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Rainbow Loom … Ask Its Creator!

October 4th, 2013

Photo credit: HTE Kids' News

Rainbow Loom fans! Have you had a pressing question about the Rainbow Loom? About a stitch, the loom itself, or how it was invented in the first place? Anything. What’s on your mind about it? Now you get to ask away!

Rainbow Loom creator, Choon Ng, has kindly agreed to take 20 questions from Here There Everywhere — Kids’ News readers!!! That’s you! Yay!

The deadline for submitting questions is Friday, October 18. Please read the rules and guidelines at the end of this post.

In the meantime, here’s a piece about Rainbow Loom, its inventor, and the great story behind it.

by Caroline Dunn

There’s a pretty good chance that by now you know what a Rainbow Loom is — those little plastic pegs that helps you create endless amounts of twisty bracelets out of tiny colorful rubber bands. You might even have one … or two.

It’s the latest craze that’s sweeping the nation.

Why? What makes you love these bracelets so much, that you sit peacefully afternoon upon afternoon creating “starburst” or “fishtail” weaves? Even choosing to do this over playing flashier, glitzier video games?

Rainbow Loom inventor Choon Ng (third from left) and his family. Photo courtesy of Choon Ng.

The answer lies beyond the product itself with its creator, Choon Ng.  Ng is a 45-year-old immigrant from Malaysia, of Chinese descent, who until recently worked as a crash test dummy safety engineer in Michigan. At home, he noticed his daughters making rubber band bracelets on their fingers. Eventually, vague trappings of an idea began to form in the recesses of his head: a plastic loom toy that would help weave the rubber bands into bracelets.  Unlike most people, who think of innovative ideas but never act upon them, Ng got to work on it, visualizing the toy that would become the Rainbow Loom.

If only it had been that easy.

Ng faced all the predictable hurdles at first, convincing his spouse, finding the time, and finding the money. The Ng family risked their life savings and daughters’ college money to manufacture his looms in the hopes his idea would catch on. However, when the first shipment arrived, the rubber bands were coated in dust and the hooks for the looms were too large. In his opinion, he could never sell these products to the public.

He persisted, carefully hand washing the rubber bands first in a bathtub, then later in his washing machine, drying them with way too many towels. Then he pounded all the hooks into the proper shape, which took more hours than imaginable.

Still, no interest.

Then a local Learning Express store purchased a few, played around with it, saw its potential, and helped spread the word. Sandie Paradiso, a Senior Buyer and Product Developer at Learning Express told HTE Kids’ News, “It’s open-ended, it’s gender-neutral, and it’s something that all children or all ages and all skill levels can do. The kids who previously said they’re not good at arts and crafts can make something they’re proud of.”

It has also inspired entrepreneurialism and charity: kids make them for friends, to sell, or to raise money for charity. The appeal also extends beyond the next new fad, having a more old-fashion appeal.  Unlike high-tech computer games, you use relatively simple tools, follow a few simple steps … and, most importantly, add your own originality and imagination.

Caroline Dunn is  high school sophomore. She has a passion for reading and hopes to become a writer one day.  She is delighted to be writing for HTE.  (Editor’s note: HTE is thrilled to have her!) Some content for this piece was reported on from Reuters and the New York Times.

Please submit your question for Rainbow Loom inventor, Choon Ng, in the question/comment box below. Please include ONLY your first name, and your age and state if you like. If you are under 13 years old, you MUST have your parent/adult submit your question for you. That’s the law. A special thank you to Choon Ng for giving his time to answer your questions!

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32 Comments on “Rainbow Loom … Ask Its Creator!”

  • Ben J. says:

    Where did you get the idea for Rainbow Loom?

  • Melissa G. says:

    How do you create rainbow loom so that kids can make their own jewlry

  • Caroline says:

    Hi Ng,

    Other than making braclets, are there any other things you could do with the Ranbow Loom, llike say, weave a quilt, but instead of using rubber bands, using “thread bands”?

    Thanks,
    Caroline

  • Ac says:

    How did u come up with that idea

  • Ariana C. says:

    How did you make the rainbow loom? Was it hard to make?

  • Ryan says:

    So with all the popularity what would you say how far you have come

  • Camryn D. says:

    Hi,where can I bye a pack ? How much are they

  • Katherine R. says:

    I like them they are cool to make also i can make them into haedbands and I can make fishtail head bands and i can make looped headbands!!!!!!!!……..!!!!!!!!

  • Zoe says:

    Are you planning on making any changes to make the product better?

  • moira says:

    how long do you think the popularity of rainbow loom lst ?

  • Faith says:

    Hi I’m Faith I’m a friend of katherin R. We both make rubber band bracelets. She has over 1,000 bans. Our favorite is double fistail. We actuly have a busnes it’s called K&F’s jewly. We sell single and double fishtail, and looped. How did you come up with the idea of rubber band braclets? I love making them so please keep up the grate work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • TRENT says:

    ARE YOU GOING TO INVENT ANYTHING ELSE SIMILAR.

  • gavitar says:

    your sooooooooooooooo cool im sooo happy that u made deese \

  • Cyndi says:

    Are you the only one who thinks of the different designs for your bracelets, or do you have other people come up with them? The stores around my house are always out of bands. how long ago did you come up with the idea, and how long did it take before it was the thing everyone was doing? Do you still own your idea and Patton, or have you sold it?

  • Jeffrey says:

    What was your biggest discouragement in the development/marketing areas and how did you overcome it to your satisfaction?

    And thank you for creating something the whole family can do and learn/build skills from.

  • Sophia says:

    What is your personal favorite pattern and color of rainbow loom bracelets?

  • Danielle says:

    I love rainbow loom. It is so cool. My questions “How did you come up with all the different patterns?”

  • Mark says:

    Did you come up with all the names for each pattern? I love rainbow loom by the way.

  • Neily says:

    Did your kids inspire you to make the Rainbow Loom?

  • Alex says:

    Hi I love your bracelets! So cool I want to learn how to do that!

  • KatieJane says:

    Since this was really YOUR idea (with the help of your daughters and permission from your wife), how can you make sure nobody else takes your idea and makes a “generic” loom or a “knock-off” one?

  • Cyndi Yeckel says:

    Our 5th period 6th grade World Cultures class Would like to ask you some questions. Thank you for taking the time to answer questions.
    How many different kinds can you make?
    How many colors do they come in?
    Why did you do it and risk the money?
    Do you know how to make any other band bracelets without the looms?
    How many bracelets has he made himself?
    How long does it take to make one?
    Is it possible to make multiple bands at the same time on the same loom?
    How is your idea different from others who have band bracelet kits?
    Are you going to invent something else?
    Is it hard to make one the first time?
    Is it hard to get the idea?

    Do you make them daily?
    How many can you make an hour?

  • Alex says:

    How did you invent this?

  • Cyndi Yeckel says:

    Our 3rd period World Cultures class in Trenton, OH would like to ask a few questions.
    Do you make them daily?
    Is this your only invention?
    How long does it take you to make one?
    What made you think this would sell?
    What year did you come up with this idea?
    If it wasn’t for your daughter would you have thought of Rainbow Looms?
    How much money did it cost to start your investment?
    How long was it before all the hooks were the same size?
    How do you think of the different designs? Do other people help think of designs?
    What do you hope to accomplish by selling Rainbow Looms?
    Have you made one yourself?
    How many designs can you make?
    How many designs are there?
    Did you care about other competition? Do you have a Patent on this idea?
    What was the plan if they would not have sold?
    How long did it take before you sold one?
    How much money did it take to start out?

  • Lucie says:

    What inspired you to make rainbow looms, and where did you get this Idea from? Also, did the brand fun loom copy your idea?

    Thank you for taking the time to look at this, and I hope you answer. I love rainbow looms and they are a huge hit.

  • Mrs. D'Amato says:

    From Mrs. D’Amato’s 2nd grade class:
    How many days did it take you to make the loom and how hard was it to make it?
    How did you make up all the different stitches?
    How/why did you decide to call it “Rainbow Loom”?

  • Makayla, age 6 and Rohan, age 11 with LitWorld says:

    How did you know this specific process would make a bracelet in the
    first place? How long did it take?

    Can you tell him rainbow loom is awesome!!

    Can you make rainbow looms that glow in the dark or have flashers on them?

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