If you haven’t already heard of Rainbow Loom, you’ve probably seen elementary and middle school kids sporting some cool bracelets made out of colorful, tiny, rubber bands.
Rainbow Loom is all the rage.
I discovered it when my second grader came home with a bracelet a classmate of hers had made. Naturally, my daughter told me that I needed to get whatever it was that would allow her to create her own bracelets. So I started googling. How did our forbears parent without Google?
The searches came up with Rainbow Loom.
What is Rainbow Loom? It’s genius. It’s basically weaving with rubber bands.
It is addictive, good fun. My girls spend time concentrating, quietly, weaving rubber bands, or watching the YouTube instruction videos to create rings, bracelets, and wearable art for themselves and their friends. Truthfully, I almost want to buy another just for me.
You can find Rainbow Loom kits at Michael’s, Learning Express Toys and Amazon. The kit comes with two plastic templates, a hook, 24 clips, and 600 rubber bands that can make 24 bracelets. My only quibble is that the printed instruction manual could do with some editing. I would be happy to help with that, should they want my help. Why? Simply because the story behind the Rainbow Loom rocks my socks off.
The inventor of Rainbow Loom is Cheong Choon Ng, a Malaysian- Chinese immigrant. He was working as an engineer for Nissan when he invented this product. All he really wanted to do was impress his two daughters. He’s a cool dad. Apparently, one day his daughters were busily making bracelets out of mini rubber bands, and as a good dad, he decided to join in. Except his fingers were too large to manage the mini rubber bands. So he created a wooden board with push pins to help him weave the mini rubber bands. He so impressed his daughters that his girls used his wooden board to make presents for friends.
The story gets better. Ng’s daughter told her father he should try selling his loom. Ng took his engineering background, and family savings of $10,000, and found manufacturers in China to create his loom. In 2011 the first finished kits were ready for sale. It took an entire year before Rainbow Loom took off. Now, stores are having a hard time keeping this hot item on the shelf.
At our Michael’s store, there’s a sign that states coupons can’t be used for the Rainbow Loom. They’re that hot.
I am a huge fan of people like Ng, with stories of hard work, creativity and persistence. To me, it’s a typical story of immigrants that seize the American Dream, that never gets old. It’s great to see this family, whose dad just wanted to impress his daughters, start something that benefits more than his own family. Rainbow Loom is helping countless kid-prenuers who sell the creations they make, and parents who gratefully have moments of quiet brought by kids concentrating hard on weaving wearable art.
How has your life changed with Rainbow Loom? What are your favorite weaving designs?
I wasn’t paid, nor approached to write about Rainbow Loom. I happened to stumble across it, and fell in love with the product and the backstory. All opinions are entirely my own. This is not a sponsored post.