Published: Jan. 3, 2020 By

maddie freeman with stash-it scrunchie boothWho needs a purse when you can put your necessities in a hair accessory? Enter the Stash-It Scrunchie, founded by Maddie Freeman, a pre-business freshman, in August 2019. In the words of Damien from Mean Girls, "...her hair is so big, it's full of secrets." Read on to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey at CU Boulder:

Q: What does your startup do? 

A: My startup blends a fashionable trend with a useful solution for carrying everyday items with you. A Stash-It-Scrunchie is a soft velvet scrunchie with a hidden velcro pocket that can be used to store anything from cash, keys, earbuds, to even chapstick. The uses for this product are endless, and I believe people who dislike carrying a purse can benefit from this product a lot. Other people also use my product to put their medication in, so they can always have it on them in case of emergencies. 

Q: How did you come up with your business idea? What inspired you?

A: My junior year of high school we did a mock version of the TV show Shark Tank in my business class. For my project, I actually did a speech to text typewriter. The group next to me couldn’t think of anything, so I just said the first thing I thought of off the top of my head. Thus the scrunchie with a pocket was born! I actually forgot about the idea until I came to CU Boulder and I thought it was a good idea that I should put into motion.

Q: What is your role at your startup?

A: I do everything! I make the scrunchies, sell them, and advertise them. I also set up a Square account to be able to accept credit cards and an Etsy account to sell and ship them across the U.S.

Q: What CU Boulder academic courses and entrepreneurial resources did you take advantage of to help you build your business? Are there any programs or other resources you look forward to utilizing or participating in the spring 2020 semester?

A: I went to the Startup Hub in Williams Village, which had all the resources I needed to create my prototypes. I also pitched to the Get Seed Funding team and received funding to create more scrunchies and promote my business. As a next step, I look forward to competing in New Venture Challenge in April alongside some brilliant entrepreneurs at CU. 

Q: What has been your biggest challenge in running your startup? What about notable wins or successes?

A: My biggest challenges for this startup so far are getting the message out there that I am selling these scrunchies, along with finding where I can legally sell them. A big win for me was when I set up a table at Greenwood Athletic Club during their fair and raised $280 for suicide prevention by donating 20 percent of profits! Another thing I accomplished was selling my scrunchies in bulk to a high end hair salon in Littleton for them to resell.

Q: What do you love about having your own company?

A: I really enjoy being my own boss and being able to call the shots on who I market it to. Since I am crafty, I also really enjoy the mindfulness it takes to make hundreds of them by hand. 

Q: What advice would you give to other students who are interested in starting their own businesses? 

A: I would tell them to come up with a solution to a problem that bothers them. Another thing to keep in mind when starting a business is that you will face competition — don’t give up once you see another version of your product.

Q: What do you wish you knew then that you know now?

A: I wish I knew how many audiences this product could have been useful for, so that I could market it toward more people than just the obvious buyers.

Interested in purchasing a Stash-It Scrunchie or have more questions for Maddie? Email her at