On Episode 8 of Steve Harvey’s Funderdome, Michalyn Porter, Ph.D., pitched her product, Weave Dryer, in the Funderdome. On the show, entrepreneurs pitch in a head-to-head competition to “The Funderdome” (a live studio audience) for the chance to win up to $100K in capital. The pitch that gets the most votes wins the money. Before the winner is announced, both competitors get the chance to “cash out” for a lower sum of money.
(Michalyn D. Porter, Ph.D., holds the Weave Dryer. Image: weavedryer.com)
Brandon Andrews of Values Partnerships sat down with Porter after the show for a one-on-one interview about his startup and his appearance on the show.
Women around the world wear hair weaves. How does the Weave Dryer enhance their hair experience?
The Weave Dryer enhances the users experience because it provides a way for ladies to completely dry the hair all the way to its roots. The nozzle also gently dries hair faster than sitting under a hooded dryer. It’s absolutely the best and healthiest way to eliminate the possibility of having wet hair on your scalp when wearing extensions.
How did you develop the product? Did you sketch it? Where did you find a manufacturer? Walk us through the process.
I couldn’t dry my hair extension foundation braids underneath my weave. Every time I shampooed my hair it would always become consumed with water. I love wearing weaves but became so frustrated and angry that I couldn’t dry the foundation properly. One night, I shampooed my hair and tried to dry my hair as best that I could. I went to bed upset with a wet head hoping my tracks would be completely dry in the morning. That night, I had a dream. I was with my grandmother and she handed me a cup looking object that had straws with holes attached. She told me to put the object on the end of my blow dryer. Then I woke up. I grabbed a cocktail napkin by the bed and sketched a drawing of what I saw in my dream. I showed the drawing to my husband and he freaked out and told me to find a patent attorney. I worked with a company called Invention Home to secure a Utility Patent. I went online and found a reputable hair tool manufacturer in China. Twelve months later, I went into production. Now the product is sold on my website.
It was a huge opportunity for me to have a platform called Funderdome to pitch and showcase my dream, the Weave Dryer. I prepared for the pitch by naturally talking about the benefits of the Weave Dryer and sending videos to the producers. I listened to their suggestions and incorporated everything they gave me into my pitch.
(Michalyn Porter, Ph.D., with Steve Harvey on Funderdome. Image: The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Lisa Rose))
What did you learn from your experience on the show?
I learned that there are many women who experience the same problem while wearing hair extensions. My invention is saving the health of many women. I also learned that even though I cashed out, this opportunity gave me a chance to tell the world about the Weave Dryer.
How do you plan to grow your business in 2017?
The sales since the show have been amazing. I plan to grow my business by working with other hair tool brands to license my invention, the Weave Dryer.