It’s not often that celebrities turn to Oklahoma for fashion tips. But Edmond mom Kristen Creamer and her sister, Kim Marable, put the finishing touches on outfits for Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner’s daughter, Violet, and Courtney Cox-Arquette’s daughter, Coco, with the stylish hair clips they design called Ribbies Clippies.
Creamer’s daughter, Reagan, was almost a year old when the idea for Ribbies was born. Creamer says she and Marable wanted something to put in their daughters’ hair that wouldn’t get lost, pulled out or destroyed. Constantly resupplying hair clips gets pricey after awhile. First, they tried just wrapping ribbon around a clip, but no matter how cute the clips were, they always fell out of the girls’ hair. Creamer came up with the idea to reinforce the clip so it wouldn’t fall out.
Necessity, the mother of all invention, gave birth to the sisters’ idea of adding a foam grip to the clips to make them stay in even the finest of baby hair. This, Creamer claims, separates Ribbies Clippies from other hair clips on the market. Not wanting function to overpower form, though, the sisters make sure that the foam grip color-coordinates with the ribbon on each clip. The end result is an adorable hair clip made of grosgrain ribbon in 92 stylish varieties.
Creamer and Marable tested the first Ribbies Clippies on their daughters, and they were an instant success. The tots left the clips in all day without even realizing they were wearing anything in their hair. The sisters produced large quantities of the clips when Creamer spent weekends with Marable at her home in Missouri.
After the long process of patenting Ribbies, Creamer and Marable promoted their product by sending samples to numerous parenting web sites and mom blogs and including Ribbies in gift packages to celebrities. One parenting web site raves, “These little hair clips from Ribbies Clippies are functional and adorable at the same time. Strong enough to tame even the finest of toddler hair while making your darling the cutest tot on
The best “review” of Ribbies came in the form of a phone call from megastore Target. Target worked with Creamer and Marable to sell Ribbies in 640 of its stores across the nation. Creamer says that when the sisters started making the clips, they said to each other, “This is the perfect item for Target.” Within a year of creating Ribbies, Target called them. Creamer thought, “Now we’re going somewhere.”
With no knowledge of running a business, the sisters learned as they went. Creamer claims, “When it was just us, we were very lackadaisical about what we were bringing in and putting out. When Target happened, I decided, ‘I’ve got to sit down, write a plan and figure this out’.” She says that when Ribbies started out as just a web site, the business side of the company was easier to deal with. Getting involved with Target changed all that.
Creamer attests that she and Marable are currently at a crossroads with Ribbies. They want to keep the clips in small boutiques across America, but they also want to see them in the larger stores.
Ribbies Clippies will continue to expand in 2009 with a few additions to their product line, which currently includes clippies, clippie holders and gift sets of clippies. This year they’ll add a Velcro clippie case so moms can carry the clips in their purses without losing them. Also, they’ll be selling a pacifier clip with all the different ribbon choices. No more lost pacifier clips.
When asked if Creamer planned to change the design of the clips at any point in the future, she responded, “No. That’s just not us. We’re not ever going to do bows. We’ll always keep it simple. ‘Simple, Modern and Grippy’ is our motto.” She says, however, that they get letters from moms all the time talking about how they love putting Ribbies Clippies in their own hair. One customer loved the clippies so much, she said, “I even wear them sometimes. I’ve been known to slip one in, and since it’s so comfortable, forget it’s there until the next day! They work so well, and there are so many colors and patterns that they
You can purchase Ribbies Clippies from the web site at www.ribbiesclippies.com or at the Target in Oklahoma City on the corner of 50th and May.