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North Texas teens have a grip on hair, entrepreneurship with their new scrunchie shop

North Texas teens have a grip on hair, entrepreneurship with their new scrunchie shop

North Texas teens have a grip on hair, entrepreneurship with their new scrunchie shop
August 19
12:00 2018

Recycling trends is common in fashion — something can go from being completely outdated to being in high demand in just a few years. Kaylee Campbell and Ashton Edminster, both 19, noticed that scrunchies were making a fashion revival, which led them to launch their own scrunchie shop on Etsy, NYCLA Co.

Campbell and Edminster, who have been close friends since their junior year of high school, got the idea for NYCLA at the beginning of June and sold out their first collection of scrunchies later that month.

The idea for the shop was sparked when Campbell saw videos online of people turning old clothes into new items.

“Randomly I was just watching videos of people thrifting or flipping stuff with their sewing machines, and I saw how to make scrunchies and I sent it to [Ashton],” Campbell said. “I sarcastically said we should open up an Etsy shop and make scrunchies.”

Edminster thought scrunchies were the perfect starting point for NYCLA after seeing celebrities like model Hailey Baldwin wearing them in paparazzi shots, and Campbell foresaw the comeback that scrunchies were making in mainstream fashion.

“Scrunchies were popular back in the ‘90s and then they died out and nobody wore them, and then they suddenly came back,” Campbell said. “We figured that if we picked a big trend that was going to be super popular for a while, we would do that. Right now we are working on finding future trends [as well].”

The NYCLA name is influenced by Campbell and Edminster’s personal styles. Campbell loves Los Angeles’ beachy, laid-back clothing, while Edminster enjoys the runway fashions and model street styles predominantly found in New York City.

NYCLA is a scrunchie shop on Etsy created by Kaylee Campbell and Ashton Edminster. The idea was to recycle the trend and bring it back while also recycling old clothes and making them into fashion accessories. Jessika Hardy

“I guess it was a meant-to-be thing because we were trying to think of a name and NYCLA flowed so much,” Edminster said.

Transitioning the business from an idea into a reality happened quickly. Campbell and Edminster took the divide and conquer approach — Edminster handles the packaging and shipping while Campbell does the sewing.

“I got a sewing machine for my birthday, and I had been messing around with making clothes [already],” Campbell said. “You have to buy a lot — down to the ribbon on the labels and stuff. We buy the fabrics, I cut them up and then I stay up until like 5 in the morning sewing them all together. [Ashton] will flip them inside out.”

In addition to producing the scrunchies, developing a group of customers was also a priority.

“For the start of the business, the first thing we wanted to do was make sure we would have an audience that would buy our products, so we started off with social media, of course,” Edminster said. “We started with Instagram, and I think within the first two nights we had the account we hit 100 followers.”

Social media is such an integral aspect of the business that the duo had to bring another person into the equation to help run their accounts.

“We both take care of our social media,” Edminster said. “We actually just got a girl on our team to help us out with that because we are so busy. We are both doing our own thing, so also running this is kind of hard.”

Another reason they value social media is because it is a direct line of communication with their customers. Interaction with them is important to Campbell and Edminster, who spray each package with perfume and include a handwritten thank you note.

“We have a highlight on our Instagram page called ‘thank you’ that shows people getting their scrunchies,” Edminster said. “It is letting them know that we really appreciate them, but it’s also letting them know that our products are good — they vouch for us.”

Austin Hinley, 17, is a customer and friend of Campbell’s and Edminster’s. He is a supporter of NYCLA and is even working on designing two new sets of scrunchies with the pair.

“When their scrunchies account followed me I was very confused and texted the both of them,” Hinley said. “When they explained that they were starting this business, I wanted to help and support them in any way possible. I have promoted them so much because they are really good friends of mine, and I want to make sure they are successful.”

Freshman Shelby Brigger learned about NYCLA through her friendship with Campbell. She has observed the different strengths each girl brings to the operation.

“I feel like Kaylee brings the business aspect to it because she knows how to get people’s attention, and then Ashton brings the fashion part of it because she knows what people want to see,” Brigger said.

Besides being a fan of the scrunchies, she admires the fact that they own their own business.

“I think it’s really cool because you don’t see a bunch of teenagers really starting any businesses,” Brigger said.

It is convenient for Campbell and Edminster to work on business matters together, as they currently live merely five minutes away from each other. However, they will have to adjust a little when Campbell moves to Denton to attend UNT in the fall.

“[Ashton] will come over at like 11 p.m. and we will stay up and work,” Campbell said. “I’m going to move [to Denton], so it is going to be a little bit difficult. I will still come down on the weekends so she can get the scrunchies and do all the stuff she needs to do.”

Campbell said running a business with her best friend has not put any strain on their relationship.

Campbell and Edminster began developing the idea for their online scrunchie store in June. They were inspired by ’90s revival fashion and decided to make their own brand, NYCLA. Jessika Hardy

“The No. 1 rule in business is [to] never have one with a friend or a family member because when times get tough, you tend to get in big fights,” Campbell said. “[But] we get along really well. We realized that we don’t argue. We tend to work things out.”

Edminster feels that their partnership works so well because of their mutual dedication to fashion and its incorporation into business.

“With this, we are both so business-minded and so independent when it comes to running things,” Edminster said. “I could not see myself doing this with someone who is just like, ‘Oh, let’s do it for fun.’”

Each of the girls is passionate about environmental friendliness, which is the foundation of NYCLA.

“Right now, there is so much fast fashion out there — there is so much clothing, dye and water being wasted on these clothes because they are being overproduced,” Edminster said. “So I [just thought] what if we get the fabric from thrift stores, so that way they are vintage and eco-friendly.”

Campbell wants NYCLA’s green manufacturing to have a ripple effect on other people and businesses.

“I hope it inspires other people to take thrifted fabrics and make something out of it because that would be so much better,” Campbell said.

Their scrunchies not only help the environment but their customers’ hair as well.

“The good thing about scrunchies is that they are so much better for your hair than regular hair ties because those will break your hair, get stuck and tangled,” Edminster said. “You just slip [the scrunchies] on and slip them off. They hold your hair up really well, and it’s also a fashion accessory.”

Edminster and Campbell both want NYCLA to be a business with a purpose. For them, choosing between being affordable, green and cute is not an option.

Featured Image: Campbell and Edminster are the creators behind an online scrunchie shop, NYCLA. They bought fabrics from thrift stores to make their brand affordable and recycle-friendly. Jessika Hardy

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Nikki Johnson-Bolden

Nikki Johnson-Bolden

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1 Comment

  1. Momager
    Momager August 20, 15:31

    Way to go girls!!

    Reply to this comment

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