By Yuwa Vosper
Seen at music festivals, sporting, or festive holiday events, Haybands are a popular hair accessory many ladies are wearing as a fun way to embellish their ensemble. Made from a soft, elastic trim that is typically used for sewing and lining garments, creator Hayley Childress reinvented the fabric.
“I found the trim could be cut by the yard. Plus, it was soft and would not irritate the skin. I begin making hairbands for myself and friends in school,” she said.
Her creations became so popular other students and even faculty at LSU began requesting orders. The orders were coming in so quickly that she asked her mother, Julie Childress, for help.
“My mom facilitated the growth of Haybands from a hobby to a brand,” she said.
An LSU graduate, Childress explained that she is sometimes still in denial that in three years she has transitioned from a student to a business owner.
Coined from the unique spelling of Childress’ first name, Haybands are sold online and in stores nationwide. She recounts with a grateful smile how satisfying it is to see a display in local boutiques and watching customers becoming excited over her product.
“The most rewarding aspect is seeing the end product finally come to life and seeing a customer getting excited,” she said. “Every time I am just as excited – it’s what you do your job for, and the stores display our products so well,” said Childress. She explained that the local boutique owners took a chance on her product allowing her to go from wholesale to retail.
Haybands and Haylos
There are two types of Haybands: the Haylo and the Hayband. The Haylo is the more popular style that is worn around the head resembling an angelic halo, and the Hayband is most associated with hair ties that can be layered on the wrist. Customers can choose from a list of options including summer festival, purple and gold, black and gold, stocking stuffers, or customized. Each product gives a customer versatility when styling an ensemble. One of the most popular items found in boutiques is the flower Haybands. Childress said these are for the bohemian at heart.
“The growth of the flower Haybands is reminiscent of that time of the free spirit, and it pairs well with the flowing apparel of that time,” she said. “Plus, it’s great for a music festival because it is not too tight and you can wear it all day.”
A newer product is the Hayband hair tie. Childress noticed that many ladies will wear a ponytail holder on their wrist and wanted to provide a more stylish option. So, she designed a Hayband that resembled a bracelet. It acts as a clever disguise for a hair tie with several colorful options from Halloween, cameaux (camouflage), or even flower hair buns. Childress added, “With Haybands, you never feel under or over dressed.”
For her own personal style, she claims to be a “huge shopper” but prefers to keep her style minimal. Childress prefers to keep her self-imposed ‘uniform’ of black leggings simple to allow for vibrant accessories. She showed her right arm which had neon stacked Haybands placed around her wrist.
“I always color coordinate different accessories with what I am wearing,” she said.
Haybands provide functionality. You can wear a chic, evening black dress worn with a gold glitter Hayband as an accessory.
Haybands has begun branching out, creating items such as key chains, which will arrive in stores within the next few weeks. These faux fur pom-pom key chains come in colors including Red Red Wine and Laguna Beach Blue. Perfect for winter, there is also a winter white faux fur hair band. Childress explained that these are all great stocking stuffers that can become a daily staple by attaching the keychain to a cross-body bag as a stylish accessory.
Childress attends major fashion markets around the United States and now reaches markets from Nevada to New York. However, Childress says her biggest support is in Louisiana. Her Southern customers were the first to embrace Haybands. Even more, her customers truly do love wearing Haybands because there is always a special occasion to get dressed up for in the South.