A Salford student has raised thousands of pounds for charity by selling showbiz inspired hair scrunchies.
Rebecca Haydock launched Scrunchies 4 Theatre at the start of the coronavirus lockdown in March and has now sold more than 2,000 of the elasticated hair bands themed around hit stage musicals like Hamilton, Wicked and Six.
So far she has generated £3,500 for good causes including a home for terminally ill children. Rebbecca is now planning a new range to raise even more cash.
The tech and theatre student said: “I wanted to raise money but I wanted to do it in a unique way, in a way that I would enjoy.
“I came up with the idea of making scrunchies and put it on several West End Facebook groups, saying this is my idea would anyone be interested? I got a few responses, but not many.”
Rebecca did some research, bought customised fabric and created sample scrunchies which she shared on Facebook for people to pre order.
“Within an hour I had over 50 orders for over 400 scrunchies. I completely broke my Facebook messenger because all of these orders came in at once.
“Within 24hours I had to close orders because I thought yes, I have loads of time but I wasn’t sure if I could physically make 1000 scrunchies quick enough.”
Rebecca spent the next month sat at her dining room table making everyone’s orders with the occasional help of her mum and sister.
The second year student said: “Initially I wasn’t going to continue with it, I thought I’ll do the one batch and then it’ll be over but I raised over £1000 for charity and was receiving 300 to 400 orders a week by August.
“Which made me think if people want them, then I should carry on.
“I am now making them at my desk at uni, which is a bit of a mess because I have my sewing machine and all my uni work but my weekends are dedicated to making them. It is a juggle time wise but I’ve kind of figured it out.”
With Christmas approaching, the scrunchies have been selling out due to Rebecca using her weekends making batches of 50 to 60 scrunchies across 5 designs. From April until the end of October, 2040 scrunchies have been sold, raising £3510.50.
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From what started as a charitable effort, Scrunchies 4 theatre has become more of a business with 50% of the profits going to The Actors Fund and Acting For Others charities who help anyone in the arts.
Rebecca added: “Obviously during Covid the arts isn’t making any money so it’s crucial these charities are there and gaining money to support the arts community.”
The business also donates to another charity each month.
Helen and Douglas House were fortunate to have received a £300 donation from Scrunchies 4 Theatre in this difficult time, Janet Carruzzo, marketing manager for the charity, said: “I would like to say a massive thank you to Scrunchies 4 Theatre for raising this money for us which will make a huge difference to terminally ill children and their families so a big thank you on their behalf.
“It means a huge amount because we need to raise 3.6 million a year to provide support for terminally ill children and their families.
“Eighty-five percent of that comes from amazing supporters like Scrunchies 4 Theatre and without them we wouldn’t be able to be there for these families who desperately need our help.”
Helen and Douglas House look after terminally ill children that have a life shortening condition. The charity supports families when their child has come to the end of their life and also offers the children stays to give the families a rest break from caring for them 24/7.
Janet added: “The money will go towards caring for families this Christmas and a lot of the families have been shielding and are not getting their normal support.
“We can go in and look after their children and care for the families and the money Scrunchies 4 Theatre have donated will help us do that over the Christmas period.”
Over the Christmas break Rebecca was going to have a break from scrunchie making but due to the demand and releasing two new Disney collections in January and February she has decided to gain a head start.
To purchase items from Scrunchies 4 Theatre visit: www.scrunchies4theatre.com