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Publication numberUS20090184077 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/359,086
Publication dateJul 23, 2009
Filing dateJan 23, 2009
Priority dateJan 23, 2008
Publication number12359086, 359086, US 2009/0184077 A1, US 2009/184077 A1, US 20090184077 A1, US 20090184077A1, US 2009184077 A1, US 2009184077A1, US-A1-20090184077, US-A1-2009184077, US2009/0184077A1, US2009/184077A1, US20090184077 A1, US20090184077A1, US2009184077 A1, US2009184077A1
InventorsDaniel Curet, Randa Squillacote
Original AssigneeDaniel Curet, Randa Squillacote
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Styling station
US 20090184077 A1
Abstract
A versatile styling station includes a product retainer, a pair of straps coupled to the product retainer and an attachment mechanism associated with the product retainer and the straps. The attachment mechanism connects the styling station to a corresponding base, comprising a chair back, an armrest or a door. The straps slidingly adjust to level the product retainer after connection of the styling station to the base. The corresponding attachment mechanism may comprise an adjustable hook or a pair of looped extensions formed from the straps.
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Claims(23)
1. A versatile styling station, comprising:
a product retainer;
a pair of straps coupled to the product retainer; and
an attachment mechanism associated with the product retainer and the straps for connecting the styling station to a base, wherein the straps slidably adjust to level the product retainer after connection of the styling station to the base.
2. The styling station of claim 1, wherein the straps comprise a continuous strip of flexible material.
3. The styling station of claim 1, wherein the attachment mechanism comprises an adjustable hook.
4. The styling station of claim 3, wherein the hook selectively slidably engages a clip coupled to each strap.
5. The styling station of claim 4, wherein the hook includes a lock to removably engage the clip.
6. The styling station of claim 4, wherein the clip comprises a D-ring.
7. The styling station of claim 3, wherein the hook is sized to adaptively engage the base.
8. The styling station of claim 1, wherein the attachment mechanism comprises a pair of looped extensions formed from the straps.
9. The styling station of claim 8, wherein the looped extensions are sized to encompass the base.
10. The styling station of claim 8, including a connector selectively engageable with each looped extension, for preventing the straps from pulling away from one another.
11. The styling station of claim 10, including a cushion selectively attachable to the connector, wherein the cushion comprises a lumbar support or a pillow.
12. The styling station of claim 1, wherein the product retainer selectively disengages the straps and is selectively positionable along the length of the straps.
13. The styling station of claim 1, including a product holder slidably receivable by the product retainer.
14. The styling station of claim 1, wherein the base comprises a chair back, an armrest, or a door.
15. A versatile styling station, comprising:
a product retainer;
a pair of straps coupled to the product retainer; and
an attachment mechanism comprising an adjustable hook associated with the product retainer and the straps for connecting the styling station to a base, wherein the straps slidably adjust to level the product retainer after connection of the styling station to the base and the hook includes a lock to removably engage a clip.
16. The styling station of claim 15, wherein the straps comprise a continuous strip of flexible material and the hook selectively slidably engages the clip coupled to each strap.
17. The styling station of claim 15, wherein the hook is sized to adaptively engage the base and the clip comprises a D-ring.
18. The styling station of claim 15, wherein the product retainer selectively disengages the straps and is selectively positionable along the length of the straps.
19. The styling station of claim 1, including a product holder slidably receivable by the product retainer, wherein the base comprises a chair back, an armrest, or a door.
20. A versatile styling station, comprising:
a product retainer;
a pair of straps coupled to the product retainer, wherein the straps comprise a continuous strip of flexible material; and
an attachment mechanism comprising a pair of looped extensions formed from the straps associated with the product retainer and the straps for connecting the styling station to a base, wherein the straps slidably adjust to level the product retainer after connection of the styling station to the base and the looped extensions are sized to encompass the base.
21. The styling station of claim 20, including a connector selectively engageable with each looped extension for preventing the straps from pulling away from one another and a cushion selectively attachable to the connector, wherein the cushion comprises a lumbar support or a pillow.
22. The styling station of claim 1, wherein the product retainer selectively disengages the straps and is selectively positionable along the length of the straps and the base comprises a chair back, an armrest, or a door.
23. The styling station of claim 1, including a product holder slidably receivable by the product retainer.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a styling station. More particularly, the present invention relates to a portable and interchangeable shelving system capable of adaptively attaching to multiple chair backs.

Professional hairstylists and makeup artists (collectively “professional stylists”) typically require the use of many types of beauty products (e.g. makeup, scissors, styling gel, shampoo, etc.) and electrical hand-held appliances (e.g. blow dryers, curling irons, etc.). Workstations that store these beauty products and electrical appliances are generally known in the art and tend to vary extensively by design. In general, designs include workstations that organize power cords via retractable extension cords, large portable workstations and workstations having rigidly attached styling trays. There are many different types and forms of styling workstations available to professional stylists. But, there are currently no customizable and highly portable workstations widely used in the industry that are capable of adaptively storing beauty products and electrical appliances according to the specific needs of the professional stylist.

Workstations may incorporate one or more various devices that organize hairstyling products, makeup products and electrical appliances. Beauty products and other electrical appliances associated with hairstyling and makeup artists, hairdressing studios and hairstyling emporiums are ideally easily accessible to the professional stylist to ensure efficient styling. It is no surprise, therefore, that there are many special purpose workstations and styling trays that endeavor to solve a plurality of problems in the art. Professional stylists, especially those in the entertainment industry, often treat the skin and style hair, scalp, coiffure, wigs, and other accessories with a wide variety of products and procedures. These professional stylists need specialized workstation aids in order to provide exceptional and efficient styling services. Such workstation aids might include styling trays that organize products, devices that organize electrical cords or housings that shield the heating elements from a curling iron or blow dryer.

In one example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,245,716 to Danner discloses a styling tray rigidly mounted to a chair backrest. The styling tray is designed to efficiently disconnect from the chair backrest with minimum effort. The tray is vertically and horizontally adjustable via a set of sliding brackets of which some are rigidly screwed into the chair backrest. The tray is preferably placed directly behind the backrest to best accommodate the busy professional stylist. Such a tray has multiple receptacle portions for accommodating a variety of beauty products and hairstyling appliances. Removing the tray from the chair backrest allows the professional stylist to clean the tray. But, such a tray is not highly portable and is not usable with chairs that do not have brackets mounted thereto.

Another specific workstation design solves problems associated with storing and shielding dangling electrical cords of electrical appliances. This workstation includes a number of receptacles designed to hold electrical appliances, such as a blow dryer or curling iron, during non-use. Each receptacle has a charging plug from which the electrical appliance may draw electricity. The charging plug has a corresponding exposed adapter capable of being unwound to increase the operational distance of the electrical appliance. A set of electrical containers may be removably disposed in the receptacles and have varying interchangeable designs for storing other beauty products or tools.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,014,371 to Heel discloses a relatively large portable workstation that includes a movable cart and electrical supply. Portable workstations are especially useful for professional stylists that work at different locations all within the same general site. Such portable workstations are generally formed from a multi-sided box-like container having a set of wheels and a plurality of slots for storing beauty products and electrical appliances. These workstations can hold and organize small beauty products and accessories such as curlers, clips, hairpins, hair and scalp treatment solutions, etc. Mounting a container to larger portable workstations, for example, increases the on-site convenience of the workstation, but can decrease portability of the workstation among multiple locations (e.g. between movie sets).

In another example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,159,773 to Losenno discloses a tool hanger for supporting electrical appliances like curling irons and blow dryers. The tool hanger specifically addresses a need in the art for safely using and storing curling irons, hot comb hangers and blow dryers. Previously, such devices were placed on a vanity or other comparable and convenient surface. This significantly increased the possibility of the heating elements coming into contact with the surroundings and, in turn, increased the fire hazard. Fire hazards were especially problematic when the heating elements were accidentally left on after completed use. Thus, the tool hanger provides an electrical appliance retainer that thermally insulates the heating elements from the surrounding environment. The hangers are designed to position the heating elements away from the face, hands and other body parts of the professional stylist. But, the tool hanger fails as a versatile portable storage device capable of aiding a professional stylist outside of simply holding electrical appliances.

One major problem with the prior art is that professional stylists tend to work in different environments, such as homes, styling establishments, backstage areas at theaters, movie sets, etc. Professional stylists that travel to different locations to do work may create an improvised or makeshift portable hairstyling station depending, of course, on the location, the surrounding environment and the type of work to be performed. This is particularly disadvantageous to the professional stylist as products may constantly require reorganization to create an adequate workstation for each location or work to be performed. In turn, the professional stylist may experience a decrease in efficiency and quality of work for the lack of being able to obtain certain beauty products and electrical appliances in a quick, consistent and efficient manner.

Thus, there is a need in the art for widespread adaptation of a versatile styling station that aids professional stylists in performing any of the above-described services. Such a styling station should be highly portable, foldable, include an interchangeable shelving storage system, and be capable of adjustment such that the styling station may attach to a wide variety of items with simple hooks, straps and retaining rings. The present invention fulfills these needs and provides further related advantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The versatile styling station disclosed herein includes a product retainer, a pair of straps coupled to the product retainer and an attachment mechanism associated with the product retainer and the straps. The attachment mechanism connects the styling station to a base and the straps slidably adjust to level the product retainer once connected. Preferably, the straps comprise a continuous strip of flexible material that encompasses the outer portion of the product retainer. The shape of the product retainer effectively gives the styling station its shape. The styling station may further include a product holder slidably receivable by the product retainer. In one embodiment, the product holder comprises a box for storing a plurality of styling products. In another embodiment, the product holder comprises a holder capable of insulating the heating elements of a hairdryer or curling iron. The product retainer may selectively disengage the straps and may be selectively positionable along the length of the straps. In a preferred embodiment, the styling station attaches to a base that comprises a chair back, an armrest or a door.

In one embodiment disclosed herein, the styling station includes an attachment mechanism that comprises an adjustable hook. The hook is selectively slidably engageable with a clip coupled to a strap. The hook further includes a lock that removably engages the clip to ensure securement thereto. In a preferred embodiment, the clip comprises a D-ring. Moreover, the hook should be sized to adaptively engage the corresponding base and may be configured to change in size depending on the corresponding application.

In an alternative embodiment of the versatile styling station disclosed herein, the attachment mechanism comprises a pair of looped extensions formed from the straps. The looped extensions are sized to encompass the width of the base. Moreover, the looped extensions are adjustable and are capable of attaching to differently sized bases. In this regard, the adjustment end of the straps enables a user to increase or decrease the length of the looped extensions, depending on the size and thickness of the corresponding base to which the styling station is to be attached. Moreover, the styling station may further include a connector that selectively engages each of the looped extensions. The connector effectively prevents the straps from pulling away from one another when the styling station is attached to the corresponding base. A cushion may selectively attach to the connector to ensure that a user does not come into contact with either the connector or the straps when sitting in a chair having the styling station attached thereto. Accordingly, the cushion may comprise a lumbar support or a pillow.

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings illustrate the invention. In such drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a styling station in accordance with the present invention, including a pair of hooks;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the styling station of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the styling station of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a rear perspective view of the styling station of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is another perspective view of the styling station of FIG. 1, illustrating attachment to a chair back via the hooks;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged perspective view of the styling station of FIG. 5, further illustrating retainment of a plurality of hair styling products;

FIG. 7 is an alternative perspective view of the styling station disclosed herein, including a pair of adjustable straps;

FIG. 8 is a front view of the alternative styling station of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a side view of the alternative styling station of FIG. 7;

FIG. 10 is a rear perspective view of the alternative styling station of FIG. 7;

FIG. 11 is another perspective view of the alternative styling station of FIG. 7, illustrating attachment to a chair back via the straps;

FIG. 12 is an enlarged perspective view of the alternative styling station of FIG. 11, further illustrating retainment of multiple styling products;

FIG. 13 is an alternative perspective view of the styling station attached to a chair back by the pair of straps, further illustrating retention thereto by a connector; and

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of the styling station of FIG. 13, illustrating attachment of a pillow.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

As shown in the drawings for purposes of illustration, the present invention for a styling station is referred to generally by the reference number 10. In general, the styling station 10 is a portable and versatile shelving system capable of adaptively attaching to multiple objects, such as chair backs. The adjustability and compatibility of using the styling station 10 in multiple settings derives primarily from the arrangement of a first strap 12 and second strap 14 that interconnect with at least one of a top shelf 16 and a bottom shelf 18. FIGS. 1-6 illustrate one embodiment wherein the styling station 10 is removably attachable to a chair back 20 (FIGS. 5 and 6) via a pair of hooks 22. Alternatively, with respect to FIGS. 7-14, the styling station 10 may removably attach to the chair back 20 by the straps 12, 14 themselves. The hooks 22 enable the styling station 10 to attach to a chair back 20, per FIGS. 5 and 6, or any one of a number of other items, such as arm rests, doors, window sills or other pieces of furniture or parts of a building to which the hooks 22 may grasp. The straps 12, 14 are preferably used to attach the styling station 10 to a chair back 20 in accordance with the embodiments shown in FIGS. 11-14. Although, a person of ordinary skill in the art may use the straps 12, 14 to attach the styling station 10 to other pieces of furniture or parts of a building in accordance with the functionality of the straps 12, 14, as described herein.

FIG. 1 illustrates the styling station 10 including a pair of hooks 22 integral with the straps 12, 14 via a pair of upper clips 24. The straps 12, 14 thread through these upper clips 24, as described in more detail below, and may be interchanged with other straps having varying shapes and sizes. The straps 12, 14 are preferably made from a durable and resilient material that may include leather, vinyl or rubber. Preferably, the straps 12, 14 do not stretch. But, at least a portion of the straps 12, 14 may stretch in order to attach the styling station 10 to an object. As best shown with respect to FIGS. 3 and 4, the straps 12, 14 have a first end 26 that is fixedly attached to the upper clips 24. In this respect, the first end 26 and the upper clips 24 must also be manufactured from a substantially resilient material capable of carrying the weight of the corresponding components of the styling station 10 and any styling accessories used in conjunction therewith. Preferably, the upper clips 24 are manufactured from a rigid plastic or metal material. The first end 26 may attach to the upper clips 24 by folding a portion of the strap material about itself to form an eyelet that encompasses a portion of the upper clips 24. Therefrom, the first end 26 of the straps 12, 14 extends downwardly along a back section 28 of the styling station 10. The straps 12, 14 extend down and around a bottom section 30 of the styling station 10, namely underneath the bottom shelf 18. Accordingly, the straps 12, 14 extend upwardly along a front section 32 and eventually angle upward back toward the upper clips 24. The straps 12, 14 then thread through the upper clips 24 and a pair of lower clips 34 slidably retained along a section of the straps 12, 14 along the back section 28, as best shown in FIGS. 3-4 and 9-10. With respect to the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 1-6, an adjustment end 36 of the straps 12, 14 folds back along the straps 12, 14 along the back section 28 of the styling station 10. With respect to the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 7-14, the adjustment end 36 is used to tighten the styling station 10 around the chair, as described in more detail below.

The shelves 16, 18 may be permanently or removably attached to the straps 12, 14 by any mechanism known in the art, including rivets, screws, glue or by being sewn into the straps 12, 14. In a particularly preferred embodiment, the styling station 10 includes at least the bottom shelf 18 coupled to the straps 12, 14 to provide support and some structure as the straps 12, 14 themselves are generally flexible. A person of ordinary skill in the art will readily recognize that any one of a number of different shelves may be used in conjunction with the styling station 10 as disclosed herein. The shelves 16, 18 may be fourteen inches wide by four inches deep to ensure adequate space for retaining a plurality of styling products. Preferably, the styling station 10 includes the top shelf 16 in a fixed location along the straps 12, 14 relative to the bottom shelf 18. In a particularly preferred embodiment, the space between the top shelf 16 and the bottom shelf 18 is ten inches. In an alternative embodiment, the top shelf 16 and the bottom shelf 18 may be adjusted by removably attaching the straps 12, 14 thereto via a hook and loop mechanism (e.g. Velcro), snaps, snap buckles or another set of connectors that allow adjustability of the shelves 16, 18 along the length of the straps 12, 14. The shelves 16, 18 as shown in FIG. 1 include a lip 38 that generally extends upwardly approximately one-half inch from a base 40 of the shelves 16, 18 and is approximately one-quarter inch in width. In general, the lip 38 extends around the outer perimeter of the shelves 16, 18 and is used primarily to retain any one of a plurality of styling products placed on the base 40. That is, the lip 38 ensures that products placed on the base 40 do not simply slide off in the event that the shelves 16, 18 become tilted to any degree. This is particularly useful when adjusting the styling station 10 or transporting the styling station 10 from one location to another. Thus, this makes the substantially planar base 40 ideal for placement of styling products such as makeup or hair products.

Moreover, the styling station 10 may include an upper bracket 42 and a lower bracket 44 for use with the top shelf 16 and the bottom shelf 18, respectively, as shown in FIGS. 1-3. Like the shelves 16, 18, the brackets 42, 44 may also be removably or permanently attached to the straps 12, 14 utilizing the same or a similar attachment mechanism, described above. In one aspect, the brackets 42, 44 may be adjustably positioned relative to the shelves 16, 18. Adjustability of the brackets 42, 44 allows individual professional stylists to customize the height between the brackets 42, 44 and the shelves 16, 18 depending on the products used with the styling station 10. In a particularly preferred embodiment, the brackets 42, 44 are placed approximately two inches above the respective shelves 16, 18. Accordingly, the space between the brackets 42, 44 and the corresponding lip 38 of the shelves 16, 18 is approximately one and one quarter inches. The adjustability of the styling station 10 provides more flexibility for professional stylists to customize the shelving. For example, the distance between the upper bracket 42 and the lip 38 or the base 40 of the top shelf 16 may be relatively smaller compared to the distance between the lower bracket 44 and the lip 38 or the base 40 of the bottom shelf 18. In this example, makeup and hair styling containers of relatively short height would be placed and stored in the top shelf 16, while makeup and hair styling containers (e.g. shampoo or hair spray bottles) having relatively tall height would be placed and stored on the bottom shelf 18. Of course, the positioning of the shelves 16, 18 and the brackets 42, 44 may be configured according to the needs of each individual professional stylist. Preferably, the materials that comprise the shelves 16, 18 and the brackets 42, 44 are rigid and capable of being transported without wearing out or breaking. Such materials may include wood, metal, Plexiglas, Kydex, injected molded plastic products, or other materials having like properties. Of course, a person of ordinary skill in the art will readily recognize that additional removable shelving and brackets (not shown) may attach anywhere between the top shelf 16 and the bottom shelf 18 by any of the aforementioned attachment mechanisms compatible with the styling station 10.

As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the hooks 22 are configured for sliding engagement with the styling station 10. Preferably, the hooks 22 are manufactured from a resilient, yet flexible material such that a user may define the width of the U-shape portion of the hooks 22 in order to fit the styling station 10 to variously sized chair backs or other furniture items, as described above. A terminal end 46 of the hooks 22 is configured to slidingly engage the upper clips 24 for attachment thereto as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. The terminal end 46 is preferably curved to form a chamber through which the upper clips 24 may reside, yet not easily disengage. FIG. 3 is an exemplary illustration of the formation of the terminal end 46 of the hooks 22 such that the styling station 10 hangs therefrom and does not otherwise disengage the hooks 22 during use, especially when attached to the chair back 20 of FIGS. 5 and 6. The terminal end 46 forms a locking chamber that prevents disengagement. The terminal end 46 may also comprise other locking mechanisms such as clips, snaps, hooks/loops (e.g. Velcro) or another similar mechanism capable of performing the same function. A person of ordinary skill in the art will readily recognize that the hooks 22 may securely engage the upper clips 24 by any means known in the art to prevent inadvertent disengagement therefrom. The adjustment end 36 of the straps 12, 14 may simply fold back upon itself as best shown in FIG. 4. In this embodiment, the hooks 22 attach the styling station 10 to the chair back 20. Of course, the hooks 22 may be formed of any shape or size that enables at least partial adjustment thereof. For example, the hooks 22 may expand or contract depending on the width of the chair back or other furniture item to which the styling station 10 is to be attached. In another aspect, the hooks 22 may vertically adjust to accommodate taller or shorter chair backs or other furniture items, in accordance with the disclosures herein.

FIGS. 7-14 illustrate an alternative embodiment of the styling station 10 wherein attachment to the chair back 20 is accomplished via a pair of loops 48 formed from the straps 12, 14. When attaching the styling station 10 to the chair back 20 (FIGS. 11-14) with the straps 12, 14 (instead of the hooks 22), the adjustment end 36 thereof is detached from the corresponding portions of the straps 12, 14 as generally shown in FIG. 4. The material of the straps 12, 14 otherwise unused in FIGS. 1-6 is thereafter used to create the loops 48. Retracting the adjustment end 36 back through the lower clips 34 enables this excess material of the straps 12, 14 to expand outwardly into the loops 48. Of course, the size of the loops 48 may be adjusted depending on the object to which the styling station 10 will be attached. The adjustment end 36 may be removably attached by any one of a number of attachment mechanisms known in the art, including a hook and loop arrangement (e.g. Velcro), buttons, snaps or clips. The loops 48 should at least initially be large enough to slide around the outside of the width of the chair back 20. Thereafter, the loops 48 may be adjusted and tightened to the chair back 20, as described in more detail below.

As shown in FIGS. 11-14, the loops 48 extend around the outside of the chair back 20. Accordingly, the straps 12, 14 may be tightened or loosened by threading more or less material through the lower clips 34. For example, in using FIG. 9 as a reference, the loop 48 may be decreased in size by threading additional strap material through the lower clip 34, thereby lengthening the adjustment end 36. In this regard, the adjustment end 36 would attach to a position higher up on the chair back 20 than its current position as shown in FIG. 13. Alternatively, more strap material may be threaded back through the lower clip 34, thereby increasing the size of the loop 48 and decreasing the length of the adjustment end 36. In this embodiment, the adjustment end 36 would attach to a lower portion on the chair back 20 relative to the position in FIG. 13. Increasing and/or decreasing the size of the loop 48 depends, of course, on the size of the chair back 20 or other furniture item to which the styling station 10 is to be attached. For example, decreasing the size of the loop 48 is particularly ideal for smaller or skinnier chair backs, while increasing the size of the loop 48 is particularly preferred for larger or thicker chair backs. Tightening and loosening the straps 12, 14 can also change the tilt angle of the shelves 16, 18 and the brackets 42, 44, as described in more detail below. Of course, the straps 12, 14 may be adjustably configured by a hook and loop configuration (e.g. Velcro), buckles, snaps, snap buckles, the upper clips 24, a connector 50 (FIG. 13), the adjustment end 36 or the lower clips 34. Preferably the upper clips 24 and the lower clips 34 comprise a D-ring.

Alternatively, the lower clips 34 may comprise a snap buckle and a set of adjustment clips located along the length of the straps 12, 14. In this embodiment, the adjustment end 36 of the straps 12, 14 simply snaps into the snap buckle threaded thereon, instead of threading through the lower clips 34. The snap buckle, like the lower clips 34, is slidably retained along the back section 28 of the straps 12, 14. The size of the loops 48 may be changed through use of the adjustment clips integral to the straps 12, 14, instead of the lower clips 34. In this regard, a user may adjust the size of the loops 48 with a set of three −bar adjustment clips mounted along the length of the straps 12, 14 between the first end 26 and the adjustment end 36.

FIG. 13 illustrates the styling station 10 including the connector 50 for retaining together the straps 12, 14 when attached to the chair back 20. The connector 50 functions to prevent the straps 12, 14 from falling off the sides of the char back 20. In this regard, the straps 12, 14 are first tightened to the chair back 20, as described above. Then, as shown in FIG. 13, the connector 50 attaches to the straps 12, 14 along the chair back 20. The connector 50 may fold upon itself for attachment thereto by any of the aforementioned retainment mechanisms, such as a hook and loop arrangement (e.g. Velcro), snaps, clips or other mechanisms known in the art. In this case, the connector 50 helps retain the straps 12, 14 relative to one another along the chair back 20. Without the connector 50, the straps 12, 14 risk pulling apart and falling off either side of the chair back 20. Accordingly, the connector 50 may also help maintain and center the styling station 10 in the middle of the chair back 20.

Moreover, FIG. 11 illustrates a pillow 52 that may be integrated with the styling station 10 as described herein. The pillow 52 is preferably any type of lumbar support or cushion attachable to the styling station 10 via the connector 50 to ensure maximum comfort and support. In this regard, the pillow 52 simply threads into the connector 50 during attachment to the straps 12, 14. The pillow 52 may include a sleeve (not shown) for receiving the connector 50 or may include another mechanism, such as a hook and loop attachment (i.e. Velcro), capable of facilitating attachment to the connector 50. When a user is sitting in a chair 54 and leaning up against the chair back 20, the pillow 52, as attached to the connector 50, prevents the user from directly contacting the connector 50 and/or the straps 12, 14. Thus, the pillow 52 is designed to provide comfort and support to a person receiving styling services from a stylist using the styling station 10.

The straps 12, 14 are flexible in that the styling station 10 does not need to pull tight against a back portion of the chair back 20 to operate. As shown in FIGS. 5-6 and 11-14, the styling station 10 is not flush with the back portion of the chair back 20. The design of the styling station 10 ensures that the shelves 16, 18 are capable of being oriented according to the needs of the professional stylist. The shelves 16, 18 are preferably positioned substantially horizontal to the floor and positioned at an offset angle relative to the back portion of the chair back 20, unless, of course, the chair back 20 is perpendicular to the floor. Adjusting the straps 12, 14 to shorten the distance around the chair back 20 would tighten the loops 48 therearound and cause the styling station 10 to tilt forward. Increasing the size of the loops 48 tilts the styling station 10 backward toward the chair back 20. This tilting feature is especially useful for maximum adjustability of the styling station 10 for use with a wide variety of chairs, including angled chairs. This ensures that the styling station 10 does not simply dangle from the chair back 20. Rather, the styling station 10 may securely attach to the chair back 20 and be properly adjusted to ensure that the shelves 16, 18 remain substantially parallel to the floor in order to stabilize the styling products placed thereon. Hence, the professional stylist is able to work from the styling station 10 without worrying that makeup and hairstyling products, retained in the shelves 16, 18 and by the corresponding brackets 42, 44, may fall out. The styling station 10 is especially useful and conformable to the pitch of different styling chairs and may attach to a hydraulic salon chair back, an ordinary chair back and any railing or doorframe with straps or hooks. Accordingly, the styling station 10 can be adjusted for different chair back heights, door heights and angles to keep the shelves 16, 18 level.

As shown in FIG. 1, the styling station 10 may further include any one of a plurality of accessories such as a box 56 or a holder 58. The box 56 is preferably sized to fit neatly within the interior of the top shelf 16 as formed by the lip 38. The styling station 10 may also include a mechanism for attaching the box 56 to the top shelf 16, such as by a mechanical mechanism or an adhesive mechanism. The box 56 may hold any one of a number of small styling accessories such as a pin 60 (FIGS. 6 and 12). Of course, a person of ordinary skill in the art will readily recognize that the box 56 is capable of being placed in either the top shelf 16, as described above, the bottom shelf 18 or any other shelves intermediate between the top shelf 16 and the bottom shelf 18. Moreover, the professional stylist may endeavor to use multiple boxes 56 to hold a variety of other styling products requiring individual compartments. The box 56 may be larger or smaller than that shown in the representative figures and may be further customized to include smaller individual compartments therein (not shown). The box 56 is preferably flush with the corresponding bracket when placed on the base 40 of any respective shelf, as shown best in FIG. 2. The upper bracket 42 helps stabilize the box 56 when placed in the top shelf 16. In this regard, the upper bracket 42 prevents the box 56 from tipping or otherwise falling out of the top shelf 16.

Also shown in FIG. 1 is the holder 58, which may retain a curling iron 62, a hairdryer 64 (FIGS. 5-6 and 11-12), or any other comparable styling device. The holder 58 preferably includes a horizontally extending ledge 66. The ledge 66 enables the holder 58 to seat flush against the base 40 of the top shelf 16 through a corresponding aperture 68. As best shown in FIGS. 4 and 10, the top shelf 16 may include a plurality of apertures 68, 68′, 68″. The shelves compatible with the styling station 10 may include one or more of the apertures 68 in any one of a number of different configurations. Moreover, the aperture 68 may be sized to retain one of a plurality of devices and/or specially shaped to accommodate a specific device that a professional stylist may want to use. Any one of a number of different accessories may also be used in association with the aperture 68. For example, the box 56 covers the aperture 68″, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 10. The holder 58 or another accessory may be inserted into any one of the apertures 68, 68′, 68″. Preferably, the holder 58 is capable of insulating the heating element of the curling iron 62 or the hairdryer 64 to prevent exposure and possible burn risk. Of course, any one of a number of different sized or shaped holders 58 may be used in conjunction with a plurality of the aforementioned apertures 68. The holder 58 is preferably made of a metal, a flexible heat resistant fabric or other fire retardant material resistant to large temperature changes that may result from direct contact with the heating elements of the curling iron 62, the hairdryer 64, or other similar device.

The styling station 10 may also retain other items in the shelves 16, 18, as shown in FIGS. 5-6 and 11-12, including a water bottle 70, a hairspray bottle 72 or a shampoo bottle 74. Of course, a person of ordinary skill in the art will readily recognize that the styling station 10 may effectively retain any one of a number of different products to aid a professional stylist.

The styling station 10 is specifically designed to be detached from the chair back 20 for travel with the professional stylist in and among varying locations without forcing the professional stylist to reconfigure the styling station 10 at each of the independent locations.

Although several embodiments have been described in detail for purposes of illustration, various modifications may be made to each without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be limited, except as by the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7789249 *Feb 26, 2010Sep 7, 2010Merbeth Laura JAward racks
US7789250 *Oct 18, 2007Sep 7, 2010Aamodt Robert WAthletic ball organizer
US8701901 *Aug 5, 2011Apr 22, 2014Rubbermaid, Inc.Shelving system and components
US8763971Jun 18, 2013Jul 1, 2014Dan Duncan WilsonRespiratory ventilator transport system
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Classifications
U.S. Classification211/117, 211/113
International ClassificationA47F7/00
Cooperative ClassificationA45F2003/146, A47B43/006, A45D44/04, A45F2003/142, A47C7/62
European ClassificationA47B43/00B1, A47C7/62, A45D44/04