Tools to Try: The Beachwaver, Now Available in Two New Sizes
Beachwaver Co. is expanding is tool range with the launch of two new iron sizes: the S1.25 and S.75.
The two tools join the 1-inch size to give a variety of styling options to stylists and clients alike. The tools are all available at Ulta Beauty and can make for a great retail opportunity in the salon. The tools feature an arrow button for rotation control, an 8-foot swivel cord, ergonomic handle, fast and slow speed switch and more.
Beachwaver Founder and Celebrity Stylist Sarah Potempa invited select media to an exclusive, intimate breakfast at Summer House Santa Monica in Chicago to launch the new irons. Potempa demoed how the irons work—a beveled, no-kink clamp holds ends of hair while the barrel rotates to curl hair around it and hold for three seconds before releasing—and shared how the Beachwaver got its start.
How the Beachwaver was born
"I think my whole concept was that I got really frustrated showing all these beauty editors and writers how to do their hair, and I felt like it was hard for them," Potempa says. "And it is hard—having to hold an iron backwards and wear a glove. Some girls got it, but it would take 45 minutes, or one side would look good and one wouldn't. And I just thought, there's got to be an easier way for people to get this.
"I sketched out the idea," Potempa says of the first iteration of the tool, the Beachwaver Pro. "I got a bunch of engineers—acutally local, in Illinois—and we had an electrical engineer, a mechanical engineer, we had a whole team come together and design it, and then I made the first prototype in Wisconsin. So we cut the steel for the molds after that; created the whole thing."
After creating prototypes, Potempa and her sister and business partner, Erin, dove into the research and development side of things to figure out how they could make the best iron they could.
"We teamed up with an incredible family; they're all in South Korea," Potempa says. "[The irons] are hand-assembled, every one of them. There's 350 custom parts in every one and three computer boards. So the computer boards control the digital temperature. It's all digital, so based on your hair type, you can adjust it from 290 to 410. It rotates in both directions, and the fast/slow buttons control the speed."
In a very "If you build it, they will come" kind of moment, the Beachwaver quickly took off in 2012. Along with beauty editors taking notice, celebs were helping Potempa launch her products—somewhat unexpectedly.
"I started to get celebrities endorsing it, but we weren't paying anyone to do it," Potempa says. "Everyone from Molly Sims to Heidi Klum to Lea Michele. And they were all tweeting about it. Jenna Dewan-Tatum tweeted, "I'm not being paid to say this, but I'm obsessed with the Beachwaver!"
Potempa has styled a number of celebs ranging from Reese Witherspoon and Hailee Steinfeld to President Barack Obama ("I trimmed his brows!"), and she jet-sets from coast to coast while keeping the Beachwaver office in the Chicago area, where she is from.
For more info, visit beachwaver.com.
Potempa and Reese Witherspoon (from Potempa's Instagram: @sarahpotempa).