Moorhead native turns quest for fantastic headband into $2 million company

But somehow, at not rather 30, she’s come to be all 3.

Krabbenhoft, a 2009 Moorhead Substantial graduate, essentially started out out on a wholly distinct route: She was researching to grow to be a food stuff scientist and professor at North Dakota Condition College.

But she experienced a tiny challenge: She couldn’t locate a at ease, excellent-wanting headband to maintain her hair out of her eyes while she pursued a demanding program of courses, labs and studying.

Lastly, she made a decision to make her possess headband, so she lugged mother Yvonne’s previous Kenmore stitching equipment out of storage and created a trip to a nearby cloth retailer.

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Right after some experimentation, Krabbenhoft stitched up a headband that checked all the bins. It was comfy, it stayed put and it was fashion-ahead with a jaunty knot on best.

Leah Kay Krabbenhoft’s first headband is seen next to a photo of her as a child wearing it on Thursday, April 1, 2021, at the Hotel Donaldson in Fargo. Krabbenhoft now owns a successful headband business called Soulvation Society.
Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

Leah Kay Krabbenhoft’s initially headband is seen future to a image of her as a child putting on it on Thursday, April 1, 2021, at the Hotel Donaldson in Fargo. Krabbenhoft now owns a profitable headband business enterprise identified as Soulvation Modern society.
Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

Close friends and acquaintances so preferred Krabbenhoft’s headbands that they asked if she could make some for them. She gave the first types absent, but as the requests enhanced, she understood she could parlay her passion into a aspect hustle.

That was five many years ago. These days, Krabbenhoft’s Soulvation Modern society manufacturer has blossomed into a 100% self-funded, woman-owned model with above $2 million in revenue and zero credit card debt.

And Krabbenhoft may be one of the few fashion professionals out there who could also give a dissertation on carbohydrate chemistry.

“Meals science was a excellent discipline to be in,” she states. “I experienced a excellent professor, it was a terrific method and I liked it. But I just had an itch just to make a brand, or just to make anything for myself.”

She definitely succeeded. Content on Soulvation’s story and products have been showcased in Forbes, Cosmopolitan, NBC, CBS, the Chicago Weekly and Oxygen journal. Her product is sold by way of retail sites like FreePeople, which reflects her boho-chic vibe.

And her merchandise has received 1000’s of glowing Instagram mentions ranging from millennial social-media influencers to nurses who rave about the headbands extremely-soft really feel.

In reality, Soulvation Society’s web-site champions itself as the “Dwelling of the butter-gentle headbands.”

Leah Kay Krabbenhoft, the owner of Soulvation Society, shows off her tattoo that matches the brand’s logo on Thursday, April 1, 2021, at the Hotel Donaldson in Fargo. Krabbenhoft says that “the arrows signify following your own path, and to keep moving forward regardless of what life throws in your way.”
Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

Leah Kay Krabbenhoft, the owner of Soulvation Culture, exhibits off her tattoo that matches the brand’s logo on Thursday, April 1, 2021, at the Resort Donaldson in Fargo. Krabbenhoft claims that “the arrows signify next your very own path, and to keep shifting forward irrespective of what existence throws in your way.”
Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

The Denver-based mostly business has expanded its item line to scrunchies, bandanas, turbands (a turban-headband hybrid) and their bestselling hair-ties, which double as boho-fashion bracelets (that is another Krabbenhoft innovation.)

The last year’s success hit so abruptly that Krabbenhoft admits it has not absolutely registered but. “It isn’t going to experience like it, even to this day,” she claims. “It nonetheless feels like I am at household, sewing headbands, striving to make it get the job done.”

Krabbenhoft settled in the Mile-Significant Metropolis due to the fact her ideal friend from substantial university, Ashley Stalboerger, had previously moved there, it had a centralized site and she liked the area’s natural beauty and four-season climate.

Not that she had a whole lot of time to delight in it. She labored out of her own apartment, diligently sewing headbands, mailing out orders, and reinvesting profits into the organization to assistance it increase.

And then …. COVID. Krabbenhoft was in the midst of looking for new brands and a superior material when the globe appeared to screech to a halt. The source chain dried up, as did her inventory. “We were being actually out of inventory 4 months since of the pandemic,” she claims. “We experienced barely any profits.”

Amid all this, Krabbenhoft observed the cloth that adjusted every little thing: a kitten-tender bamboo-spandex. When these “butter-gentle” parts hit the website, prospects clamored for them. Folks eagerly snatched up the headbands, retailing at $15.20 for each headband or $54.20 for a five-pack. Sales skyrocketed from $120,000 in 2019 to last year’s $2 million mark.

Even at this position, Krabbenhoft remained a one-particular person operation.

“I was hand-stitching everything,” she states. “My full home was all cloth and a stitching machine and my bed. That was it.”

Krabbenhoft promptly understood she required assistance — even if it meant supplying up some control. “I was these kinds of a perfectionist,” she says. “The sewing had to be excellent, the shipping and delivery had to be ideal. So slowly transitioning and selecting aid was scary since it was my model. I needed to do it how I preferred it. But then I was like, ‘If I want to expand this, I will need enable.'”

Now, Krabbenhoft’s Soulvation Modern society employs eight persons, has moved producing to China and consists of a 3,000-square-foot warehouse for stock.

Leah Kay Krabbenhoft, owner of Soulvation Society, stands with a photo of herself as a child in her first headband while she models one of her own Soulvation-brand headbands on Thursday, April 1, 2021 at the Hotel Donaldson in Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

Leah Kay Krabbenhoft, operator of Soulvation Society, stands with a photograph of herself as a boy or girl in her initial headband although she products one of her possess Soulvation-brand name headbands on Thursday, April 1, 2021 at the Lodge Donaldson in Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

A person will get the emotion that Krabbenhoft is just obtaining began. Bolstered by her current achievements and the strength of youth, she is also creating a line of boutique apparel, patterned right after her trademark boho aesthetic. In fact, she wears 1 item from the clothing line in the course of her job interview: a comfortable, button-down, white-and-black windowpane-plaid shirt in a gentle, cozy material.

“However to this working day, I dislike donning superior heels,” she suggests. “If it truly is unpleasant, I really don’t want to dress in it. The outfits line is very comparable: incredibly cozy, but you still seem incredibly adorable.”

She’s also prepared to contribute to her neighborhood, and designs to donate headbands to the nurses at Sanford Overall health.

Krabbenhoft’s generosity extends to a willingness to share what she’s uncovered. She is building an e-commerce course, which will display how to build a successful start off-up, like perception on how to “snowball” progress to reduce financial debt.

“In a quite odd way, I guess I nonetheless did develop into a professor,” she claims, smiling.

Find Krabbenhoft’s items at