Samantha Heinrich, 16, was diagnosed in June 2012 with Lyme disease, a bacterial infection transmitted by a tick.
Heinrich began making scarves a year ago to raise money for a school field trip to Great America.
“I had just learned how to knit by my grandma,” the Kimball High School junior said. “I was searching the Internet and came across these ruffle scarves and thought, If I think they are cute, then others will also.”
To date, Heinrich has sold more than 170 homemade ruffle scarves, earning more than $2,450.
Her first was a full sparkle ruffle scarf, about 2 feet long, with pink and white colors to signify breast cancer awareness. The scarf took her roughly four hours to complete.
“People were complimenting the scarf and asking how they could get one,” Heinrich said. “After that, I made an Etsy page and started selling them online. From there, I also started a Facebook page called SamsScarfays. Within about a month, I had made enough money to pay for the trip to Great America, and the orders were still coming in.”
Orders have come in from other states, including Ohio, Texas, New York, Michigan and Wisconsin. Her largest single order to date has been for 30 scarves.
Heinrich has made scarves in all the local high school colors, as well as special designs for Lyme disease awareness, breast cancer awareness, Relay For Life, Christmas and popular sports teams. She gives a portion of the proceeds from those sales to Relay For Life of Tracy and the local Crisis Pregnancy Center.
Her mother, Susan Heinrich, is proud of the teenager’s entrepreneurial spirit.
“This process has been fun to watch,” she said. “This is the perfect job for her. Other kids might get a part-time job at a fast-food restaurant or retail store, but because of Samantha’s illness, she can’t do that. I’m proud of her and how she has accomplished her goals.”
Samantha Heinrich will showcase her homemade scarves at the Relay For Life Voices of Hope craft fair at West Valley Mall, 3200 Naglee Road, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7.
Handmade full-length scarves are priced at $20 each or $35 for two. Heinrich also makes small purse scarves that she will sell for $5 each.
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