Head of the Class

At first glance, Maggie Knier’s college apartment is pretty typical. Well-worn couches, a large tie-dyed tapestry covering one wall and an assortment of shoes lining the front entry of the modest space she shares with four roommates. What stands out is the pile of brightly colored fabric on a counter-height table in the middle of her living room. Look closer and you’ll spot a Singer sewing machine on the kitchen table and a pile of headbands on the ledge.

Knier, a senior Marketing major, came to Minnesota State Mankato already a business owner. She launched 2True Headbands out of her parents’ Big Lake, Minn., home as a 14-year-old homeschool student. She’s been running operations out of her apartment for the past three years.

“I’ve always been that kid trying to sell stuff,” Knier said. “We had a roadside lemonade stand, I had a stand called Maggie’s Marvels … I was always trying to make money.”

When Knier learned about the online artisan and craft retail platform Etsy as a teen, she was able to expand her entrepreneurial opportunities beyond her own neighborhood. She purchased a stretchy headband at Target, reverse engineered the pattern, and made a few out of cute fabric and uploaded pictures to the site. Three weeks after listing her first headband she woke up to an order for seven. She made more headbands. Later that year, she participated in her first craft show and made a couple hundred dollars.

“Since then, it’s just grown.”

2True now features a bandana style design and a popular super soft yoga headband that Knier’s devoted customers insist stays in place even if you don’t have “a headband head.”

Knier has been able to combine her creative side with her passion for business. Her involvement in Delta Sigma Pi and the College of Business’ Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) have also enabled her to take 2True Headbands to the next level—and it’s paid off. This spring she presented in front of community judges and a packed house as part of the College of Business’ Big Ideas Challenge. Knier walked away the grand prize winner, netting $5,000 that she plans to put into marketing 2True to a broader audience. Knier’s win also earned her a spot in the statewide entrepreneurship contest, MN Cup.

Knier isn’t sure what she wants to do after graduation. She’d like to travel and see where her degree takes her. As for 2True, she’s hoping to grow the business to a place where she can outsource her production and build a team.

“I don’t know if it will end up being something, I do full time, even though I’d really like that,” she said. “I want to make it as big as it can be.”