Name of business: Sew Stitch’n Cute
Type of business: Handsewn accessory shop
Location: @sew_stitchn_cute on Instagram; https://sewstitchncute.square.site
Hours: Product drops at 9 a.m. every other Saturday
History of business:
Style fads come and go, but Denair resident Courtney Van Fleet is turning her creativity into profit through one timeless accessory.
The 25-year-old entrepreneur and Denair High School graduate first learned to sew in 2017 after her grandmother encouraged her to take a class, she said. Since then, her sewing skills have grown from hand stitching drawstring bags to now producing anywhere from 300 to 400 scrunchies per month through her business, Sew Stitch’n Cute.
Van Fleet’s customer base started out small, but when a friend posted a photo of a Sew Stitch’n Cute scrunchie in 2019, she gained hundreds of new followers on her Instagram page and was flooded with requests for the stretchy, fluffy hair accessories. The business today boasts nearly 3,000 followers and Van Fleet has turned her talents into a full-time endeavor, spending four to six hours per day sewing scrunchies, keychains, steering wheel covers and even masks.
“Once I realized I could make money doing this, I started researching how to make other things and how to make them my own,” Van Fleet said, noting that each of her scrunchies feature a small, unique tag featuring her business name. “Everyone has looked into making crafts during the pandemic, so I really tried to step it up recently so people would know mine from somebody else’s.”
Sew Stitch’n Cute offers a variety of different scrunchies, from big and fluffy to small and subdued. While her velvet scrunchies are the most popular, Van Fleet also makes the accessories from different fabrics with countless fun prints to choose from. She often participates in pop-up shops not only in Denair but surrounding communities as well, and also drops anywhere from 150 to 200 scrunchies available for purchase on her website twice per month.
“Everyone loves the velvet fabric I use,” Van Fleet said. “I don’t use cotton because it’s not good for your hair, and I try to find fabrics that I can touch and just feel that it’s good quality.”
While some think of scrunchies as a trend of the past, Van Fleet is grateful for their sudden resurgence — and the support from her customers.
“One of my grandmas, who has now passed, always had scrunchies or headbands and I would think, ‘wow, who would wear this,’” Van Fleet laughed. “It’s an accessory these days. Even though I have short hair now, I’ll still wear one on my wrist. They really do make an outfit.”
Customers can keep up with Sew Stitch’n Cute on Instagram or Facebook to see when Van Fleet is dropping new scrunchies or participating in her next pop-up shop.
“I always encourage people to tag me in their photos on social media. When they’re excited to get their package and post pictures of themselves wearing them, I love to see that,” Van Fleet said.