November Featured MCA Member: Cyndi Prince
Founder & CEO of LooHoo Wool Dryer Balls
As Mainers and makers, we understand the balance between making a living and protecting the stunning natural environment that surrounds us from which we draw so much of our inspiration. Sometimes, when we are really lucky, we find ways to create and bring forth new offerings that are not only functional, they also benefit that environment greatly. 10 years ago, Cyndi Prince put herself up to the task of creating LooHoo, her brand of 100% wool dryer balls made with
Beginning in October of 2010, Cyndi began growing her business alongside her new baby, cultivating and nurturing its development during her son’s nap times and bedtimes. Before her child was born, she discovered wool dryer balls. This chemical-free, reusable, and environmentally conscious replacement for dryer sheets helps to reduce energy consumption by speeding up the drying time of laundry while ridding household management of one more unnecessary fragranced chemically loaded product. The dryer balls Cyndi tried were made of a combination of wool and other added materials, and some fell apart quickly. She decided to develop a high quality product that would last, with the goal of making the product 100% wool, using fiber from only US farmers, a goal that she has met. Her fine domestic wool sources include Bartlett Yarn of Harmony, Maine.
Before taking the plunge as an entrepreneur, Cyndi worked as part of a research team from Texas A&M University, traveling around the world on a vessel that studied sediments and rock via ocean drilling. An avid photographer, Cyndi discovered the beauty of Maine while attending Maine Media photography workshops, opportunities which brought her to the area for incrementally longer periods of time the more she attended. Upon moving to midcoast Maine permanently from North Buxton, Ontario, Canada, Cyndi worked at an art gallery in picturesque Rockland. All of her previous life experiences have given her tidbits of inspiration and information she needed to grow LooHoo to the successful small business it is today. From her science and art background, she pulled the skills needed for good entrepreneurship: creative marketing and sales, and the analytical skills needed to process accurate numbers and ensure that success was attainable. From her gallery background she learned how to run a business, including the importance of treating customers well. Her delightful demeanor and dedication to creating a consistent, reliable, high-quality product makes her a pleasure to know and work with.
Q & A with Cyndi Prince
Q: You are best known for making LooHoo wool dryer balls. What else do you enjoy making?
A: I enjoy cooking and I am best known for my granola, although I love to bake just about anything.
Q: What do you do in your spare time? What brings you joy?
A: In my spare time, I enjoy reading the Sunday New York Times, and reading books in the evening. I love the long term commitment of working on a good puzzle. Going for walks with my family (especially early in the morning) brings me joy.
Q: What is the best compliment you’ve ever received about your work?
A: I’ve had customers share very personal stories with me and have said that LooHoos helped change their lives. They suffered from health issues and changing their cleaning products including switching dryer sheets for LooHoos, have made them healthier.
Q: What advice would you give to emerging artists in your media, or those looking to start a small business of their own?
A: My advice would be to build your team early. Surround yourself with people, mentors, advisors that will cheer you on and help keep you accountable.
LooHoo’s 100% wool dryer ball start packs are available for sale at the Center for Maine Craft, Maine Craft Portland, and online at MCA’s online retail gallery SHOP Maine Craft.
Learn more about Cyndi and LooHoo at her website.