Turlock resident Lindsay Wheeler was never a big fan of bows — until she had her daughter, Addy. What originally began as a way to keep her child’s hair looking cute has now developed into a full-fledged business, with Wheeler working overtime to create a variety of hand-cut bows for customers across the country.
Bow shopping became a favorite pastime of Wheeler’s shortly after giving birth to her daughter in 2018, she said. She would routinely purchase the hair accessories from locally-owned, small businesses after noticing that bows from big box stores like Amazon and Target weren’t quite holding up.
“I wasn’t happy with anything I was purchasing quality-wise, like how well they would sit up on [Addy’s] head or if they would stay on when she pulled at them,” Wheeler said. “I fell head over heels for supporting other women — and men, because I’ve seen couples who make them — and was buying bows weekly.”
Thanks to a surprise birthday gift from her husband last summer, Wheeler soon became the owner of a shop like the ones she had been supporting. The gift was a bow making kit which allowed her to first start making Addy her own bows, but soon encouragement from others inspired Wheeler to begin selling her handmade creations.
“I kid you not, from the moment my husband brought the kit home for me I haven’t stopped,” Wheeler said. “I breathe bows now. It’s crazy.”
Working out of her home, Wheeler started out receiving one or two bow orders a week to now completing 20 to 30 during that same time frame. This week, she shipped orders out to six different states. The popularity of Addy’s Bowtique has exploded in the past few months, Wheeler said, as she and her husband began attending pop-up vendor fairs recently.
Now, Wheeler balances time between being a mom and making bows, often staying up through the night to make them. Unlike some bow creators who use a machine, Wheeler hand cuts every creation and the process for one bow takes about 10 minutes.
From small two-inch bows to large nine-inch bows, Wheeler makes it all. She can put bows on headbands for infants or on alligator clips for toddlers, and has even completed custom orders for dog collars featuring bows. They’re available in a variety of prints and sizes, with Wheeler creating themed bows for holidays and events months ahead of time, which she then posts on Instagram to advertise to her customers.
It’s a social media-driven business model which has worked for countless entrepreneurs during the pandemic, including Wheeler.
“My daughter is definitely behind the name, but if my husband hadn’t gifted me the bow making kit I wouldn’t be here now,” Wheeler said. “It’s like a dream I never really knew I had until six months ago.”
As Wheeler’s business continues to thrive on Instagram, she’ll be expanding upon the in-person pop-up shops she sells at The Creative Market. Located at 1645 Countryside Drive, the market celebrated its grand opening May 1 and features permanent vendor spaces from local artisans including Addy’s Bowtique.
For those who can’t make it out to the market’s grand opening, Wheeler is always taking orders on Instagram. As for the business’ namesake, Wheeler believes her bows are daughter-approved.
“She knows mommy makes bows,” Wheeler laughed. “I think she’s proud of me.”
Fore more information call 209-648-9138 or visit @addys.bowtique on Instagram.