Clayton mom finds inspiration at home for business venture

Martha Sneider’s company, logo loops, has grown in the past year to include product placements in 75 locations, spanning 17 states.

By David Baugher, Special to the Jewish Light

As she searched for a business idea, Martha Sneider didn’t have to look further than her children for inspiration.

“They wear them day in and day out,” she said of her daughters, aged 7 and 10. “That was really the beginning of it.”

Sneider runs logo loops, an intentionally uncapitalized home business the 40-year-old single mother created in March of last year when she saw her daughters gravitating toward headbands. Convinced she had spotted a trend, Sneider, a former retail buyer, began selling headbands herself.

Now, the Clayton resident is marketing cotton/lycra stretch headbands at about 75 locations in 17 states. Here in St. Louis, sites from Chesterfield to Kirkwood carry the accessory, which is popular in children’s apparel and sports stores. So far Sneider said she has sold 38,000 of the units, which are for ages five and up.

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“Athletic teams come to us. Also schools,” she said. “But on the flipside of that, we have three ready-made lines.”

These include logoed girls’ headwear that spotlight common initials, cupcakes, peace signs, sports themes or dozens of other designs. There’s even a spiritual section where various religious insignia are available, including symbols such as the Star of David or the word “Shalom” in English and Hebrew.

The business originally started by doing entirely customized work. Later, however, it began marketing premade lines as well. Though the business is run out of Sneider’s home, the pieces are manufactured in Los Angeles. She said she works with embroiderers in Tennessee, St. Louis and St. Charles to bring the items to life.

“It’s really anything you want,” she said. “We can do up to 12 colors. Intricacy is always an interesting thing with embroidery but we’ve really pretty much been able to do whatever people have asked.”

Requests have come from circuses, volleyball teams, Catholic schools or youth camps. Some “tween” stores have even done special requests to cash in on cultural phenomena.

“We’ve also done the whole ‘Twilight’ vampire thing,” she said. “We’ve done ‘I love vampires’ and ‘Peace, love and vampires.'”

Sneider said that it was all about finding the right market at the right time.

“I really saw it as an opportunity,” she said. “It’s a hole in so many people’s assortment. It’s an item and no one is carrying it. The ideas are limitless in terms of where you can put this product.”

Now, logo loops are starting to make their way into college bookstores. She said four campuses carry custom-designed units and recent approval by Barnes & Noble campus stores means more such locations could eventually open up in the future if locations wish to carry them. She’s also been approved for potential use by national sororities.

“We’ve got a whole range of collegiate colors and pastels,” she said of the headbands, available in 17 different shades.

Logo loops also has about 50 camps that have joined its client base, she said.

“Camps are huge,” said Sneider, a congregant at Temple Emanuel. “Kids often don’t brush their hair. They don’t do much with their hair. They can wear this and it says the name of their camp or their team at their camp. It’s a really popular thing, especially at girls-only camps.”

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