Lowell Middle School student Leah Wills makes scrunchies that sell at Tap House Boutique
by Emma Palova
A fashionable scrunchie starts with a piece of fabric 21 inches long, that the maker, Leah Wills, sews together into a tube.
“I’ve always wanted to become a business owner and make some money,” the eight-grader at Lowell Middle School said. “I needed to find a space to sell my scrunchies.”
Leah easily found an outlet for her scrunchies at the Tap House Boutique, now located at 219 E. Main in downtown Lowell, next to North Country Trail Association headquarters.
Leah started last year before the Riverwalk with a table set up in front of the boutique.
“I set up a table with cookies and scrunchies and it went well,” Leah said.
They make the scrunchies in the basement of their home with mom, Kendra Wills.
The mom and daughter team buys the fabric at a fabric store, cut it up, pin it together and sew it into a tube.
“We sew the fabric that’s already pinned and make the tube,” said Leah. “I put the elastic into the tube, which makes the fabric scrunched up, and I tie the elastic together from each side and finally sew the ends together.”
It takes about 15 minutes to make a scrunchie, working in a batch of nines.
Although originally designed to be worn in hair, kids and adults wear them also around their wrists.
Leah likes that the pieces are really scrunchy so she can overlap them up to three times.
The challenge in making scrunchies is to sew the fabric together straight and then go backwards and forward to make them sturdy.
“It’s the elastic that scrunches it up,” Leah said. “I saw a lot of girls and adults that wear them, and I thought it would be a good idea to have a scrunchie.”
With many different designs and colors, the scrunchies sell for $6 a piece, $11 for two pieces and $16 for three pieces. Sold for $21 on a card for four scrunchies.
Among the favorites are mustard yellow, flannel and gray. Leah’s personal favorites are gray, black and brown scrunchies.
“I want to let everyone know that the scrunchies are right here in Lowell at the Tap House Boutique,” Leah said.
Leah donates a $1 for each pink scrunchie sold to the Pink Arrow Pride.
Leah is planning on getting a spot inside the Tap House Boutique during Christmas Through Lowell this year, set for the hunting weekend on Nov. 15, 16 and 17.
The scrunchies have a bold paper tag “Made in Lowell.”
“I am proud of Leah watching her grow as an entrepreneur as I love to support local small businesses development in our great town of Lowell,” said owner Martha Davis. “We support many small businesses throughout town; that’s what makes our shop more unique, thanks to local artists.
Mom, Kendra Wills, said that it is important that parents support their kids to pursue business opportunities even though they’re too young to work for someone else.
“They have important things that they can contribute,” Kendra Wills said. “She’s always been curious about how things are made and where they come from.”