No Slippy Hair Clippy Has a Firm Grip on Success

Annie Salyer

As the owner of No Slippy Hair Clippy ®, Annie Salyer is immersed in all things girly — bows, ribbons, flowers, barrettes, and fabric. But this mother of two boys isn’t complaining. “Honestly, I think most girls love hair accessories,” she says. “I grew up with four sisters, and we were always putting clips, ribbons and bows in our hair. I definitely have more of a passion now, especially after serving as the sole Hair Clippy designer the past six years.”

It’s a Girl!

The company’s first and signature “no-slip hair clip” was invented out of sheer frustration 10 years ago when a mom with a nearly bald baby girl fashioned a cute hair clip that would stay securely in place.

“For generations, baby girls have been mistaken for boys,” Salyer says. “That is until No Slippy Hair Clippy came along! Before we opened in 2001, you couldn’t find a hair accessory created specifically to stay in baby-fine hair. Today, there’s no reason a baby girl need be mistaken for a boy — our beautiful and versatile products definitely solve this problem!”

Fashion that Attracts, Minus the Magnet

No Slippy’s unique hair clips were originally designed with a magnet that enhanced the hold. Today, the product incorporates Swiss velvet, wrapped completely around 1 3/4-inch pinch alligator clips, 2 1/4-inch French barrettes and 1 1/4-inch mini baby clips to provide as snug and secure a grip as a magnet.

All of the hair accessories are handcrafted in the United States, using non-toxic glues and adhesives and CPSIA-certified trims that are sourced from all over the world. “Today’s clip version is sleek, lighter weight and so soft, you hardly know it’s there,” Salyer notes. The bows are made with grosgrain, organza and velvet ribbon, and the novelty clips feature adorable appliqués. An organic cotton head wrap, with big flowers and butterflies, adds a “go green” touch to the product line. “It’s a wonderful band that is super soft and stretchy, and I have not seen anything like it in the marketplace,” Salyer reports.

Building a Business on the No-Slip Clip

Salyer never imagined she’d be co-founder and CEO of a line of hair accessories. Growing up in Manhattan Beach, California, she was the daughter of a prominent political figure and a top women’s beach volleyball player. Her own abilities in volleyball propelled her to the University of Arizona and then to San Diego State University. Before graduating, she took a job in Europe launching Nautilus health clubs. This hands-on experience opened up a new world to her as she learned the art of marketing and promotion, meeting people in the industry and building a network of experts.

“When I came back to the states, I was determined to work for Reebok footwear in its promotion and marketing division to help launch the company’s first volleyball shoe,” Salyer reminisces. “With my volleyball connections and what I’d learned in Europe, I felt I was perfect for the job. I began to lobby for a chance to be a sales rep, if a position became available.”

Salyer caught a break in 1986 when one of Reebok’s children’s representatives left the company and Salyer was offered the job. “Everything took off from there,” she says. “This marked the beginning of my career in the children’s industry and set the stage for my discovery of No Slippy Hair Clippy.”

Bela Scotia Cake
Salyer actually stumbled on the no-slip velvet clip while making a call to one of her accounts in the San Francisco Bay Area. “I really liked the product and the thought that was put into it. But like so many start ups, there wasn’t enough capital to support the business, and it seemed eminent during the early days that No Slippy Hair Clippy was not going to make it,” she says. “I convinced my husband, Ramey, that if we invested, we could make something important happen in the marketplace.”

With a combined business savvy, strong industry contacts, some money and a great deal of commitment, she and Ramey invested and formed a partnership with the original owner, and co-founded a whole new successful business venture. From the very beginning, Salyer knew No Slippy Hair Clippy was going to be different. “It’s about our name … it makes people smile and want to say it out loud. I knew we had something marketable and cute,” she says.

But expanding and shaping the business turned out to be more challenging than the couple thought. In the summer of 2005, Sayler learned her co-founder had committed fraud and embezzled funds from the company. “This sent us reeling, personally and professionally, and almost put the company out of business,” she says. “At the time, I thought we were the only company ever to experience this, but I have come to realize after talking with many business owners that we weren’t alone in coping with adversity.”

Rebuilding and Rebranding

Salyer credits No Slippy Hair Clippy’s loyal retailers for keeping the company afloat through some of its most trying days. She found herself digging deep to remember her inspiration for initially becoming involved with the brand. “I truly fell in love with the hair clips, the quality, the ingenuity, the uniqueness,” she remembers. “I still love seeing babies wear them because they really stay in their baby fine hair. I just 100 percent believed in the product right from the start.”

The No Slippy team has catapulted the company to success. Since 2005, it has been nominated every year by retailers across the United States for the prestigious Earnshaw’s Earnie award, in recognition of design excellence,. In 2008, the brand won the award. “In today’s climate, we have to be focused and realistic,” Sayler notes. “Our marketing efforts have given us a higher perceived value and have contributed to our branding efforts.” She regularly gives a shout-out to her photographer, Amanda Elkins, who is responsible for lifestyle images and Don Corning, who shoots the products in studio. “Our designers and photographers are essential to the overall look and feel of our brand,” she says, “and I believe this has clearly set us apart from other companies in the category.”

Hair-Raising Accessories on the Horizon

In these economic times, Sayler recognizes that changes must be cost effective. “Business grows not just by sales, but by offerings and expanding product lines,” she believes. The company has grown exponentially since the early days, and moving the business globally into export markets and expanding Internet business and marketing has proven to be effective.

The company’s latest introduction, Clippettes ™ ribbon prints and bows, is a new division that focuses on value price points, but incorporates the same quality and design ingenuity, starting at $3.95 MSRP. “At this price range, more customers can add hair accessories to their wardrobes,” she says.

Sayler says she is constantly blown away by No Slippy Hair Clippy’s success. “We’ve been fortunate enough to have photographs of celebrity kids wearing our products in the pages of US Weekly, People Magazine, OK magazine and Life & Style. Some of the celebrity moms include Samantha Harris, Jessica Alba and Halle Berry. We’re flattered to attract this kind of attention and love to see our clips in the press. We attribute most of the success of our celebrity marketing to Bop-Star Baby celebrity gift baskets.”

Flower Clip Alexis Bela
Salyer isn’t resting on her laurels — goals have always been to expand on ideas and create new innovative designs, concepts and trims that have never adorned a hair clip or headband. “If it’s out there and different, I’m looking at it,” she shares. “I don’t copy others, but I might see something I like and take it to another level. I have high expectations and standards, so it has to look outstanding to make the line. We never stand still; design and product development is ongoing. It’s the only way to stay ahead of it all.”

No Slippy Hair Clippy accessories are designed for babies, toddlers, tweens, teens and women. The collection includes the grosgrain baby bows, novelty hair clips with animals and critters, flower clips and headbands. The velvet pinch clip is the best-selling hair clip for girls of all ages.

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