While they may be considered a staple item to decorate and gather your mane in a tidy yet stylish form, scrunchies, hair clips, and hair accessories have been trending strongly over the last couple of months. From patterns to solid colors to fabrics, these accessories come in a variety of attractive character-filled designs that are bound to make a statement – no matter what the setting (casual / formal / everyday use). One such business that has recently broken into the scene to deliver these accessories for kids and adults alike is local South Australian business Three of Me.
In anticipation of her appearance at the upcoming Gathered SA market on July 13 + 14 at the Queens Theatre, I was fortunate enough to conduct an interview with founder Sarah Oster to learn a bit more about her business – have a read of our exchange below:
Tema: Can you please tell us a bit about yourself, Sarah? Who is the face behind Three of Me?
Sarah: The face behind Three Of Me is a busy mum of 3 kids, who always bites off more than she can chew and chews like hell! Not only am I busy running around after my 3 kids, but I also own another business, so there is not a lot of down time for me.
Tema: Can you tell us the story of Three of Me, please?
Sarah: Three of Me came about in December of last year (2018). After the birth of my 3rd child in August, I was unable to return to my cafe. However, I needed a creative outlet and a way to keep myself busy. When I first started Three of Me, I was making a little bit of everything, so there was no definitive idea that was set in stone. As I attended a few markets, I began finding what worked for me and what I enjoyed. I found that I loved making hair accessories! There’s something about knowing that someone out there is using my products to add the finishing touch to their daily outfit! Whether it’s as a dinner outfit or just a mum bun, I feel good knowing my product makes them feel special.
Tema: What made you decide on starting up your own business Three of Me?
Sarah: So, this is a bit of a funny one for me, because there really wasn’t much thought that was put into it in – at least in the early stages! If you ask any of my family members, they will tell you that I have a habit of coming up with ideas and instead of taking the time to think about them and weigh up the risks, I just jump in head first! I’m not a stranger to owning and running a business this is technically my 3rd one and I’ve never shied away from hard work. With the beginning of Three Of Me as my new venture, I feel that it just became a natural progression of me as a person.
Tema: What would you say about Three of Me to someone who may not have heard of you before?
Sarah: Three of Me is all about making and creating high quality hair accessories that are 100% handmade. My scrunchies are fabulous, my hair scarves are stylish, and my hair clips are on-trend!
Tema: Why did you decide to focus on scrunchies and accessories in particular?
Sarah: My 15yo daughter is responsible for this one! She came home from school one day and told me that scrunchies are all the rage and asked me if I could make her some… well, like I said – I don’t do anything by halves, so here I am!
Tema: What does the creative process look like, in terms of the designs of the scrunchies and accessories?
Sarah: All of the designs I choose for my scrunchies are either in patterns or colours that my daughter or myself are drawn to. She has a keen eye for fashion! When choosing colours and styles, I keep an eye on what’s currently trending. At the moment, it’s all about the autumn-friendly colours like mustards and rust colors, in addition to tones of blush and floral patterns! But in saying that, I am beginning to see my sparkle Talia range selling like hot cakes. As for the other accessories, these are all to complement the scrunchies that I’m currently making and are a new addition to my repertoire.
Tema: Are you open to doing custom designs or do you primarily offer a standard range of patterns?
Sarah: I’m always open to custom orders! There are so many designs and styles of fabric out there that it can be a bit difficult to just choose a select few. So, I get pretty excited when someone asks me to do something custom for them. I have recently been working on netball team scrunchies, which I think is super cute! It’s definitely something that just adds that little extra element to their uniforms.
Tema: Do you have a physical shopfront or do you tend to primarily function as an online store?
Sarah: I am only online, as life is hectic enough. I want to keep focusing on running an online store, so that I’m able to stay home with my youngest. I have a few stockists and I LOVE doing markets, as I get a chance to meet all sorts of people and gauge what they are after.
Tema: What do you think helps your business stand out from the rest in the industry?
Sarah: The quality of my product is second to none! When you buy a Three Of Me scrunchie, you are guaranteed that it’s going to last a long time and not just stretch out after a few uses. I have spent many hours making and remaking scrunchies to get the exact measurements and to provide a quality product that looks good in your hair. The elastic won’t snap or break and has just the right amount of stretch. By supporting Three Of Me, you’re supporting a family business that offers nothing but the best quality through handmade products.
Tema: What have you found rewarding / challenging about being a small-scale business in Adelaide / SA?
Sarah: In terms of what’s been rewarding – I’ve had the opportunity to meet people face-to-face from all walks of life. I literally still do a mini dance every single time I get an online sale and I pinch myself after every market. In terms of what’s been challenging – getting noticed! It comes down to the level of hard work that it takes to stand out sometimes. When attending markets, it’s tough to be different when we all shop from similar fabric stores.
Tema: How did you get involved with Gathered SA?
Sarah: I actually wanted to attend the last Gathered SA, so I reached out to Jenna. She was so accommodating; even at the last minute! However, being a mum meant that I had to juggle the sporting commitments of my kids, which clashed with the market dates. As soon as I received Jenna’s email for the Winter market, I knew I had to make this time work! I’m hoping to expand my customer base and build my social media following. I just want people to own the best quality hair accessories!
Tema: Is there anything else that you’d like our readers and your customers to know about yourself and Three of Me?
Sarah: I want people to remember that when they support a small business, they are supporting a family, by helping someone build and grow their dream. At the upcoming market, I will be bringing some exclusive designs and styles with me and I will be releasing some new products, so if you’re at the market for great hair accessories, make sure you drop by and see me, as I’d love to meet you!
Interview conducted by Fatema Sitabkhan
Photos by Fatema Sitabkhan + official Three of Me Instagram account