In the world of hair candy, Chunks reigns supreme. Seriously.
From checkered claw clips to wavy-edged barrettes that don the words “DON’T TOUCH,” Chunks hair accessories embody an elevated vibrant and outspoken ethos of past eras.
Launched in 2019 by local resident and designer Tiffany Ju, Chunks clips are inspired by quirky 90s-era street style and Memphis Design, a 1980’s postmodern design movement fueled by bold Pop Art color palettes and Art Deco-inspired patterns.
“I continue to be inspired by art, culture and trends and those are things that inform my style [and] design decisions,” said Ju. “Trends are always recycled [but] they always come from a specific decade [or] art movement, and that’s really interesting to me, and Chunks is a way I can explore that.”
With a BFA in fashion design, Ju has always been drawn to the intersection between style and products, and in turn has continued to gravitate towards eclectic accessories. In 2012 Ju launched BZR, a brand of ombre tights that she hand-dyed in her own kitchen. When it came to brainstorming her next business venture, Ju knew that she wanted to stay in the same space of accessories.
“Even in 2018 it was hard to find cute hair claws, and then the more I kind of looked into that, it was just like the perfect products — it just made sense on every level,” said Ju. “Then in 2019, I just started [Chunks] in my house. I really wanted to bootstrap it and start small [with] a handful of styles and, and I still had some relationships with retail shop owners. So, a lot of my business in the beginning was with the shop owners I already knew.”
As a quarantine-friendly product (aka no one was getting haircuts at the time), Chunks quickly built momentum through its quirky, retro and loud Instagram aesthetic during 2020. Since then, Ju has built an army of nearly 78,000 Instagram followers at the time of this writing, sells to roughly 250 global retailers, including Lisa Says Gah and Urban Outfitters, and recently moved her business out of her house and into a new warehouse space.
Whether it be a mini claw, dino claw, zigzag barrette or headband — all of which are proudly manufactured in China — sustainability and responsible manufacturing remain at the forefront of Chunks. In turn, all products are made from acetate over traditional plastic.
“I’ve always been really concerned about how much waste we create from products … [so] we try to design more consciously so that we’re wasting less,” said Ju. “Not saying that acetate is perfect, but it’s a better alternative. Instead of being derived from petroleum and fossil fuels, it’s made out of a cellulose, plant-based material [so] the waste that is left over from our production is much easier to recycle — they’re able to take the leftover acetate and melt it down and make new acetate, which is really awesome.”
Looking forward, the future of Chunks remains bright, filled with new products and fun collaborations with artists, both local and non-local.
“We’re playing around with different types of acetate products,” said Ju. “Three months ago, I really [wanted] to stick to hair accessories but I’ve gotten really excited about some new types of products, so I think long-term I really want to specialize in acetate and be able to move around in that.”
Considering all that lay ahead, there is no doubt that Chunks will remain reigning royalty in the world of accessories.