Charlotte Runner Mary Countryman Makes Unique Headbands

03/27/2017 - 05:20

IMG_8329.JPG(Editor’s note: Running Journal became aware of unique and beautiful headbands produced by someone called “Greeciegirl” that provide extra moisture wicking, are non-slip, and are properly sized to your head. We tracked down the maker in Charlotte, NC, and asked her to write about her company. Here is her story.)

By Mary Countryman
CHARLOTTE, NC — Running is my passion. I grew up in Upstate New York with my four brothers and sisters. I was not a runner growing up, never did track, but did enjoy swimming, riding my bike, and skiing.
In 1998 my husband and I moved to Greenville NC so I could finish school. I changed careers in my early 30s and became a Radiologic Technologist. It was after the birth of our son in 2001 that I got serious about my fitness journey. I gained 60 pounds during my first pregnancy and I wanted to shed the weight the right way, so I started running/walking on the treadmill. I saw a flyer a few months later for a 5K in town and decided to sign up for it. After crossing that finish line I was hooked. I fell in love with running. Pregnant with my second child in 2003, I ran the whole time with our daughter until a week before she was born, gaining only 30 pounds with her. It was running that kept me fit and healthy during this pregnancy.

To date, my Running Journey consists of 11 marathons (one being an ultra-marathon), 29 Half Marathons, and I’m currently training for my first 70.3. It was after the Savannah (GA) Marathon that I decided to start making headbands. I had attended the expo the day before and bought a couple of different headbands. I had lost one of them soon after because it fell off and the other gave me a headache. So with a friend’s sewing guidance, plus some extensive research on fabric, I set out to make a headband that was unique and practical. I turned our dining room into a sewing room, used our table for second.jpga sewing table, and the only thing left was to pick a cool name. I wanted something unique, and I kept coming back to Greece and the Marathon that started it all. Years ago I attended a Greek Festival in Upstate NY and completely fell in love with the culture. So it was only fitting that my two passions should be combined. GreecieGirlHeadbands was born.

How do you start a company?. I was scared to death. I didn’t want to use money we needed to pay bills and feed our kids. What if people didn’t like my headbands? I knew several people who used Etsy to sell their handmade goods but I wasn’t sure if it was the right avenue for me. In the end I knew that I would try it out small and if it didn’t work I would at least know that I gave it my best shot. I started out just like everyone else, a few items listed with friends and family members  testing  them out. I didn’t like the first prototype I designed. With so much competition in this industry I knew that my headbands had to be different. A friend suggested I do something with the edges because it didn’t look finished. I agreed, but I wanted something more; I wanted something to give it a uniqueness, something to make it stand out so people would know it’s a GreecieGirlHeadband. So I added another layer of moisture wicking, because — let’s face it — who can’t use more help to absorb sweat? I made sure that the wicking would match some part of the pattern on top to finish the look. So GreecieGirlHeadbands became a high quality, high functioning headband that is nonslip because they are also custom fit. Everyone’s head size is different, but if you measure your head for accurate sizing you will have a headband that will last a really long time. I have customers often tell me that the quality of my headbands are wonderful and that they still look brand new even after months of washing and wearing. With the success of my Etsy shop I felt it was time to expand to a website to be able to reach a larger audience.
With the help of Social media I gradually got my name out there. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook have all been great avenues. People were finally finding me. I was asked to attend triathalon events, running expos, and was even invited to the ESPY awards gift-giving suite in LA. I was thrilled to be able to attend and present my headbands to sport athletes and stars. It was also this past year that I was part of Runners World's online gift giving guide for Her Christmas List 2016. Things are happening and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Next up is my Fitness Apparel line. I have started working on motivational and inspirational fitness T-Shirts and Hoodies. I want to inspire people and let them know anything is possible if you just believe in yourself and keep moving. I have met so many wonderful people on this journey and I couldn’t be more thrilled knowing my trust in God has brought it to me.

See Mary’s items at her GreecieGirlHeadbands website: 

Photo 1: "Model Kayley” shows one of the GreecieGirlHeadbands.
Photo 2: Mary Countryman, founder of GreecieGirlsHeadbands
 Photo 3: “Model Kayley” shows another of the GreecieGirlHeadbands
Photo 4: T-Shirt with a headband from


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