By Joseph Domelowicz
For the Transcript
You may have seen them at a Winthrop High football game, adorning the hair of various cheerleaders, or you may have noticed them while you were getting your hair done at Salon Luxa or while picking up some Winthrop gear at theWinthrop Pro Shop, but whether you’ve seen the seed-beaded hair extensions known as Candi Hairlites or not, you probably didn’t know they got their start right here in Winthrop.
Candi Hairlites, a trademarked name for the clip-on beaded hair accessories are the brainchild of Connecticut native and current Winthrop resident Maureen Cirillo, who has been selling her hair products in small shops, salons and on-line for about a year now.
“I made the prototype when I was 24,” explained Cirillo, who said she had the idea to create a hair accessory that wouldn’t ruin hair or cost a fortune. “but I never did anything with it until I got laid off last year.”
After losing her job, Cirillo decided that she needed to do something to make money and made the bold decision to try and start a company based around her forgotten invention.
“There is a patent pending on the design and I’ve finally begun outsourcing the production of the Hairlites to a company in Chine, so I can mass produce them,” she explained. “I was getting by making them in my home, for small orders at a time, but it is time consuming and my goal is to be able to take orders for 20,000 at a time.”
With the production aspect of the Hairlites taken care of, Cirillo can focus more attention on design and color selection and marketing her product to larger stores and retail outlets.
“Right now, people can buy them a Salon Luxa and the Pro Shop in Winthrop and at a salon in Connecticut, or they can order them from my website by email or phone. But I am working on a business marketing plan and trying to get them into stores like Calire’s, Ulta, Justice and even Wal-Mart,” she explained.
The Candi Hairlites, which come in different lengths to accommodate all hair styles, sell for just $6.95 apiece and can be purchased in seasonal colors, Winthrop colors or by special order in colors the customer chooses.
“It’s going really well and I’m very excited for what the future may hold,” said Cirillo. ‘I started this venture, because I think all girls who like to have fun, look for ways to show off their hair or make it standout and this product does that in a way that is safe and affordable.”
To get a look at different color designs and styles visit www.candihairlites.com.