals and salon customers. When the Spallow design was nearing the end of the process, we worked with our marketing consultant to present the product to a focus group. This helped validate our many design-related assumptions and get answers to our questions about client preferences. We are proud of the product that resulted from this fun and challenging development process.
From Concept to Reality to Your Comfort
The Spallow Neck Cushion System was developed to fit a wide variety of sinks.
Future Product Enhancement
Some of the early Spallow feedback we received included a request for more Spallow cover color choices. With your support we plan on conducting focus groups to help choose the Spallow cover colors we will introduce in early 2017.
Making the Spallow
We are very happy with the relationships we have with our various suppliers. The video below illustrates some parts of how the Spallow is manufactured and the high level of care and quality that is placed in each Spallow.
A lot of thought and time has gone into development of the Spallow Neck Cushion System, and we now are ready to go into large volume production with your support. The timeline below will be updated as we move forward with the project, and provides an idea of our approach to product development.
What People are Saying
"I just tried out Spallow for the first time at the salon sink. As someone with longstanding neck pain issues and prior neck surgery, I can attest to the fact that Spallow was surprisingly comfortable and was responsible for the most comfortable salon shampoo I've ever had. " — Donna A, Melbourne, FL
“Constant applied pressure to a small area of the neck on a hard surface can cause a myriad of problems, including neck pain, triggering of migraines, ‘pinched nerves,’ and joint swelling. I recommend the use of a soft pillow like the Spallow to avoid these types of injuries.” — Vincent M. Rahal, D.C. (Chiropractor)
Risks and challenges
This project has been under development and field testing for a couple of years. We have proven out this design and do not see any significant risks. Our Supply Chain Partners, including suppliers of Memory Foam®, Gel, Fabric, Molded Foam Adapter, and the Final Assembly have all produced the initial quantity of the different materials our contract called for.
Complete drawings and Assembly Prints are finalized and the Patent application was submitted more than six months ago. We already have moved from initial production to test marketing. All indicators (conversations with salon owners, workers and client surveys) tell us there is a need for our Spallow and early adopters are already providing us with very positive feedback.
Our next challenge is spreading the word, and our marketing consultant and operations manager have begun helping with that. We've begun social media outreach. Your support will help us ramp up production and get Spallow into the hands and under the necks of hundreds, eventually thousands (and maybe millions) of people who care about their neck or the necks of those they love.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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