The Scrunchie Club
The business was developed from idea to launch in less than 3 months.
A staple of the 80s and 90s, scrunchies are back and more popular than ever. A need for something different led first-time founder Alyssa Kaplan to create The Scrunchie Club, which partners with female and non-binary independent artists to create limited edition scrunchie designs. Each partner artist also selects a cause that’s important to them, and 15% of the profits are donated. What started as an idea while browsing the hair accessories aisle at Target quickly became reality, as the business developed from idea to launch in less than 3 months.
I have really curly hair, and I’ve always loved scrunchies. Last year, when I was looking for some new scrunchies at stores like CVS, Target, and Bed, Bath & Beyond, I noticed there weren’t any unique options that spoke to those with individualist values and interests. We’re all unique, and we should have hair accessories to match that.
Donating 15% of the profits was a very easy decision: We wanted to provide the opportunity for our partner artists to give back to causes they care about. As we grow, we hope seeing someone wearing the same scrunchie as you will be a great ice breaker, as you’ll know you already have something in common.
Whileour target demographic is womxn ages 13-34, we’ve been so delighted to have customers of all ages, gender identities, and hair lengths! Anyone can rock a scrunchie.
I’ve always been a doer, and entrepreneurship runs in my family, so starting a business is something that’s been in the back of my head for many years.
Everyone in my life has been extremely supportive of The Scrunchie Club. As a solo founder, I wouldn’t have been able to start the company without my support system. I still work full-time in advertising, and I’m extremely grateful to my bosses and colleagues who have been so incredibly flexible and encouraging.
My advice for someone just starting out is just that — start. I’m a big believer in developing a product, putting it out into the world, and continuing to iterate as you receive customer feedback. Things do go wrong - production is delayed, people say no, orders don’t make it to customers. I constantly remind myself that we’re on a journey, and it’s okay. As TSC’s founder, I fully believe in our mission, and it’s my job to keep us moving forward.
We’d be foolish if we thought we could ever completely protect ourselves from competition - scrunchies are a trendy item right now. We’re confident that we’ll set ourselves apart with the artists and organizations we partner with, and how we connect with our community. Every time they reach for their scrunchies, we hope it serves as a reminder that what makes them different should be celebrated.
We couldn’t run without Shopify, G Suite, and Instagram - we power our eCommerce store on Shopify, run all of our artist communications via email, and utilize Instagram to connect with our community. We’ve also been using Loox to manage our product reviews - they have awesome customer service and we love receiving photos with our reviews!
As someone who spends her days commuting via the New York City subway, I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts. In addition to the classic “How I Built This” response, I’m also a huge fan of Hillary Kerr’s “Second Life,” which features womxn leaders and entrepreneurs. I recently finished reading Bob Iger’s book, which provided a lot of great insights on intrapreneurship and tactics for being a great leader.
Right now, we’re working on designs for the rest of the year - our next scrunchie will be released soon and we’re so excited to share it with the world! In the future, we’d love to expand to headbands or other hair accessories, but right now we’re focused on creating the most unique scrunchies that help our community express themselves.
In 5 years, we hope to be available in big box retailers, where we can reach more consumers and make a bigger impact for our charitable partners.We’d never completely rule out acquisition, but we’re having a lot of fun building the business from the ground up.
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