Sharon Rabi – Straight Talking – Mother of two, Sharon Rabi created a unique hair straightening product in the basement of her parent’s apartment and has since taken the internet and the business world by storm. We caught up with the Israeli engineer to find out a little more about the beauty sensation she called DAFNI.
When Sharon Rabi struggled to find a product that could properly straighten her hair she decided to take matters in her own hands and create something herself.
The revolutionary DAFNI heated hairbrush has a ceramic plate under the teeth of the brush that heats up to 365°F and can straighten the hair in minutes, without the need to separate it into different sections as normal straighteners require you to do.
When Sharon uploaded a video of her demonstrating DAFNI to YouTube it received over 100 million views in 24 hours! Consequently, retailers have been queuing up to sell her product and global giant QVC sold out of the straightener within 10 minutes.
We spoke to Sharon and started by finding out a little about how she first created her popular innovation.
“Back in 2012 I changed hairdressers and the stylist suggested I go for a shorter cut. Unfortunately, it proved too short and as well as being quite embarrassed I became a slave to flat irons! It was a painful introduction to the “power of hair” and I was amazed that in this modern world, we used two small plates to do our entire hair. There are on average 100,000 strands of hair on our heads and keeping them “inline” can often be a challenge!”
Had she always been blessed with an inventive mind? “Curious more than inventive. As a child, I really wanted to become a doctor and was fascinated by the human body’s immune system. It is, without doubt, the smartest army we have on our side. I love imagining things and theorising about how they might become practical but the technical side isn’t really my strong side.”
So how would she best classify herself? Businesswoman? Inventor or entrepreneur? “I am probably a little bit of all three although Groucho Marx sums me up best with his famous quote: “I will not join any club that would take me as a member!
“Seriously, after the “trauma” of the short haircut I remember complaining to my father about the hardships of “taming” my hair and he said he would help me find a solution.
“After creating the first mock-up, my father, a senior engineer at the time, estimated it would take me a year to bring DAFNI to market. It took three!
“When we were finally ready to sell, I made a simple demo video, with my new-born baby next to me and uploaded it to Facebook. The following morning, we woke up to a parallel universe. We received an email a minute from every country on the planet! Later that afternoon we then discovered that the video had gone viral and reached over 120 million views. Interest from the likes of QVC and Sephora soon followed.”
How did she handle the unexpected reaction to DAFNI? “It was humbling. We developed it for three years without any external investment and continually running the risk of the product not being accepted. To find an enthusiastic consumer for my idea was incredible.”
With this success, what is coming next from DAFNI? “We’ve launched DAFNI black and DAFNI go and these are now available in John Lewis, Harvey Nichols and many fine hair salons.”
As a married mother of two, how hard is it running a business as well as being a mum and wife? “Of course! Although I am busy I find it motivating and grounding and everything I do outside of work is purely focused on them. They are the essence of everything I do.
“When we relax we do so together. I also love old movies and fine wine – together if possible!”
So what advice would you give to anyone looking to start their own business? “Believe in what you do and then just start it. The answers will come as you go but if you have an idea it can only happen if you make it happen!”
For more information on DAFNI and Sharon visit her website here.