Reporting Susan Koeppen
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – If you have kids, chances are they are obsessed with the Rainbow Loom.
It’s been flying off the store shelves and kids all over western Pennsylvania have been busy making rubber band bracelets.
So, who invented it? As it turns out, a man in Michigan is behind the latest craze.
“It’s fun for any age and you can do it with your friends,” 10-year-old Rylee Carlson said.
The loom creates a menagerie of rubber band bracelets in different shapes, colors and sizes.
“They’re not that hard to make,” 7-year-old Isabella Marcos said.
Rainbow Looms have been flying off store shelves. Learning Express, which sells the product, even offers looming classes.
“We started selling them and selling them and people kept coming in and buying them and we started classes and it got crazy,” Erin Kelly from Learning Express said.
The craziness all started in Michigan with Choon Ng and his family.
His daughters were making rubber band bracelets with their fingers.
“I went in there and said, ‘Hey, I will show you how to do it,’” Ng said.
However, his fingers were too big. So, he put some push pins in a board and the Rainbow Loom was born.
“I showed it to them and they said, ‘Hey dad, this is so cool. I like it,’” Ng said.
His girls told him he should sell the contraption. After 18 years as a crash test engineer for Nissan, he gave up his job to focus on the Rainbow Loom full-time.
Over two years ago, it was just an idea in his basement. Now, it’s a bonafide hit.
“We are selling 200,000 Rainbow Looms a month,” Ng said.
There are more than 100,000 videos on YouTube teaching kids how to use the loom and how to make the bracelets.
When he first started the project, he was just hoping to put some money away for his kids’ college education.
Pennsylvania is one of the top three states in the country for Rainbow Loom sales.
In the next few months, new colors and a travel kit will be hitting the stores.