Sweatin' Their Way to Success
Photography by Wes Battoclette
Sisters-in-law Mallory and K.C. DeBra played sports for years, but could not find headbands that fit. Frustrated, they worked to design and stitch their own, adding unique features including one that allows the headband to adjust to the wearer’s head. “Our headbands fit everyone perfectly,” they say.
However, they never dreamed this hobby would turn into a lucrative business within a few short years. K.C. and Mallory officially launched their business in 2013 with their partnership – Hoot and Holler – and their new product, Owl Be Sweatin’ headbands.
K.C. and Mallory were already busy working fulltime while juggling motherhood and marriage. They stitched and filled orders at night, but soon realized they needed to commit completely if they were going to grow the business.
“We opened a corporate office in Oakley with regular hours,” K.C. says. The structure they developed – Mallory managing day-to-day operations and production, and K.C. overseeing the creative aspects and sales – is obviously working. “We sold 6,600 units in 2014, and are on track to sell 11,300 this year,” Mallory says.
Most of the materials are made in the United States and the headbands are assembled locally. The business model employs stay-at-home moms and seniors who pick up and drop off packets of orders and materials at the Oakley office. Employees are paid per piece and strict quality standards are in place.
Another key ingredient of the company is its commitment to giving back to the community. The owners volunteer at organizations that include the Ronald McDonald House and the Turkey Trot, and have donated to nonprofits such as the March of Dimes, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Cincinnati and Girls on the Run Cincinnati.
Owl Be Sweatin’ headbands are sold in more than 65 salons, fitness centers and boutiques throughout the United States, in addition to e-commerce and trade shows. You can see the products that include more than 250 patterns and custom designs on their website.
Owl Be Sweatin’ is located at 4914 Ridge Aveneue, Cincinnati, OH 45209. You can reach them at 513.673.5541 or visit their website at www.owlbesweatin.com.