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Entrepreneur secures patent

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  • | 8:06 p.m. June 15, 2010
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Philadelphia stock broker-turned Sarasota entrepreneur Susan Beausang can now add her own patent to her list of firsts.

Beausang, founder of, was awarded the patent last month. Three years in the making, the patent is for the Beaubeau scarf, a head covering she created in 2002 when she sought a fashion-conscious alternative to a wig for women and girls coping with hair loss. “It was a long process,” Beausang tells Coffee Talk. “There was a lot involved.”

The patent process was complicated by the fact that at its core, Beausang's product is merely a piece of cloth used as a scarf. But Beausang, through her patent filings and eventually in person, argued that the unique design of the Beaubeau scarf allows for two things no other scarf can do. For one, says Beausang, it can combine fabrics with seams to “offer maximum comfort and rule out slippage.”

The Beaubeau, adds Beausang, is also designed to give some fullness at the back of the head without creating any gaps on the side or perimeter. That aspect is key when selling the product to people with medical hair loss.

Beausang's company has sold the Beaubeau scarves online and in hospital gift stores and boutiques for five years, reaching the mid-six figures in annual sales. Beausang also has a personal interest in the scarf: She suffers from Alopecia, a non-life threatening autoimmune skin disease that causes hair loss on the scalp and other parts of the body. (See Review, Jan. 23, 2009)

The originations of the Beaubeau came from those days. At the time of her diagnosis, Beausang lived in Philadelphia, where she was the first woman to own a seat on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange.

Beausang wrote letters to 40 material suppliers in New York City before she chose one who could meet her quality and cost requirements.

The patent effort, she found, took similar diligence. A close family friend is a patent attorney, so that helped defray some of the costs. But the process became a quest for vindication that included a trip to the U.S. Patent and Trademark office in Washington D.C. for a personal interview with federal patent officials.

Beausang's biggest lesson from the experience is one other inventors and entrepreneurs can heed: Don't sacrifice design principles for cost reasons, no matter how tough that might be. “In the end,” says Beausang, “that [sacrifice] will work against you.”


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