Ironically, it was the co-founder with no use for a curling iron who was the most enthused about the concept of creating one that would make the task easier and faster.

That’s how Jacynda Smith — the co-founder of hair care and styling tools company TYME with flowing locks — described the reaction of her brother and business partner, Kierre Reeg when she raised the idea to him five years ago.

“He was the most excited about this. And he had no hair and no girlfriend at the time,” said Smith, who clarified that Kierre shaved his head to achieve the sleek look.  

A professional stylist, Smith’s clients were always asking her advice on how to curl their hair at home. It was difficult for an amateur to achieve desired results with the tools available, so Smith developed the idea for the TYME Iron, which can create virtually any curl or straighten hair in a fraction of the time it takes with traditional irons that do either.

TYME

Where: Phoenix

Employees: 40

Interesting stat: The global beauty and personal care products market is anticipated to grow to $750 billion by 2024, according to research firm Inkwood Research.

Details: tymestyle.com

The key is the iron’s ability to twist, which relieves the wrist having to do the turning. Professional grade details like gold-plated titanium plates and heating up to 400 degrees in less than a minute added to its appeal.

In 2014, TYME’s only product went to market. It took off. Word of mouth helped fuel sales. Today, the signature iron that sells for $150, is joined by 18 additional products ranging from shampoo and conditioner to brushes and clutches. TYME is headquartered in Phoenix and Iowa, with an inventory that draws clients from 40 countries, Smith said. The products are manufactured in Phoenix and distributed out of Iowa. There’s also another base of operations in Colorado, the Reegs’ home state.

Smith works closely with Phoenix-based Arizona Natural Resources and Tempe-based hair-care product expert Peter Hanz chemists to achieve the results she seeks.

The products can be purchased on the website and at various Valley salons, including Luxxi Salon in Phoenix.

This once-small startup has become part of a corporate-driven personal-care industry that generates $50 billion in North American and $250 billion globally, according to The Hunt Group, a representative search firm for global clients in the industry. Hair care products generate 25 percent of personal care product revenue.

Amid its big company growth, TYME maintains a family-run vibe. Kierre shares co-CEO duties with Smith and handles the business side of the company. Their brothers Kendrick, the president of sales and marketing, and Jared, the CFO, are also on board. Smith’s husband, Dan, is the COO.

Kendrick’s skill with social media and e-commerce and various platforms helped facilitate the process in keeping up with demand while getting the word out, Smith explained.

Smith’s passion to solve issues or improve upon existing solutions is the seed for TYME’s products.

“I’ll start the idea. Dan is good at development and making sure it’s how I envision it. He brings it to life,” she said.

Customers are offered a one-on-one free Facetime session with a stylist. Live shows are shown every Wednesday on TYME’s website that features Smith showing viewers new tricks and styles they can try.

Longtime customer Bethany Schroeder is among them. Prior to discovering the TYME Iron two years ago, she had given up attempting to curl her long, straight and thick hair because it was so time-consuming and her hair never responded to any other curling tool she tried.

Today, Schroeder is able to transform her mane into waves, spirals or ringlets in eight minutes or less for a Friday night out or other special occasions, she said. She also uses the shampoo, conditioner, hair protectant and the blow dryer — her favorite tool.

“It’s super lightweight and I don’t get a tired arm. It’s quiet so it doesn’t wake my kids. Just like everything else they make, it’s a quality product,” said Schroeder, who lives in Gilbert. “They’re always there to help you with your needs, and they really test their stuff and are focused on being a quality company.”

When talking about how she comes up with the concept for each product, it’s clear Smith invests a lot of time and thought into the details her customers wouldn’t dream of. The shampoo and conditioner took a year to create, as Smith evaluated not only how they performed on hair but also how the bottles would look in the shower. Hence the bling ring to distinguish one from the other easily and a pump that goes all the way to the bottom of the bottle.

The strategy applies to the shampoo and conditioner itself, which she wanted to work on fine hair, like that of her daughter, as well as coarse hair, which Smith has. If it didn’t weigh hair down, Smith concluded that customers wouldn’t feel the need to wash their hair daily, regardless of their hair type, which would be another timesaver.

And that carries over to the hair dryer and iron, which allows Smith to curl her thick, straight hair in five minutes. It used to take up to an hour with a traditional iron, she said.

“To make every step of your day easier was the goal,” Smith said. “I get very touching letters from women who tell me how these products save them time and helped them improve their lives.”

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