CAMDEN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The struggle many parents face is striking that subtle and often elusive balance between work and family.
Cyndi Prince knew she wanted to be home more when she decided to have her son. She also knew she wanted to use cloth diapers, which have grown in popularity among environmentally conscientious moms in the last few decade.
"You can't use fabric softeners or dryer sheets with cloth diapers because it leaves a film on them," says Prince.
The film makes the diapers non absorbent and can irritate a baby's skin.
So Prince ordered some wool dryer balls online to help naturally soften her laundry. She says after a few uses they fell apart. She thought, 'I can do better than that', and set out to make her own version.
LooHoo was a nickname Prince had endured during childhood (like so many Cindys) from "The Grinch who Stole Christmas'" beloved character Cyndi Lou Who. Her sister suggested the nickname and after resisting, the name stuck.
LooHoo now sells thousands of wool dryer balls in over 250 stores across the country. Prince says the balls not only soften clothes in a more environmentally friendly way but they also cut down on your dry time.
Prince says when she started the company in 2010, she knew she wanted to support the local economy.
LooHoo only uses domestic wool from American sheep farmers. A wool mill Harmony called Barttlettyarns process the wool. Then it is made into a ball like shape at Pieceworks in Montville and then the balls travel down to Camden where Prince felts, packages and ships them from her home.
Prince even gets her 7-year-old son, Graham, to help out.
She says it is nice to show her son that she is an entrepreneur trying to grow her business. Graham is becoming a pretty good sales representative. On top of being featured on the LooHoo box, Graham has taken to talking to strangers about his mom's wool dryer balls. He helps box the balls sometimes, but mainly he likes using them in his elaborate Lego games.
Prince has built her schedule so that she is home when her son leaves and comes home from school. She admits it is hard not to work late into the night sometimes, but it is worth it to be with son more.
"To be a entrepreneur in this state is so wonderful..I think they nurture entrepreneurs here," says Prince.
Prince says she doesn't think she could be doing as well as she has if she were in a different state.
She has been featured in InStyle magazine, HouseBeautiful and was a recipeint of the Spanx Leg Up award.
Currently you can buy her dryer balls on the LooHoo website or at Whole Foods in Portland.