Project Headband ~ Made in Robbinsville NC
In the spring of 2016, Tail of the Dragon, LLC began selling custom headbands and skullcaps which are produced in our small warehouse located just outside of Robbinsville, North Carolina. These items are currently sold at our Tail of the Dragon retail store located on the North Carolina side of the world famous “Tail of the Dragon” renowned for it’s challenging “318 Curves in 11 Miles” and featured in the 2016 North Carolina Official Travel Guide as one of the “Project 543” stories of unique spots across the state (link).
The custom headbands and skullcaps are designed and produced by Nancy Johnson, owner of Tail of the Dragon, LLC and one of her employees, Mandy Gyongyos. The idea originated out of frustration in not finding a wholesaler to supply unique products that are not sold by other shops. We also wanted the flexibility of design and color. During the summer of 2015, we started watching what our customers were wearing for headwear, collecting samples of products we liked, and combining ideas to create our own headband and skullcap. We spent hours exploring Pinterest, and Etsy, and even learned how to sew on Youtube. Over the winter we created sample after sample until we had a pattern we liked. We then decided on a custom fabric design using our popular Tail of the Dragon logos, sampled fabric color combinations, and created our own heat press logos and rhinestone templates. We even created our own “Made in Robbinsville NC” label which is hand stamped and sewn on the back of each headband.
The custom fabric is purchased from Spoonflower Inc, a North Carolina textile printing company based out of Durham, North Carolina. The Sport Lycra fabric used for the custom fabric is “knitted in the USA and printed at the Spoonflower headquarters in Durham NC” (link).
Our first batch of headbands and skullcaps were delivered to our retail store in April. Nancy and Mandy were happy with the final product after months of work, but were unsure they would be sold. It was a good sign when the salespeople at our retail store started grabbing the headbands and proclaiming “this one is mine”. It didn’t take long before we got a call for more product to sell. As of July, we have sold over 400 headbands and skull caps, and we are on our second bulk fabric order. We’ve had a few small design changes, and always take under consideration suggestions from our customers and salespeople
Nancy and Mandy continue to do all headband and skullcap production in our small warehouse. We do the material ordering, fabric cutting, vinyl cutting, vinyl heat press logos, and create our own rhinestone templates which are also heat pressed to the fabric. We do all the sewing and proudly stamp and label each and every headband with “Made in Robbinsville NC”.
The headband production will continue through the winter months, allowing us to stockpile inventory for next year and sell our headbands on our popular Tailofthedragonstore.com website year round. This successful headband and skullcap project has allowed Tail of the Dragon LLC to employ Mandy full time, year round, at a fair wage. Full time work at a fair wage is not very common in Graham County, a Tier 1 economically distressed county with one the highest unemployment rates in the state.
We are proud that we are able to keep the entire headband and skull cap project in North Carolina, from fabric produced in Durham, and headbands and skullcaps assembled and sold in Robbinsville.
Project Headband was featured in the Made in North Carolina Style section for the 2016 Our State Made in NC Awards see website.
Headbands and skull caps are available at the Tail of the Dragon Tshirt Shack and at our online store CLICK here for store website.