Read more about me, Melanie, the person behind Magic Tribal Hair and learn how my first ideas of fantasy hair turned into this little handmade business for custom color hair extensions of all kinds!
Hi, this is Melanie, head, heart and hands of Magic Tribal Hair or simply your hair fairy :)!
Customers often ask what inspired me to start Magic Tribal Hair. Here is the answer! I have always loved hair, especially long hair and braided hair styles. I indeed started working with synthetic hair as early as in the 1990s when I was still at school! It was just for fun and for me and my friends then, but I started dreaming about a whole collection of hair pieces in natural and fantasy style, soon.
Fun fact: I've loved the musical Hair since I was 16 :)!
What did I imagine my first hair extensions to be like?
I wanted them to be special in quality and attachment, because many attachments are only easy to use but lack in natural look and strong hold. Since fantasy styles are often used for stage performances or larp and cosplay, strong hold is a must-have. On top of that I wanted to offer a perfect color match. Regular hair pieces mostly come in 1 color only, but nearly all people whose hair is not very dark brown or black have a mixture of 2 or 3 and more shades in their own hair, highlights, lowlights, darker roots, first grey hairs or salt'n'pepper style. Moreover I really did not want my customers to dye their hair to match the hair piece, absolutely not, it should be the other way round, the hair piece must represent their exact hair color! This means only a custom color match handmade to order is a perfect match most people would not recognize as a hair piece. In the beginning of the new millennium the penny finally dropped and I had solutions to all my requirements and could start developing my collection. My hair-piece-loving friends were great testers for my hair extensions and helped me to add the finishing touch.
Fun story: A friend of mine still wears her "prototypes", I helped her rearranging her apartment two years ago and got hold of her hair piece storing container - a large hatbox with neatfully draped hair pieces inside (hatboxes are perfect for storing hair pieces, by the way). "I can't believe you still have these!", I shouted excitedly; "Why shouldn't I?", she replied, "they are still in good shape!". To be honest I must add she really stored them well and wears them for going out only and not to all parties meaning not every weekend. But still this means a high quality hair piece can last 8 years and longer!
First shop and worldwide selling
In 2009 my baby was named Magic Tribal Hair and went online, and from 2009 to 2013 I also offered my creations at bazaars and trade fairs, especially in the tribal fusion & oriental belly dance scene. The feedback from belly dancers was perfect advice to enlarge and develop my collection, I added many costume-themed items like yarn falls, hip and hair tassels and dread falls. But my main products were still my customized hair extensions which I could offer as pre-order items on trade fairs only. And being online many more customers luckily discovered Magic Tribal Hair and the first orders for wedding hair jewelry came in, single peacock fascinators for the bride and larger sets for bride and bridesmaids. I liked offering my items to a larger audience online and soon discovered the worldwide options, for example by opening the Magic Tribal Hair shop at Etsy in 2011. That shop was truly my gateway to the world and soon I had many great customers in the United States, the United Kindom and even some in Australia, Canada and New Zealand! So I stopped travelling and after renewing and modernizing my website in 2015 I also met more and more international customers on my own website, also from Europe, of course! It still excites me when I think of my creations being worn on so many heads in so many different places in the world, this is just amazingly awesome!
New U.S. website www.magictribalhair.com for customers in the United States and all other countries outside Europe!
This year, meaning in 2018, I added this extra U.S. website, because luckily my customers in the United States have grown to so many! So I wanted you to get a site that is more convenient for you with prices without sales tax as you are used to and payment in US $. On the European website prices contain sales tax which is automatically deducted during checkout for all customers outside Europe, because you don't have to pay any sales tax in our shop. Still this solution lacks comfort, because you don't see the lower price you will pay during your shopping process.
On the European site payment is always in € currency and for these reasons I also opened the US website to all other customers outside Europe. I think customers in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada and all these other beautiful countries I have already had among my customers are more used to deal with United States dollars than with European Euro ;).
Still you customers from outside Europe can shop through the European website if you prefer to!
Fun fact: Geography really wasn't my best subject at school, well this changed thanx to Magic Tribal Hair! I had never heard of New Caledonia before, until I had a super sweet customer there who ordered a braid for her Star Wars cosplay costume. She even added a message to her order that she is aware of New Caledonia being unknown to most of the world, but they would really exist. Funny thing was that the postman who accepted and scanned my parcel looked puzzled when he had to enter the destination country in his computer :D.
Another fun fact: Different countries, different tastes! The crazy and most exciting thing for me about selling worldwide was finding out that women in the United States loved my items even more than women in Europe. And they asked me for different extras or changes to my current products which was a really big adventure for me and gave me many new creative options. Some requests lead to procuts in my current range I really don't want to miss any more! This means that without you, and here I mean all my customers all around the world, I would have missed some great ideas and my offer would not be that rich as it is today!
Where is Magic Tribal Hair based?
I now live and work in Cologne, Germany, where I studied I studied Nordic, Dutch and English philology at the University of Cologne. I actually started and built up Magic Tribal Hair besides my studies. On one hand this made things slower for Magic Tribal Hair because I had to invest time for my studies, too. But dealing with Norse mythology and European Medieval literature on the other hand was inspiration that lead to many of my Viking-inspired and Medieval/ Renaissance-style hair creations as well! The result you can see in the large range of more than 300 different hair styles which I now handmake to order in your and any other hair color! Magic Tribal Hair is a little piece of magic to my customers and to me it's a new adventure every day - that is what I especially love about my little business!
I hope you liked reading about Magic Tribal Hair and me. Do you have any inspiration or wishes for this blog? Then just e-mail me or write a comment! If you want to stay informed, feel free to sign up for the newsletter, you find the option at the bottom of any page on this website!
Have fun in the Magic Tribal Hair web shop and contact me for any questions or in case you need assistance!
Best wishes, Melanie