19-year-old Mackenzie Lim started Delgnat Co and how the magic of handmade gifts keeps her going on this journey.
Scrunchie, which is a fabric covered elastic hair tie, is fast becoming popular among youths because it does not leave a dent in your hair and is super gentle. It also helps to add a pop of colour to spice up an outfit.
Mackenzie Lim, 19, started The Delgnat Co together with boyfriend back in April, making and selling scrunchies. She has launched seven collections, with the latest rainbow collection which featured earrings launching just two weeks ago.
Her passion for making scrunchies stems from her love for handmade gifts ever since she was a child. She takes pride in sewing scrunchies herself as she wants to convey the joy of receiving handmade gifts to her customers.
Before Delgnat was launched, Mackenzie, a final year student at Singapore Polytechnic, was teaching at a centre as a part-timer. She decided to quit her part-time job and start her own business as she wanted flexible working hours to spend more time with her family and friends.
When asked how she develops each of her collections, Mackenzie shared that she would first think about what she would wear on herself. She also likes to keep up with trends and look at what her competitors are doing for more inspiration.
Her main objective is to create timeless pieces with unique and expensive looking fabric.
“I learnt from the start that even if the print is nice, it will not look good on the scrunchie if it is too big… so I normally go for fabrics that are more girly and neutral toned,” she said.
Mackenzie sources her fabrics from South Korea and shipping takes about a week. Once it arrives, she will first wash and iron it. After that, she cuts the fabric, attaches pins and sews it. She then flips it inside out and inserts the rubber band before finally sewing it together.
Mackenzie said she felt discouraged initially because there were a lot of scrunchie shops popping up after she started her business which made things more competitive for her.
“I was discouraged because at the same time, there were a lot of people that were selling their scrunchies way cheaper,” she said.
However, as a strong believer of never competing on price, she decided to compete on quality instead. As her scrunchies are hand sewn as well, she did not want to mark down the prices too. She sells each scrunchie for an average price of $8.
Other than making the scrunchies itself, Mackenzie also manages Delgnat’s Instagram page. She takes pictures, does illustrations and copywriting all by herself.
“This is something I struggled with a lot in the beginning…I don’t have enough capacity to take so many photos and school was starting then, so I was actually in a rush. I knew I had to take many photos so I could continue (posting on Instagram),” she shared.
Mackenzie is currently completing her last semester as an intern. On top of school, she has to manage her business and does freelance teaching. Her students range from ages two to seven and she teaches them Mandarin, English as well as art.
Most of her time now is spent on her internship. She teaches every Tuesday and Thursday after work and on weekends as well.
“On Tuesdays and Thursdays I teach from 7 to 9pm. When I come home, I eat dinner and because I’m so tired, I just knock out but if there are scrunchie orders, I will make sure to pack them,” she said.
Having to juggle so much will never be an easy task but the fact that her business has received so much love and support is very surreal to her and that is exactly what keeps her going.
Looking back on her journey thus far, Mackenzie explained that she has learnt to accept the fact that every business is different and everything happens in its own time.
When she first started Delgnat, she found herself obsessing over her competitors’ social media pages and products. This took a toll on her confidence and self-doubt started creeping in.
In the end, she realised she had to let go of this obsessive behaviour because it won’t help her in the long run.
“Even if you only had one sale, a sale also means someone wants to buy something from you,” she laughs.
She also revealed that Delgnat is her stress reliever and something she knows she can fall back on.
“It’s given me clarity… I know I’m capable of doing this so this means that I’m capable of possibly making it full-time,” she said.
Sharing her plans for the future, Mackenzie said she hopes to continue incorporating her love for handmade goods onto bags and paper goods.
“Things like designing planners, notebooks and cards…possibly not doing scrunchies forever. I might even go into handmade bags,” she said.
Her advice to youths who would like to start their own business?
“Every business has their own touch and something unique to them. Take it easy because your growth will happen in your own time.”
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