I think my favorite thing about a lot of current trends is that they really just promote having FUN with style. Maybe it's partly just getting older and caring less about what people think, but I really do believe that many trends right now are encouraging us all to play with color and bring out that inner child. One of those trends is the comeback of hair accessories, and no one is having more fun with it than Tiffany Ju, the founder of Chunks.
Chunks has an amazing selection of colorful hair accessories, and it's all due to Tiffany's eye for design. She has a past life creating ombre tights (you know you've repinned her items on Pinterest), and she took her experience from that business to create Chunks, which offers hair clips, barrettes, and sunglasses. Each piece is vibrant and unique looking, and they're the kind of pieces you can see throwing on with a T-shirt for a relaxed day or as an added bit of flavor to stylish ensemble for a day out (you know, when days out get to happen again). Chunks' hair clips feel especially necessary right now as so many people sit in quarantine looking for any excuse to look good from their top halves for Zoom calls or just a way to deal with hair that's going on sixth straight day of being unwashed.
I loved learning more about how Tiffany has taken her experience as an entrepreneur over the years to grow this brand. We also discuss how she is having her pieces manufactured in China as she works to put an end to the stigma against Chinese manufacturing and proving that it's possible to do responsibly. She has so many insightful thoughts on creating a business, and I hope you'll get as much out of it as I did!
My pick: You just can't go wrong with the DON'T TOUCH barrettes.
Q: Let’s start from the beginning. Can you tell me a little bit about the process of starting your business? What made you want to do this and how did you turn your idea into a reality?
A: I started Chunks at the beginning of 2019 because my previous business was coming to a close. I saw insane success with my ombre tights (they went super viral on Pinterest and Tumblr in 2012-2013) and I built that business until 2018. I basically learned all my skills and made all my mistakes in running that business, so basically I already had the foundation laid. I saw that hair accessories would be a big trend in 2019 so I started out with a few styles. But the more I got into it, the more hooked I became!
Q: Was there a moment when you felt like this was something that was going to take off and become a success for you?
A: About 6 months after I started Chunks, Urban Outfitters approached me to carry Chunks! It was definitely a confidence boost and a sign that I was catching eyes, even after such a short time. Obviously, being picked up by Urban Outfitters is not a be-all, end-all but I’ve had enough experience doing this that I know I can take this as far as I want.
Q: What were your friends and family’s reactions to you starting this as a career or a business? Were you nervous to share it?
A: Absolutely! “I’m selling hair clips” gets a lot of reactions like, “oh, that’s...nice…!” I probably played it pretty close to my chest until I had things looking good enough for me to share it proudly. I’m also a big believer of ‘actions speak louder than words. You don’t have to say you’re going to do anything. Just do it.
Q: Is this your full-time job? If so, how long did it take you to transition into full-time?