Julianne Goldmark, 17, and Emily Matson, 18, got the idea for their ribbon-like hair ties in the 8th grade, when they became captivated by high-end headbands and hair accessories. So, they went downtown, got their own fabrics and started to make their own just for fun.
A lucky connection –Matson’s mother shares the same hairstylist as Jennifer Aniston – led the Friends star to wear one of the girls’ black hair ties on the red carpet, and Marie Claire called the following week. Emi-Jay was born, as the girls scrambled to build a website and up production on the elastic hair ties.
Until recently, Goldmark says that she and Matson were still dying elastics and making them by hand at home. Now, they have 30 employees and a wholesale license, and are manufacturing the hair ties in their native LA. Their moms help manage the day-to-day while the girls finish high school, but both are heavily involved, attending all the meetings and designing all the products.
Emi-Jay sold 6 million hair ties in 2012, and is projected to sell 10 million of the accessories in 2013. The prices range from $5 to $20. They’ve still got smart heads on their shoulders, though: Goldmark says that the profits are being put away to save for college!