Independence Senior is “Sew” Spunky

Grace McKinney, founder of Sew Spunky Co, at Vintner's Hill's Sip & Shop
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Grace McKinney, a senior at Independence High School, is more than a budding actress and Patriot Playmaker.  She’s also the founder of Sew Spunky Co, a home-based business making funky-patterned headbands.  

McKinney’s thick, stretchy headbands are made of all sorts of knit fabrics, but she particularly likes to work with organic materials.  A quick glance at her fun and funky selection shows her preference for fabrics that are unique.  “I like to pick the ones that speak to me and can’t be found anywhere else,” says McKinney.  “I think what sets Sew Spunky apart from others is the variety.”

McKinney enjoys working with unique materials you wouldn’t find elsewhere.

McKinney’s desire for a unique headband with a print that suited her own personality and style is what led her to start her company.  “I was buying headbands like every weekend for $15.00,” says McKinney.  “My mom’s like, ‘We have a sewing machine.  We can make these!’”  Although McKinney had learned how to sew a few years prior, she refined her craft by doing, piecing together her first headband through trial and error and honing her skills as she produced more.

McKinney then began making headbands for her friends.  “Every friend I gave one to said, ‘You can sell these!’” says McKinney.  McKinney has only been in business for a few months, selling her creations via Etsy (, Instagram and Facebook.  She recently attended her first craft fair, Vintner’s Hill’s holiday Sip & Shop.  “We’ve done pretty well, I’m really proud of it,” says McKinney.

McKinney and friends modeling her Sew Spunky Co headbands

When she’s not making headbands, McKinney is busy pursuing her other passion: theater.  She is currently playing Olive in Independence High School’s musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.  In the summer, she teaches musical theater and theater camps at Matthews Playhouse.

Next year, McKinney hopes to begin a double major in performance theater and psychology.  “I hope to use the money from Sew Spunky to help pay for some of my college,” says McKinney, “and I really hope to grow my business online.”  Though she still dreams of becoming an actress one day, Sew Spunky Co has given her a new goal: an actress with a successful business.

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Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her eight-year-old daughter Hannah and her six-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011. Email: