The Power of the Scrunchie
UW-Eau Claire student brings scrunchies back in business
Popular hairdos of the 1980s can sometimes seem a little cringey in retrospect. From long mullets and poofy perms to frizzy crimped locks and hairspray up the wazoo, it can be tough to find an ’80s hair trend folks around the Chippewa Valley would willingly wear again.
But, there seems to be one style that has seen a resurgence in recent years: scrunchies. Kenzie Beam, a second-year UW-Eau Claire student, not only wears that ’80s look in her hair, but she transformed her love of scrunchies into her own business: Every Bitch Needs a Scrunchie.
“I’m not exactly sure why they are making a comeback, but I am sure glad they did,” Beam said. “I really like using scrunchies because I believe they are easier on your hair than regular hair ties.”
“I’m not exactly sure why they are making a comeback, but I am sure glad they did.” – Kenzie Beam
She began making scrunchies about a year and a half ago during her senior year of high school. She handpicks the fabric, sometimes bringing back fun fabric from her travels. In July, she brought back designer fabric from Mood Fabrics in New York. She then sews together each of her scrunchies using only five steps.
“I have gone through a lot of different trial and errors for different elastics and kinds of fabrics, but I finally think I’ve found my go-to products,” she said.
Beam uses her social media platforms to gain inspiration for her designs, getting advice and input from her followers and friends, she said. She names each of her designs after friends, family, Instagram followers, and customers.
Her business has garnered the admiration of her long-time pal from high school, Taylor Vogel – a student at UW-Whitewater.
“I wear Kenzie’s scrunchies everyday,” Vogel said. “They fit with any outfit, whether you’re wearing something simple or going out. I love that she has such a variety of styles and colors for everyone.”
In addition to regular-wear scrunchies, Beam has also made custom designs for bridal parties and sports fans, she said. She also makes headbands that are soft and stretchy, making them comfortable to wear all day, she said.
She generally sticks to selling at craft shows and festivals that match her personality and “vibes,” she said. After being asked to leave UWEC’s Davies Student Center for selling on university property without prior approval, she knew she had to find a new way to connect with her clientele – who are generally individuals aged 15-22.
“I have been mostly sticking to online sales, small events that I’ve applied for, and local meetups,” she said.
Being a student while running her own business can be tricky, Beam said, as she has to balance her time spent studying for her social work degree with a certificate in child welfare and social justice, running her business, and working her multiple jobs.
“I usually do school during the day and then when I have free time at night, I’m usually watching a show and making scrunchies,” she said.
She also does giveaways through her Instagram – @everybitchneedsascrunchie, which has more than 2,000 followers – and her events.
Beam has also done charity work through her business. In March, for Women’s History Month, she donated 20% of all sales from the month to the Malala Fund, which supports girls’ education.
“She is so kind-hearted and selfless,” Vogel said. “I think what she is doing is incredible.”
People interested in ordering her scrunchies can do so through her Instagram or her website, everybitchneedsascrunchie.com.