Philadelphia entrepreneur introduces world's 1st yarn vending machines

Emani Outterbridge turned her skill into a full-blown business at Parkway West High School.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Crochet is heating up on Instagram, a treasured trend with a sizzling new following thanks to Philadelphia's so-called crochet influencer.

The young Philadelphia entrepreneur introduced a new business model: the world's first yarn vending machines.

Emani Outterbridge's latest hot pink venture is at Cherry Street Pier.

Outterbridge, 25, has been crocheting since she was 12 years old.

She started while spending time in a residential facility for girls because of truancy.

Outterbridge turned that skill into a full-blown business at Parkway West High School.

RELATED: This Philly designer created the first yarn vending machine in the country!
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Emani Outterbridge has created the nation's first yarn vending machine, and her clothing is catching the eyes of celebrities around the country.



"I was making headbands, but I called them head warmers," Outterbridge said. "They were five dollars. One day a girl would order one, and then five."

She was also her best walking advertisement, wearing her own designs and then taking orders.

Outterbridge is now what she calls a crochet influence, and the custom orders are multiplying.

"You see the Philly girls, people in New York, California, everybody was wearing my pieces. It was crazy," she said.

Even celebrities, like Cardi B, were on board.

Outterbridge now operates four hot pink vending machines filled with skeins of yarn, the first the world has seen.

"I just keep saying I want to keep moving the needle literally, in the industry," she added.

The vending machines are stocked with Outterbridge's custom-dyed colors, with fun names like Birthday Cake, Fruity Pebbles, Moon Rock, Pucci Punch, and Prada Party.

Outterbridge wants everyone with a vision to know that every success starts with that first thread.

"That's my slogan: a string to my dream," she said. "It starts with a piece of string."
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