Sixth-grader creates bows from duct tape to raise money

Dory's bows have proven to be an effective fundraiser. "Moms and dads don't mind spending a dollar or two," said her mother Jami Berry. Dory can customize bows to a client's specifictions.

Dory's bows have proven to be an effective fundraiser. "Moms and dads don't mind spending a dollar or two," said her mother Jami Berry. Dory can customize bows to a client's specifictions.


Dory Berry whips up a duct tape bow in just a few minutes, combining different colors and patterns to create a stylish accessory.

COVINGTON -- They say you can fix anything with duct tape. Sixth-grader Dory Berry is taking that claim seriously, aiming to help restore a dwindling costume fund at Covington Regional Ballet by selling hair bows made of the tough but flexible tape.

It all started when Dory, 11, attended a parent's meeting for Covington Regional Ballet and heard that the costume fund wasn't sufficient to replace worn costumes that need to be upgraded for this season's production of "The Nutcracker." She'd been experimenting with creating wallets and bows from duct tape with her friends, and Dory decided right then and there that she'd turn her hobby into a fundraiser.

"It doesn't matter what size or age you are, you can contribute to help," she said, eyes wide with sincerity, as she sat perched in a chair in her kitchen in front of her supplies and display board containing samples of the various patterns she uses, examples of her work and information about pricing.

The duct tape Dory uses isn't your dad's standard gray roll; she has more than a dozen colors and patterns, including zebra, cheetah, polka dot and tie dye, which can be combined to create a seemingly infinite number of styles. She makes ponytail holders, clips and headbands, and it seems she may be starting a new trend in Covington. The hair accessories are selling like hotcakes.

"We were in Scoops the other day, and this random girl in line was wearing one of her bows," said mom Jami Berry.

The bows are durable and fashionable at the same time.

"They're cute, they're colorful and they're cheap," Dory says of why she thinks her creations are so popular.

Plus, "They're waterproof, so if you want to swim in your hair bow, you can," mom Jami said.

Dory and several of her friends first sold the bows at a Friday night concert on the Square. Together, they've raised $450, enough to purchase one new costume. Dory has raised between $300 and $350 of that. Her goal is to raise at least another $450. The costume fund, which comes out of the Arts Association's budget, is $7,000 short. Dory knows she likely won't make that much money, but she's determined to do the best she can.

Kimberly Wilber is a teacher at Newton County Theme School at Ficquett, where Dory attends school. She and other parents bought bows for their children's soccer team.

"I think it's a very inspiring outreach for the community. Having a sixth-grader decide she wants to do something about the situation, to feel she can do something abut it to change it, to me is really inspiring," Wilber said.

Perhaps even more impressive is that Dory doesn't expect to personally benefit from the sales. Her roles in "The Nutcracker" are that of a party girl and in the Spanish corps, and the money she raises will likely purchase sunflower costumes for other dancers.

But that doesn't matter because, she said, "We're all like a big family, so we need to support each other."

Dory sells headbands and clips for $2 and ponytail holders for $1. She will next be at Ficquett's fall festival on Oct. 8 and the Friday night concert on Oct. 14. She can custom design bows based on the customer's preference. For more information, or to place an order, visit Bows for Ballet on Facebook or email BowsforBallet@gmail.com.