By Shannon Mason
Empire State Tribune
With toilet paper gripped in her tiny hands, a young girl named Ellen Hunter rips apart the roll, piece by piece. Most kids like to play and make a mess, but this six year old is making a product. She takes the pieces of toilet paper and, along with a little bit of scotch tape, creates the perfect miniature wedding dress for Barbie’s big wedding day.
“I was always creating something,” Hunter said.
Years later, Ellen Hunter now designs jewelry and hair accessories for her company Ellen Hunter NYC which can be found at Kleinfeld, Bergdorf and Goodman, and Henri Bendel.
Hunter had a vision for her company since its creation. Starting out fresh from college, she apprenticed for a woman from her hometown.
“She did not have lofty goals to get her jewelry on celebrities, and mainly wanted to keep the company under the radar,” Hunter said.
“I envisioned super early on that celebrities would be wearing my jewelry."
Going in the opposite direction, Hunter aimed higher than her mentor. The work paid off when she saw her products being worn by stars like Beyoncé, Carrie Underwood and Ariana Grande.
“From day one, I just imagined getting into the top stores,” Hunter said. “I envisioned super early on that celebrities would be wearing my jewelry.”
Hunter had exactly one minute to pitch her line of jewelry to buyers at Henri Bendel, an upscale women’s store based in NYC. That “elevator pitch” landed her the opportunity to test her product at their trunk show.