Shine. Don’t settle. That is Tinsel’s motto, a company that managed to integrate the functionality of headphones into a necklace that would fit perfectly in women’s fashion. This audio necklace is the perfect illustration of fashion meeting functionality. Girls can now enjoy beautiful technology without the sacrifice of style.
Inspired by the frustration that women have every day searching for their headphones in their bags, and by the downgrading of the outfit that headphones cause, the founder & CEO, Aniyia L. Williams was happy to share a little information about her work with the team on this extraordinary piece of wearable tech.
Q&A with Tinsel’s Aniyia L. Williams
How was this company created?
It started with me looking to buy the product that we are now making — a headphones necklace. I use earbuds everyday but am constantly frustrated by the fact that they have to live in my purse, which is a black hole. I spend so much time digging around in my bag for them and untangling them!
So I started looking online trying to find a product that would let me wear my headphones without them looking like headphones, but I couldn’t find it anywhere…so I decided that I would be the one to make it.
But once I started Tinsel, I realized that there was more to address than just my annoying earbuds. I realized that women are largely ignored when it comes to designing consumer tech. I’m tired of the “make it pink” mentality. Women are large consumers of tech too, it’s time for us create tech that suits a woman’s life and style.
How did you come up with the name?
So our company Tinsel makes tech jewelry that allows women to enjoy tech without sacrificing their style.
Here’s the connection: “Tinsel” is a decorative sparkling material that imitates the look of ice. That reminds me of bling and jewelry. Also tinsel is metallic just like a lot of jewelry. Tinsel is an adornment just like jewelry. And best of all, it’s an illusion just like our product. No one would know that you’re wearing anything other then jewelry until you use it for it’s other purpose.
This may sound crazy, but when I decided to start this company, it was right around the time that stores were starting to put out decorations to buy for Christmas, so I think there was kind of a subliminal message there… but when the word “tinsel” came to mind, I started to think about what it represented and how it’s similar to what we’re building.
What was your inspiration to come up with the idea of making headphones into a beautiful necklace ?
My own frustration with my headphones. I figured that if I could wear them on my body, so many of the pain points would go away. But I spend too much time putting together my outfit in the morning to have it downgraded by plastic-coated wires!
How many people worked on this?
All in all, we have about 10 people working to bring Tinsel to life. I’m really proud of our team. Many of us are long time friends, and it means that we are an incredibly cohesive group – a family, really. And we all are united in wanting to bring Tinsel to the world.
How much time did you need to make your idea happen?
Well, it’s still in the process of happening now. We are currently gearing up for a crowdfunding campaign in September on Indiegogo where we’ll ask the world to help us get to the next step of manufacturing Tinsel.
We’re refining our prototypes now with an amazing factory now, but making electronics is very expensive, and we’ll need help to get Tinsel into production.
Why do you think women will need this?
We believe that one of the reasons that some wearables haven’t seen steady adoption is because they aren’t solving a problem that women have. Instead, they are creating cool gadgets that may or may not look good on a woman, and don’t fit into the flow of her life as it is.
We’ve shared Tinsel with hundreds of people and feel confident that we’re taking something that’s become a modern-day essential and making it more useful…and stylish to boot.
When can we see it on the market?
If we continue with our current momentum, ladies will be able to pre-order the first units on Indiegogo in September. I expect that we’ll also begin selling it on our website this fall!
Do you have plans on making another idea real in the future, one that will make our lives easier?
Ohhh yes! We want Tinsel to bring all kinds of products and different collections to women each season. We’ve already got a couple of other ideas in the queue. We can’t wait to share what else we have with the world.
For more pictures and information, visit their website http://tinsel.me