Inventor socks it to stores


POSTED: Friday, October 16, 2009

Honolulu inventor Mai Lieu is again a finalist for an international Stevie Award for Women in Business for her CreaClip home haircut guide.

She is also on the move again with another invention soon to hit the market and another in development.

The CreaClip, which has appeared in this space a few times and which sold out in its QVC debut, is new enough that it is eligible to run a second year. It was launched in February 2008.

Lieu is a former hairstylist who invented the device partly to save consumers costly trips to the salon just to trim their bangs or the ends of longer hair.

The online tutorial for CreaClip shows how the product can be used creatively, for more stylish home cuts.

The device was among more than 1,100 nominations of women, female-owned businesses and media campaigns in 54 categories submitted this year from around the world.

Lieu just got back home from a West Coast trip, and is thinking about going to the awards gala in New York City on Nov. 13 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel.

Her new invention is “;a new collection of socks,”; which sounds unglamorous, but pairs were snapped up at the celebrity gifting event for the Emmy Awards, by actresses wanting to wear them with their sky-high or open-toed heels — and in the case of actress Amanda Righetti from the CBS-TV show, with a pair of black patent leather flats.

Lieu has several pictures of herself and the actress sporting the socks or, in the case of actress Bella Thorne of the HBO show “;Big Love,”; holding a pair in the package.

Lieu and the packaging refer to the socks, called RisQue, as “;lingerie for your feet.”;

She has them in four colors at the moment and is working on “;a whole collection”; that will include different lacing and patterns.

The plan is to sell them at retail for under $10 a pair, and she is in talks with major national department stores and women's apparel retailers in hopes they'll be in stock around the country in the spring.

“;They buy almost a year in advance,”; Lieu said.

The sock line came about because of the last time she was a finalist for a Stevie Award for her CreaClip. At the gala, she sat next to a man who would become her business partner in the venture.

A Web site for RisQue is in the works, as is Lieu's third invention, about which she is not yet spilling the beans.

Media Council Hawaii adds friends

UNITY: Journalists of Color Inc. has joined Media Council Hawaii in supporting its opposition to the planned shared services agreement between KGMB-TV and KHNL/KFVE-TV. UNITY includes the Asian American Journalists Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Native American Journalists Association.


Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Reach her by e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).