She’s Bringing Scrunchie Back
Our December Feature Product is super exciting for us to announce because we LOVE supporting local! Moonstone Mane is based right in Edmonton, Alberta and they are picking up traction fast (not just in Edmonton, but internationally too). But by “they” I actually only mean Ashley; She does everything herself whether it be hand-picking the fabric or posting online. Did I also mention that she started this up at the end of August 2018… as in basically only three months ago?! Keep scrolling to read my mini Q&A I did with this boss babe!
Q & A
How did you get into sewing?
“I started sewing when I was in junior high, I took fashion studies and would steal my mom’s sewing machine to make my already skinny jeans, skinnier (I was in junior high during the cringe worthy "emo phase") and there was no such thing as too tight of jeans at that time! My mom often sewed my Halloween costumes or my sister’s dance costumes when I was little, so I was around it quite a bit, and my grandma also sewed as well. After high school I didn't really sew at all and I really only picked it back up this year, it was like riding a bike and I picked it up again very quickly. Although I took fashion studies in school I would say I am very much so, self-taught, and have picked up almost all my sewing skills from the internet, YouTube and of course, trial and error.”
Where did your idea to start Moonstone Mane come from?
“I know this is going to sound so cliché, but it honestly just came to me. I didn't choose the scrunchie life, the scrunchie life chose me! Originally, I went to hairstyling school in 2012 and worked just long enough to get my Journeymen License. I moved onto doing eyelash extensions (instagram: @bombbeautyyeg) full-time which has been my career for the past 5 years. I maintained a lot of relationships from hair school and the salon I worked at and noticed a lot of my old classmates or co-workers starting to incorporate scrunchies into their Instagram pictures and I thought it was the cutest thing! I had been sewing some baby clothes and swimwear over the few months prior to starting Moonstone Mane so once I started seeing scrunchies pop up everywhere I had to give sewing them a try and from then I was hooked. The whole business of Moonstone Mane happened really naturally, organically and like it was really just meant to be. I went with the flow completely and followed my intuition every single step of the way and it hasn't failed me yet.”
Where do you find your inspiration from?
“When I came up with the whole concept being Moonstone Mane, I took a trip to the fabric store and was incredibly inspired by the gorgeous pastels, shimmering metallics, and feminine colours that truly derive from and represent what the "moonstone" actually embodies and reflects. I normally am drawn to strictly black, white and grey and in my day to day life, I rarely ever wear colour so it was very strange for me to be drawn to pastels of all things, but it just felt right and I went with it! It has been such a great outlet to express myself with more colour since I struggle to do so with my wardrobe. I am so drawn to fabrics now, I usually go in to the fabric store and let the fabrics jump out at me, I really take my time in there, it has become therapeutic for me! I sometimes have an idea what I'm looking for, but rarely. I usually just like to see what I stumble across. I am also incredibly inspired by femininity, empowerment and community which Moonstone Mane has brought so much into my life!”
Were you in the hair industry before?
“Yes! I was a stylist for roughly two years; I currently hold my Red Seal Journeyman License, but I haven't done hair full-time in about five years.”
What makes the Moonstone Mane scrunchies different from other scrunchies?
“I like to say the heart and soul I put into every single piece I make! I use high quality materials, medium width elastics (to minimize damage compared to traditional elastics) and I also like to get as many as my supplies locally as I possibly can! I personally operate and perform every single task within Moonstone Mane; I built my website on my own, I source each and every fabric by hand, I cut every single piece of fabric for each scrunchie, I do every elastic and tie them in a knot, I package each one and go to the post office to drop them all off! I put a lot of energy and heart into to the whole thing.”
Do you have plans to expand your brand?
“Yes, I absolutely do. I never in a million years anticipated Moonstone Mane to become what it has, especially in the short 3 months it has been alive. I originally thought it would be more than amazing to be in just one salon, and I'm currently retailed in over 30 and have shipped scrunchies across the world. This entire brand and little Mane Babe family that has blown up has completely shocked and surprised me, I went into this with a very open mind and I honestly didn't think much of it, and was I ever blown away that the response! It quite literally blew up overnight. I would absolutely love to keep the momentum going and offer more products very very soon!”
Is this your first time being a business-owner?
“I have always had a very entrepreneurial spirit, it has been very known my whole life that I don't like taking orders or following rules since I was a toddler so the best way to make it is to run the show! I started my first little "business" when I was in High School. I would order accessories online from overseas and sell them to other girls at my school, I honestly don't know how I started doing it, or if it was legal (haha), but all my teachers knew I would be a business owner in my lifetime! It didn't last too long but it certainly was the perfect start to fuel my entrepreneurial fire. Otherwise, I started my home-based lash business in 2014 and I have been doing that since then!”
What is the most difficult obstacle you've come across in the scrunchie business?
“That I am only one person, and there are only so many hours in a day! I never in a million years expected there to be such a high demand for my product and I have struggled to balance life and keep up since day one. Each day is a lesson and I have a long way to go but I am so thankful that it took off the way it did. I'm still figuring it out and I am planning on bringing on some part-time help because it is very difficult to keep up with making the scrunchies, running my website, answering messages, being present on my social media and still balancing my eyelash extension clients!”
Tell us a bit about yourself outside of Moonstone Mane?
“At this moment in my life, I don't have much time for anything outside of Moonstone Mane! But in all reality, outside of Moonstone Mane if I'm not sewing, or doing eyelash extensions I am usually with my partner travelling and exploring. He and I absolutely love travelling, flying and spending time with our family and friends. You can often find us in Nelson, BC going boating, camping, or laying on the beach.”