This Fairview High senior may only be 17, but she’s making a name for herself in the outdoor industry.

Alyssa Feinberg is pretty similar to most teenagers out there. The rising senior at Fairview High School plays piano and violin as extracurricular activities, and she loves the outdoors in Colorado — racing mountain bikes through the summer and fall seasons. Oh, and she started her own company last year. So maybe she’s a step ahead of most 17-year-olds.

Happi Headware launched in June 2017, inspired, by her own simple need to tame her voluminous curls, “Happi Headware was inspired by my crazy, curly hair,”  Feinberg says. “I’ve always struggled with my hair in my face when I’m riding and especially after riding. The “helmet hair” was always a constant problem. Headbands were always my solution but one day after purchasing a headband at a ski area, I thought why not make my own?”

The headbands, made of a thick, elasticated material, are decorated with photos of the great outdoors. But the beautiful photographs and the unique style of the bands isn’t Feinberg’s primary concern, “It’s a lot of trial and error making sure that the fabric used is comfortable and functional to ensure that the headbands don’t only look good, but also fit and feel good,” she says.

Feinberg’s small business has been largely led by herself, though she says the process hasn’t always been smooth sailing, “I basically just worked to create a product, and then created my website myself — which was a lot of googling! To get my product into stores, it took a lot of emails and calls that never got returned, but I’m very grateful for the people willing to give my product a chance!”

And while there’s no doubt that a teenager starting her business is all kinds of impressive, Feinberg says that sometimes her age has been a sticking point for possible business connections. “I’ve really been surprised about how many people aren’t willing to listen to me because of my age,” she explains. “I’ve found that when I introduce myself and am asked my age, people think that starting a business is “cute” and that I’m not serious about what I’m doing.”

And Feinberg says it isn’t just headbands on the horizon, “I’m hoping to grow Happi Headware into not just a headband company but a brand that people look to for inspiration in the outdoors, as well as providing the activewear they need to get outside and explore.”


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