The beginning of March kicks off two events dear to Cal Poly agricultural business alumna Tiffany Parra: women’s history month and the launch of her brand new business, scrunchies.co.
After five months of preparation, launching the business during women’s history month gave Parra the opportunity to highlight scrunchies.co’s brand values from the very beginning. This is why Parra will be giving a percentage of March’s earnings to female-focused charities. To decide which organization to give to, Parra is reaching out to sororities across the country and learning about their philanthropies.
Parra said her vision for scrunchies.co is to create a brand that promotes empowerment and unique individual style.
“We want to be a brand that celebrates self-expression,” Parra said.
Parra, who has an interest in fashion, came up with the idea of selling uniquely designed scrunchies because of her own habit of wearing them.
“I’d been wearing a scrunchie every day,” she said. “It was always on my wrist. But the scrunchie itself wasn’t great quality.”
Parra said she wanted anything she wore so often to be an expression of herself.
Leading up to the March 4 launch, Parra took considerable time and thought refining scrunchies.co into the brand she envisioned.
“In order to have a cohesive brand and a cohesive voice, it takes time,” she said.
Parra found a manufacturer based in China that matched the brand’s needs. She said she made an effort to ensure the factory is up to standard and its employees are treated ethically.
Although Parra is scrunchies.co’s only founder, she said her team has been instrumental in bringing her vision of the brand to fruition. The group consisted of designer Ryan Hutson, web photographer Jared Fisher, web videographer Richard Bustos, and models Colleen Dang, Fionna Fahey and Dominique Lau. Parra met nearly every one of them through Cal Poly.
“They were just trusting my vision with the process,” Parra said.
Central to Parra’s team is Cal Poly graphic design graduate Ryan Hutson. Both Hutson and Parra are based in the bay area. While each have separate full-time jobs (Parra as a recruiting coordinator for LinkedIn and Hutson as a design specialist at the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation), they make time to work on scrunchies.co together remotely.
“The fact that we’ve gotten to this point and released this product that we’re both really proud of is great,” Parra said.
Parra has long had an appetite for creating her own projects. Before scrunchies, Parra started curating an Instagram account called @flexwithfood. Combining cuisine with streetwear, the account exhibits the best of food and fashion.
Parra also has a podcast called Work in Progress. The podcast highlights young up-and-coming entrepreneurs and creators. Parra recently released episode No. 73. While the podcast is currently bi-weekly, Parra said she may have to switch to one episode per week as scrunchies.co takes off.
Parra said these projects and others provided her the necessary experience needed to become comfortable enough to finally take on her own business.
“I think I’m a proponent of [unpaid work] if it gives you skills you’re going to translate later on,” Parra said. “All the experiences I’ve had have been a nice culmination into this brand.”