Hair today, gown tomorrow: Woman invents hair gadget - Albuquerque Journal

Hair today, gown tomorrow: Woman invents hair gadget

Ask Susan Parra of Rio Rancho how close she came to being on the national TV show “Shark Tank” and she holds her thumb and index finger about a half-inch apart.

Not making the show, it turns out, is viewed as a “mixed blessing” by her and husband Mark.

“I would’ve been the first from New Mexico to be on the show,” she said, without a trace of disappointment in her voice.

According to the show’s website, the critically acclaimed Friday night program on ABC “has the Sharks continuing the search to invest in the best businesses and products that America has to offer. … The Sharks — tough, self-made, multi-millionaire and billionaire tycoons — give budding entrepreneurs the chance to make their dreams come true and potentially secure business deals that could make them millionaires.”

Susan Parra demonstrates how easy it is to install and remove her Quix Itz hair accessory, while her proud husband Mark watches. He says even some of his guy friends are impressed with the item. (Rio Rancho Observer—GARY HERRON photo)
Susan Parra demonstrates how easy it is to install and remove her Quix Itz hair accessory, while her proud husband Mark watches. He says even some of his guy friends are impressed with the item. (Rio Rancho Observer—GARY HERRON photo)

Parra is one of those “budding entrepreneurs,” and she believes she has come up with a product — magnetic hair accessories — that someday might make her a millionaire.

If it does, great. If it doesn’t, that’s also great, she said.

“Being a millionaire isn’t my goal,” she said. “Getting our product out there and making girls feel pretty is.”

Sure, she said, the exposure afforded her product by the millions of people watching “Shark Tank” would have been beneficial. But the Sharks always want a piece of the action, and she didn’t want to be beholden to a partner for 40 percent of her take.

The experience, which culminated in a 10-minute interview by the casting director at an audition in Dallas earlier this year, “validated my product,” Parra said.

Guys know how much importance is placed on that “looking pretty” feeling by every girl alive. How often does “Give me a minute to brush my hair” turn into a 15-minute wait?

And if a bow, barrette or something is to be added, more time. That time, at least, can all but be eliminated with Parra’s magnetic hair accessories — with no slipping, no pulled hair, no long wait endured by Mr. Right.

And, the tiny magnets are so strong they’ll affix items onto blouses, caps and hats, or even jeans.

Parra’s life is pretty great anyway: She has a loving husband of 22 years, four great children — two sons are Eagle Scouts — a spacious home and more.

“I love my life,” she says.

Her Quix Itz (pronounced “quick its”) innovation seems simple enough.

You can see those nifty products on the web (quixitz.com) or in person Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the RhythAMetteS’ fifth annual crafts fair in the RRHS gymnasium.

Admission and parking are free, plus you can browse offerings of vendors with jewelry, crafts, accessories and food. There will also be a silent auction, a kids entertainment area and raffle for a free hot-air balloon ride. All proceeds will help the RhythAMetteS go to the National Dance Team Championships at Disney World.

Parra’s daughter Juliana, now a junior at the University of New Mexico, was once a RhythAMetteS member, and Parra still wants to help the worthy program.

So she helped RRHS teacher and RhythAMetteS coach Christine Carson organize the crafts show. At least 115 vendors will be in the gym and on the mezzanine above the gym floor.

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