Patent application title: Removably Mountable Salon Chair Tray and Methods of Use Thereof
Bettie L Powell (Pollock, TX, US)
IPC8 Class: AA47B8302FI
Class name: Chairs and seats with table, desk, or easel table behind seat
Publication date: 2011-10-13
Patent application number: 20110248531
The present disclosure describes a tray assembly uniquely configured to
be removably mounted to the back of a chair such as that of a beauty
salon The tray may include cut outs or similar holders for color bowls.
Further, the tray may have a lip along its outer perimeter to prevent
spills of the coloring or other liquids. Still further the tray may
include various storage and/or attachment apparatuses for storing
immediately necessary tools to aid in the hair coloring, or hair
treatment, or styling process. The tray is attachable so as to create an
ergonomical environment for the hairdresser to allow access to all tools
and accessories without the need of repetitive bending and/or reaching as
well as to avoid spills or otherwise knocking needed equipment to the
1. A removably mountable tray assembly configured to mount on the back of
a chair comprising: a frame, said frame having a top side, a bottom side,
a front side, and a back side; said frame further having an outer
perimeter; said frame having an attachment apparatus affixed to said
front side, wherein said attachment apparatus is configured to removably
mount said tray assembly to said back of said chair; a tray, said tray
mounted on said top side of said frame; said frame enclosing a storage
container below said tray; and a rack system, said rack system at least
partially surrounding said outer perimeter of said frame.
2. The removably mountable tray assembly of claim 1, further comprising: said tray having a bottom side and an outer perimeter; and a flange extending away from said tray bottom and at least partially surrounding said outer perimeter of said tray.
3. The removably mountable tray assembly of claim 1, wherein said storage container is movable in a direction away from said frame and said chair.
4. The removably mountable tray assembly of claim 1, wherein said rack system defines a storage area, wherein said area is for the storage of hair styling and/or coloring accessories during the styling and/or coloring session.
5. The removably mounted tray assembly of claim 1, wherein said rack system defines a plurality of apertures, wherein said apertures are for the storage of hair styling and/or coloring accessories during the styling and/or coloring session.
6. The rack system of claim 5, wherein said plurality of apertures comprise more than one size of opening.
7. The removably mountable tray assembly of claim 1, further comprising said tray defining at least on receptacle, wherein said receptacle is configured to house a color bowl.
8. The removably mountable tray assembly of claim 1, further comprising said tray having a substantially rectangular shape.
9. The removably mountable tray assembly of claim 1, further comprising: said tray having a back side; said back side of said tray being distal of said chairs; and said back side of said tray having a substantially concave shape.
10. The removably mountable tray assembly of claim 1, further comprising an electrical power strip.
11. The electrical power strip of claim 10, wherein said electrical power supply is detachably attached to said removably mountable tray assembly.
12. A tray assembly mountable to the back of a chair configured to retain hair styling supplies comprising: a frame, said frame having a top side, a bottom side, a front side, and a back side; a tray mounted to said frame and having a an outer perimeter and a flange extending in an upward direction from at least a portion of said outer perimeter; said frame being configured to be mounted to said back of a chair; said frame at least partially enclosing a storage container below said tray; and a retaining system attached to said tray assembly and at least partially surrounding said frame.
13. The removably mountable tray assembly of claim 12, wherein said storage container is movable in a direction away from said frame and said chair.
14. The removably mountable tray assembly of claim 12, wherein said retaining system defines a plurality of open ended containers, wherein said open ended containers are for the storage of hair accessories during the styling and/or coloring session.
15. The removably mountable tray assembly of claim 12, further comprising said tray defining at least on receptacle, wherein said receptacle is configured to house a color bowl.
16. The removably mountable tray assembly of claim 12, further comprising an electrical power strip.
17. A method for conveniently and ergonomically accessing supplies required for hair coloring and/or styling comprising the steps of: providing a tray assembly having a tray mounted thereto; mounting said tray assembly onto the back of a chair, wherein said chair is for patron having their hair serviced; assembling styling supplies into tray assembly; attaching a power strip to a power supply; attaching any needed electrical accessories to said power strip; performing required hair styling; removing styling supplies from said tray assembly; removing said tray assembly from said chair; and cleaning and/or sanitizing said tray.
18. The method of claim 17, wherein said tray assembly further comprises a storage container below said tray.
19. The method of claim 17, wherein said storage container is slidably mounted below said tray.
20. The method of claim 17, further comprising the step of placing accessories in said container.
 The present disclosure relates generally to a removably mountable chair tray and more particularly, to a tray removably mountable to the back of a hairdresser's chair for containing color bowls and other accessories used for the coloring or styling of hair and the preparation of the hair before and after coloring or styling while providing an ergonomical and non cumbersome environment for the hairdresser.
 Typically, when a patron goes to a beauty salon they must often remain seated in a beautician's chair for extended periods of time. A beautician's chair can be of a variety of configurations depending on the type of salon. Typically, the type of chair that is more widespread or common is one having a vertical pedestal with a holddown and floor mounting base at the bottom. Such a chair can be elevated, as necessary, to accommodate the patron as well as the beautician or stylist. It should be appreciated that the terms beautician, stylist, salon employee, salon operator, cosmetologist or similar terms are used synonymously herein. The device disclosed herein is suitable for use by professional salon employees as well as for home use or use by part time stylists. A variety of other chairs may also be utilized depending on the salon preference as well as chairs used by solo stylists, work at home stylists, as well as people who perform hairstyling as a hobby or to help friends and family members. The predominant feature, among the variously configured chairs, is the chair back which supports the patron. Typically, the chair back will rise no higher than the patron's shoulders to provide full access to the patron's head and hair.
 Typically, a salon and the stylist service a wide-variety of patron needs. The beauticians or hairstylists must have access to a diverse assortment of hairstyling and cosmetic accessories in a convenient but unobtrusive fashion. The stylist performs a variety of work including, but not limited to hair cutting, shaving, hair coloring, bleaching, frosting, highlighting, perming, french braiding, corn rowing, eye brow thinning, and other styling tasks. Thus, the stylist must have access to such varied hairstyling accessories, such as but not limited to, scissors, combs, brushes, hair dryers, razors, trimmers, clippers with variable-sized blade attachments, tweezers, roller sets, curling irons, dyes, and other hair and/or scalp treatment liquids, gels, foams, barrettes, hair clips, and bobby pins.
 Typically, the stylist must access the various accessories and tools throughout the styling process. Many times supplies or accessories are dropped or spilled because of all the movements the stylist must make. Further, when the stylist must constantly reach for items or bend over to pick up items, injuries (such as, but not limited to, muscle strains, bruises, cuts, scrapes, and the like) or additional spills are possible.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
 For a further understanding of the nature and objects of the instant disclosure, reference should be had to the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like elements are given the same or analogous reference numbers.
 FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of an embodiment with a tray containing color bowls mounted on a chair back in accordance with the present disclosure;
 FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of an unmounted embodiment in accordance with the present disclosure;
 FIG. 3 illustrates a back view of an embodiment of the mounting apparatus of the mountable tray in accordance with the present disclosure;
 FIG. 4 illustrates a side view of an embodiment of the mountable tray having a power strip in accordance with the present disclosure; and
 FIG. 5 illustrates a top view of an embodiment of the mountable tray in accordance with the present disclosure.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS
 FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment with a tray assembly 13 attached to the back of chair 10. The present disclosure is far superior to the often used trays perched atop the upper end of a vertical standard which is a component part of a tripod type stand having outer legs with casters or wheels. The tripod arrangement requires that the stand be pushed around the floor often in limited and crowded spaces. Typically, the wheels of these wheeled trays can get caught in loose hair or floor mats which restricts the mobility of the trays and many times leads to accidental toppling of the tray and the materials thereon including color bowls. The present tray assembly 13 allows the stylist to utilize all necessary accessories, in the available space, with freedom and certainty as well as safely and expeditiously, and also while substantially eliminating spillage problems.
 As illustrated in FIG. 1, the tray assembly 13 may contain color bowls 12 and is preferably mounted on a chair 10 in preparation for hair coloring or other styling. It should be appreciated that the number and size of color bowls 12 may vary and are only illustrated herein for a better appreciation of the novelty of the device disclosed herein. It should be understood that the chair 10 is a conventionally available chair. Thus, the exact configuration of the chair, possibly varying from a commercial salon chair to a typical house chair, does not form a part of the instant disclosure and as such should not be viewed as a limitation herein. Preferably, tray assembly 13 basically comprises a tray 14 and an undercarriage 18 both of which are described in more detail hereinbelow. Color bowls 12 are illustrated as freestanding on tray 14. In at least one embodiment, color bowls 12 are placed into cut outs 15 (see FIGS. 2 & 5). It is envisioned that color bowls 12 may be attached in a variety of ways both detachably and fixedly. Therefore, the exact placement, positioning, or mounting of color bowls 12 should not be viewed as a limitation herein. Further it should be appreciated that the size and material of construction, of color bowls 12 may vary from conventionally available salon utilized color bowls to home made or home utilized color bowls and as such should not be viewed as a limitation herein.
 Tray 14 is preferably of a length less than or equal to the length of the chair back 11. Thus, it should be appreciated that just as the chair back 10 width of different chair types may vary, so may the tray 14 length vary. Preferably, tray 14 is of a substantially rectangular shape so as to allow the stylist to easily reach the patrons head and hair. However, it is envisioned that the tray 14 may be slightly arcuate or even somewhat concave for a more ergonomical design. Further, it should be appreciated that the substantially rectangular shape is preferred for economic reasons for manufacturing. It should still further be appreciated that the side of tray 14, which abuts the chair back 11, my be substantially parallel to the chair back 11 or even slightly arcuate if necessary to match an arcuate chair back. The material of tray 14 is preferably a plastic material or other light weight material. This preference is for ease of manufacture and to maintain low production costs. However, it is envisioned that tray 14 may be of a variety of materials and as such the material should not be viewed as a limitation herein. Preferably, tray 14 is configured so as to have a lip 16 around the outside perimeter of the tray 14. It should be appreciated that in one embodiment the side of the tray 14, which is nearest the chair back 11, may be free of lip 16 if tray assembly 13 is slightly tilted to maintain any liquids therein to prevent spillage on the chair back 11, the patron's back, the floor or any combination thereof. It should be appreciated that lip 16 is to retain any spilled liquids as well as to retain any tools/accessories placed on the tray 14 during use. It should be appreciated that tray 14 should not be so deep dished that accessories placed therein are hard to reach because they are literally buried beneath each other. Therefore, the height of lip 16 may vary by personal operator preference but is preferably not so high as to impede easy access into the tray by the stylist. As further illustrated in FIG. 2, lip 16 may also be used to facilitate the holding of various clips 44 or barrettes used during a coloring or styling session.
 Still referring to FIG. 1, tray 14 is preferably mounted on undercarriage 18. Preferably, tray 14 is removably attached to undercarriage 18 to facilitate cleaning and sanitizing. It should be understood that tray 14 may be fixedly attached to undercarriage 18. It should be further understood that tray 14 may be mounted by a variety of fastening methods such as, but not limited to, screws, snaps, hook and loop arrangements such as Velcro® (Velcro is a registered trademark of Velcro Industries B.V.), latches, slotted or grooved connections, bolts, glued, welded, brazed, be integral to the undercarriage 18, or similar methods. The exact method of attachment should not be viewed as a limitation herein. Undercarriage 18 preferably comprises a drawer or basket 20 to hold additional tools or accessories. The drawer or basket 20 may be attached beneath tray 14 or near the back edge of tray 14. It should be appreciated that the drawer or basket 20 preferably does not stick out to far beyond the back edge of tray 14 as that would interfere with the stylist and possibly limit the stylist's reach to the patron. Further, drawer or basket 20 may also be mounted on a track or rail (not shown) so as to allow the drawer or basket 20 to be moved from below tray 14. It should be appreciated that basket 20 may be individual containers (FIG. 1) or an open space (FIG. 2) or a combination thereof.
 The undercarriage 18 preferably has a series of accessory holders or hangers 22 preferably attached to basket 20. However, it should be understood that if basket 20 is slidably movable then the accessory holder or rack 22 may be attached to the undercarriage 18. These hangers 22 can be for such accessories such as, but not limited to, a blow dryer 24 or a curling iron 26 (see FIGS. 1 & 2). The holders or hangers 22 can be a series of separate holders 22 or a rack which substantially surrounds the undercarriage 18 on at least three sides (or in an arcuate embodiment, the part of the curvature away from the chair back 11). It should be appreciated that the accessory rack or holders 22 should be positioned so as not to get in the way between the stylist and the patron to minimize any reach obstruction of the patron's head and hair. It should be further appreciated that the rack or holder 22 may contain various sized or variously spaced openings (or hooks) to allow for the fitting/storage of various sized accessories (i.e. large dryer 24 and small curling iron 26). The rack or holder 22 may be attached to the undercarriage 18 or to the basket 20 utilizing a variety of attachment methods such as, but not limited to, bolts, screws, rivets, welding, brazing, snaps, hook and loop attachments, integrally molded, and the like. Further, it should be appreciated that the rack or holder 22 may be detachable from the undercarriage 18 or basket 20 for ease of storage, cleaning, or sanitizing. In another embodiment, the rack or holder 22 may be attached to the tray 14 or to the undercarriage 18 or to the basket 20 or any combination thereof.
 Referring now to FIGS. 1-5, there is illustrated a preferred method of mounting the tray assembly 13 to the chair back 11. It should be appreciated, by those in the art, that one of the points of novelty of the present disclosure, is the ability to removably mount the tray assembly 13 to substantially all chairs 10 having a chair back 11 without having to modify the chair 10 with additional support hardware or making holes for screws or bolts. However, it is envisioned that the tray apparatus 13 may be more permanently or foldably mounted to a chair back 11, particularly to dedicated salon chairs and as such should not be viewed as a limitation therein.
 Preferably, tray mounting apparatus 28 removably attaches the tray assembly 13 to chair back 11 with no permanent modification of the chair back 11 or chair 10. Mounting apparatus 28 preferably has a front section 30 which fits over the chair back 11 and a rear section 32 which contacts the back side of chair back 11 and connects to the tray assembly 13. Preferably mounting apparatus 28 is hook shaped and may substantially match at least part of the contour of the chair back 11. Preferably the rear section 32 of mounting apparatus 28 may be connected in a variety of methods to the tray assembly 13 such as, but not including, bolting, screwing, welding, brazing, quick connects, snaps, press fits, hook and loop connections, or similar connections. It should be appreciated that the connection between the rear section 32 of the mounting apparatus 28 and the tray assembly 13 can be a permanent connection, semi permanent, fixed, foldable, or detachable. In another embodiment, mounting apparatus 28 is a clamp. In yet another embodiment, mounting apparatus 28 is a hoop and loop configuration.
 FIG. 2 illustrates a view of the tray assembly 13 which is unmounted. In a preferred embodiment, the tray assembly 13 does not extend the entire width of chair back 11 and thus allows the stylist room to treat the patron's hair. It is further illustrated that in an embodiment having a fixed basket 20, the tray 14 does not fully cover the basket 20 to allow easy access to the basket 20.
 While performing duties required to style hair or color hair, hair stylists must use several electrical tools such as blow dryers, curling irons and clippers. These tools require electrical power which requires the use of electrical cords plugged into a power supply. The many electrical appliances used in salons also present a safety hazard, as contact with water or other liquids can cause the user to suffer a severe electrical shock. Liquids can pool on countertops and thus it is not desirable to place appliances such as hair dryers on a countertop for storage when not in use. Moreover, such countertop areas typically are also very cluttered with other objects and require the stylist to reach or reposition themselves to reach countertop items; thus increasing chances of spills, dropped items, accidents, or the like.
 Referring to FIGS. 3 & 4, there is illustrated a power strip 34 having multiple outlets 36 and a power cord 38. Power strip 34 provides a convenient outlet for plugging in electrically powered accessories 24, 26. It should be understood that electrically powered accessories 24,26 are only described in illustration of such accessories and as such should not be viewed as a limitation herein. Preferably, power strip 34 is mounted to undercarriage 18 so as to be out of the stylist's way. Thus, power strip 34 decreases the amount of power cords stretched between chair 10 and a conventional wall or counter mounted power source. Thus, there are fewer cords that may cause tripping accidents or other disruptions to the styling process. Power strip 34 may be fixedly mounted to the undercarriage 18 or may be removably mounted and attached only as needed.
 FIG. 5 illustrates a top view of the tray assembly 13. Preferably the tray assembly 13 is compact and does not extend far from chair 10. Thus, the stylist can easily reach the patron's hair. FIGS. 1 & 2 illustrate other typical items that may be kept in basket 20 for easy access such as, but not limited to, hair brushes 40, and color brushes 42 (particularly when not wet). In another embodiment, basket 20 may have a solid bottom and/or solid walls/sides.
 In use, tray apparatus 13 is mounted or hung over chair back 11. It should be appreciated that if tray assembly 13 is modular, it may be assembled either prior to being mounted on the chair back 11 or afterwards. Next, the various accessories, required for the instant styling job may be placed around the tray 14, the tray lip 16, the basket 20, the hangers or rack 22, or any combination thereof. The color bowls 12 may be placed in appropriate cut outs 15, or mounted as necessary. It should be appreciated that the color bowls should be restrained in place to prevent accidental spillage. The coloring may be placed in the bowls 12 prior to setting the bowls 12 in tray 14 or after placement of the bowls 12. The power cord 38 can be plugged into an appropriate power source (such as, but not limited to, a wall or counter outlet, an extension cord, or the like) and any required electrical accessories can be plugged into the outlets 36. Preferably, once the hair coloring or styling process begins, the stylist will have all necessary accessories, tools, items, and the like within easy and ergonomical reach. Thus, other than breaks or special circumstances, the stylist will not have to interrupt the styling or coloring process. After completing the styling or coloring process, the tray assembly 13 can be cleaned up and all accessories put in their proper place. If necessary, tray assembly 13 can be cleaned and sanitized and removed from the chair back 11. Further, in embodiments having a detachable tray 14, the tray 14 can be removed for cleaning and/or sanitizing.
 While the present system and method has been disclosed according to the preferred embodiment, those of ordinary skill in the art will understand that other embodiments have also been enabled. Even though the foregoing discussion has focused on particular embodiments, it is understood that other configurations are contemplated. In particular, even though the expressions "in one embodiment" or "in another embodiment" are used herein, these phrases are meant to generally reference embodiment possibilities and are not intended to limit the system or methods disclosed herein to those particular embodiment configurations. These terms may reference the same or different embodiments, and are combinable into aggregate embodiments. The terms "a", "an" and "the" may also mean "one or more". Thus, when a single embodiment is described herein, it will be readily apparent that more than one embodiment may be used in place of a single embodiment. Similarly, where more than one embodiment is described herein, it will be readily apparent that a single embodiment may be substituted for that one device. None of the description in this specification should be read as implying that any particular element, step or function is an essential element which must be included in the claim scope. Unless explicitly recited, other aspects of the instant disclosure as described in this specification do not limit the scope of the claims. Because many varying and different embodiments may be made within the scope of the inventive concept(s) herein taught, and because many modifications may be made in the embodiment herein detailed in accordance with the descriptive requirements of the law, it is to be understood that the details herein are to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense. Obviously, other modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in the light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that changes may be made in the particular embodiments described above which are within the full intended scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
Patent applications in class Table behind seat
Patent applications in all subclasses Table behind seat