Tinsel founder Aniyia Williams was inspired to start her own company because, as she puts it, “women spend more on technology than men, but very few electronics product are made with them in mind.” With the goal to address the practical tech needs of women, while also being original and innovate, Williams developed the Dipper, a set of headphones that doubles as a stylish necklace.
So far, Williams has gotten an overwhelmingly positive response to the idea. Tinsel exceeded their $50,000 goal on Indiegogo in their campaign to raise enough money to send the Dipper into production. Williams suspects that much of this support comes from the lack of anything similar in the market. “By taking headphones from the bottom of women’s handbags and putting them on their bodies in a way that makes them feel confident and proud, women can handle their business (taking phone calls, listening to music, etc) while also being able to express their individuality and showcase their style,” she says. Even the media has begun to take notice. Tinsel has been recognized by Brit+Co, Refinery29 and Design Milk, which are all instrumental in getting the word out. In November, Tinsel was named among San Francisco’s 19 coolest new businesses by Business Insider.
It hasn’t always been this positive, though. Williams says that the biggest obstacle as a woman and person of color in the tech world is creating a network. She continues, saying that “many of us [at Tinsel] come from backgrounds where we just aren’t connected to the people who have the answers, resources, or reach to help us attain our goals.” Thankfully, she has found that recently there are more organizations taking action to change this, Equita included. “There’s still a long way to go,” she says, “but I believe it’s much easier to be doing what I am now than it would have been 5 years ago.”
Williams says the work for Tinsel doesn’t stop here. She hopes that in the future Tinsel is widely recognized as a brand working to bring women the electronics they love and need. She hopes that soon they get to expand their work into other audio products, as well as tackling other problems. For now, Williams can guarantee that she’s solved one problem: as she says, “your days of de-tangling a knotted ball of string are over. With the Dipper, it’s smooth sailing.” It seems that it will be the same way for Tinsel moving forward.
Stay tuned for more in our #Equitawelcomes series.