Spending her mornings at the studio and her afternoons at the salon, yogi and stylist Samantha Thom was always looking for ways to make her locks look lovely and healthy in the shortest amount of time. Eventually, she realized it was time to ditch the hair elastics and create Zenchies—a Canadian hair-accessory brand that specializes in handmade hair scrunchies made with eco-friendly and organic fabrics to make a positive impact on the environment and benefit customers. We chatted with Samantha about her journey to entrepreunership, and are giving you a chance to win her new Beach Please scrunchie collection! —Vita Daily
Hi Samantha! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start.
Ever since I was young, I absolutely loved the beauty and fashion industry. I was very eager to pursue a career in hairstyling and moved from the small town of Russell, Manitoba, to Winnipeg when I was only 17. After working behind the chair for 10 years, I needed another challenge. Since my time off from the salon was usually spent at boutique yoga studios or travelling to various yoga retreats. I decided to take my yoga teacher training, thinking I could teach on the side. Upon completion of graduating from YTT in February 2019, a final assignment was given to the students from our teachers called the “Dharma Project,” where we had to give back to the community or to the world. With this, I really wanted to tie together my two passions: yoga and hair. I was about to pull back my hair with a scrunchie, and it dawned on me! I would create a line of scrunchies that sourced eco-friendly and organic materials. I work with a team of local sewers/ designers, where I know that the working conditions are ethical and fair. The way I give back to not only the environment but to people, too, is by donating 10 per cent of all net proceeds of every Zenchie purchase to CancerCare Manitoba, with women’s initiatives on an ongoing basis. That’s actually where I got the name Zenchies from: “Zen” meaning peaceful, and attached it to, “chies”! I am still working behind the chair as hairstylist four days a week, but this little “feel-good project” for school turned into a business that I am very proud of. Oh, I never ended up teaching yoga after all!
What makes Zenchies products unique/stand apart from other hair accessories?
The quality of the materials sourced, the hold of the elastic and the branding itself. Many customers will replace the word scrunchie with Zenchie after adding a few to their collection; it’s just too catchy!
How do you come up with full scrunchie collections? What’s the inspo for these?
At Zenchies we release collections based on seasonal fashion, with limited-edition Zenchies launched in-between! I’m always looking at fashion trends/colours that we see in Europe for upcoming seasons to come. We keep our staples and customer favourites on hand year-round.
Why do you recommend scrunchies over other types of hair ties?
Elastic can pull and tug on your hair, which can result in breakage. With the amazing hold of the elastic inside a Zenchie, it will keep your hair in place without the constant readjusting.
We hear you’ve launched masks as well! Tell us about those.
When the salon I work at reopened in Winnipeg I found out that masks were mandatory. I quickly got to work and my design team helped me to create the perfect mask! With our gorgeous materials, you can look chic and stay safe at the same time. All Zenchies reusable masks are made with our existing luxurious, eco-friendly materials. The pleated design allows flexibility for fit and the latex-free elastic ties on each side are adjustable for optimal comfort!
Where would you like to take your company in the future? Any other new product launches in mind?
Scrunchies will always be the core product of our company. They are an essential accessory for many of us now; not only do they help maintain the integrity of our hair but have become a fashion accessory to dress up any outfit! I have a few ideas of different products that I may introduce to the line, but those will be kept a secret for now!
How will you be styling your hair this summer?!
This summer I’ll be styling my hair lots with a deep wave! I’m loving the crimped, beachy “undone” looks. Usually, my day starts with my hair down, with a Zenchie on my wrist. A few hours later I usually end up tying it back in a tousled ponytail using one of my new Zenchies from the Beach Please Collection.
Win! The Entire Zenchies Beach Please Collection!
One lucky Canadian winner will receive the entire Beach Please collection by Zenchies! To enter, follow @myzenchies and @vitadaily.ca on Instagram and complete the giveaway instructions on our corresponding contest post. Contest opens July 14th, 2020, and closes July 21st, 2020. Rules and regulations here. Good luck!