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Secrets of Success Joan Lefkowitz, of Accessory Brainstorms, is the author of the chapter “Licensing,” in the highly acclaimed Secrets of Successful Inventing. She was selected to write this chapter, to share her expertise gained through her notable career in licensing Fashion and Beauty Accessories.

"Tolchin Mines the Smartest Brains in the Field to create an Essential Book for Novice Inventors."

-Barbara Corcoran, SHARK TANK



There are a lot of light bulbs going off over Joan Lefkowitz's head. This founder/president of ACCESSORY BRAINSTORMS has made a career out of spotting the novel ideas of others and bringing them to market. Remember the Topsy Tail™!? Lefkowitz helped thrust the item to a $100 million gross. The French Twist Hairdini was another success story (reaping $20 million). Newer is a Lap-Top Manicure Tray, which lets women paint their nails anywhere—from an airport lobby to a moving car. Lefkowitz evaluates more than 200 inventions each year, and about two-dozen make it to market.

As a regular on the lecture circuit, she teaches her seminar "How to Get Your Invention to Market" at FIT's 'Hot Topics' Department and New York's Learning Annex. "It's all about how to get your fashion or beauty accessory to market," says Lefkowitz. "I work with the inventors or companies to help them prepare a product to be market-ready. Either we market it for them or I act as a licensing agent."

Talk about The Mother of Invention! Joan Lefkowitz knows a good idea when she sees it.


Topsy Tail™ Hairstyling Tool


Joan Lefkowitz, founder and owner of ACCESSORY BRAINSTORMS, has become the industry's guru at guiding novelty items to market. Referred to as the "Mother of Invention," she is at the helm of a very successful business featuring highly specialized inventions and items.

Since the success of launching the Topsy Tail™!, a hair styling tool that grossed $100 million, Lefkowitz has advised and nourished hundreds of inventors.

"If we believe in an item we then go about helping to get it to the appropriate market." That can include everything from helping to arrange sales, licensing agreements, public relations or manufacturing.

Hairdini™ Magic Styling Wand


The Hairdini, a foam covered bendable roller designed to make a perfect twist has reaped $20 million in sales and spawned an entire line of do-it-yourself styling aids.

Coming up with the idea was easy for Dinie Schach, the inventor; the hard part was figuring out the marketing end. The turning point came when Schach was introduced to Joan Lefkowitz of ACCESSORY BRAINSTORMS in New York. "Lefkowitz brought The Hairdini into major retailers and made it happen," says Schach.

How does Lefkowitz know when something will be a hit? "The lights go off in my head... When I look at it, I know it's a great one," she said. It is one that no one has seen before, and has the potential to take the market to a new level."

Jeweled Water Gun Necklace


Joan Lefkowitz had a nice accessories business going when the recession hit. But by rethinking her approach to business she managed to turn the problem into an opportunity, and a new business. Rather than let sales flag at a costume jewelry client; ACCESSORY RESOURCE GALLERY suggested it make amusing items for people to purchase, like a jeweled water gun necklace.

The company found itself spending more time helping clients come up with unique ideas and products. The work was far different than their main line of business, so in 1994 a spin off was founded; ACCESSORY BRAINSTORMS.

So far ACCESSORY BRAINSTORMS can take credit for Pins EZ, which turns post earrings into pins, Hairdini Magic Styling Wand and Earz Ear Pockets.




When accessories representative Joan Lefkowitz and her staff at ACCESSORY RESOURCE GALLERY in New York were brainstorming for ways to expand their business they came up with a new division. Acting as a sales and marketing arm for inventions and niche items, they created ACCESSORY BRAINSTORMS.

Now the idea is a full-fledged business representing many inventions including; Whirl-A-Bun, Franties, Easy Lift and Earz.

Over 200 inventions are evaluated each year, and about two dozen make it to the market. ACCESSORY BRAINSTORMS will flesh out appropriate markets, and advise on packaging, graphics, pricing and public relations.