Knot average: Online company makes a home in Hillsboro
You might have seen a youngster wearing one; it's certainly recognizable.
Hillsboro company Bunny Knots is known for making handmade headwear for children to dress up their outfits. In two years, Bunny Knots has grown a massive following on social media and launched a trend that has become a staple for kids' closets — as well as causing a number of knock-off brands to follow in the company's footsteps.
The company came about when its designer and CEO Britt Rainer was pregnant with her daughter, Ada, who now is 2 years old.
"We're here, and we're doing this cool thing," she said when asked what it's like to be out in the suburbs. "We try to keep the weirdness of Portland and incorporate that in our brand. We're proud that we're handmade and that we are employing mothers here."
The space is bright and trendy, and it's set up with a few stations where the headwear is designed, sewn and packaged.
Working to fulfill countless orders, Rainer and her team moved to the Orenco area earlier in 2019 after needing to expand. While it does not have a storefront — yet — Rainer's business has gone viral.
She didn't expect her company to blow up the way it did. Today, people around the world are wearing Bunny Knots products, from celebrities like the Kardashians and actress Kate Hudson, to international clients.
Rainer, now living in Helvetia, moved to Oregon from Idaho with her husband, Tyler Rainer, and their two children at the time. With a medical background, Rainer started making what would become Bunny Knots while on maternity leave with Ada.
"I wanted to find a way to stay home as long as possible," Rainer said. "I had just started to make headwraps for her because we couldn't afford to buy clothes for her, and we were trying to save money. I bought stretchy old turtlenecks from thrift stores and turned them into wraps, because Ada was completely bald at the time, and when I would go out in public with her, people would freak out and go absolutely crazy."
The reactions to her work felt unreal, Rainer says, and it became the spark to go forward with Bunny Knots.
Many can recall actresses from old Hollywood like Lucille Ball wearing wraps on their head. Rainer said while she didn't invent headwraps, Bunny Knots took what is considered a classic look and made it readily available.
The material is a soft, bamboo spandex and features one-of-a-kind prints, from floral to leopard print.
In 2017, Rainer opened an Instagram account to promote her first products and sold about 40 wraps in her first batch.
"The month after that, we doubled that number. The month after that, it was almost times six," Rainer said. "It just blew up into this thing where there are only so many of them, but the demand is crazy."
Every product launched by Bunny Knots is limited edition, meaning once it is sold out, it doesn't come back. Mothers love their products so much, that they are able to resell their Bunny Knots headwear for the same price or more, Rainer said.
"We would open our website for people to buy, and within seconds, it would sell out," she said.
Social media influencers also promote Bunny Knots with their social media pages, which Rainer thanks for putting Bunny Knots on the minds of more new customers.
"It really has been the key," she said.
Not only is the company a business run by a mother of three, but Rainer wants to pay it forward by employing mothers who want to stay home with their children more, she said.
And, as another way to pay it forward, Rainer also is beginning to work with hospitals and newborn intensive care units to provide headwraps to prematurely born babies, to keep them warm.
Beyond being a busy brand, Bunny Knots is a community. Women all over connect on the Bunny Knots Babes Facebook page, Rainer said.
"Something about putting it on your child, it's so cute and creates this emotion," Rainer said. "I think that's part of why we're so successful."
Bunny Knots can be seen on Instagram, Facebook and its website, bunnyknots.co.
By Janae Easlon
Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune971-762-1166
Follow Janae at @Janae_Easlon
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