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Our Story

Bringing New Products to the World

I was living in the NJ suburbs with my husband and two babies. One day we were out for a drive and I picked up a local newspaper. In the classifieds I saw an ad- ‘Seeking Someone to Bring New Products to the World.’ I tore out the ad and slipped it into my wallet, thinking “This is what I was meant to do.’’ At the time I was caring for my young family and teaching Public Speaking at a nearby college. I had advanced degrees in Communications. I blew off my creative steam by sewing accessories and selling them at house parties. There was no time to pursue pipe dreams. I kept that ad in my wallet over the years as a kind of totem. 

A few years later we moved back to New York City, my hometown. I was determined to take advantage of living in the city and try a second career. I intentionally did not renew my NYC teaching license. Therein was a person who could Bring New Products to the World. I started by working at my kitchen table late at night, after my family was asleep. 

I found artisans to make unique designs for my fashion accessory collection and sold some pieces to boutiques in Manhattan. I took night classes in business and joined women’s networking groups, while during the day, schlepping my bag of samples to buyers’ appointments. One day a buyer said to me “Why don’t you open a showroom and come indoors?” With two colleagues, I opened Accessory Resource Gallery, an accessories showroom. The business grew and we represented many now well-known designers including John Michael Richardson Jewelry and Chipita.

In the 1990’s Tomima Edmark came to New York looking for representation for her Topsy Tail™ hair tool invention. We helped launch the product and sold it to accounts from Claire’s to Bloomingdales. Topsy Tail™ sold $100m worldwide. Next came Hairdini then Ted Gibson’s Hairdostick. Our invention marketing business became so successful that in 1994 we opened a separate division called Accessory Brainstorms to give specific attention to fashion accessory inventions. Our offerings grew to include beauty tools. We helped launch Hollywood Fashion Tapes, Dermaspring- hair removal tool, Polar Band-It™ headband neckwarmer, Lumbarwear- wellness wear and licensed a number of products to large corporations. Accessories Magazine said that we “invented a category.”

Since the early aughts, through Accessory Brainstorms, I have devoted my exclusive attention to licensing these unique inventions that help people solve their fashion and beauty problems. Recently, I came upon that little slip of paper, tucked away for all those years. It reads: ‘Seeking Someone to Bring New Products to the World.’ I am living my dream.



Joan Lefkowitz                                                                  

Accessory Brainstorms

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