How Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce’s connection started over a friendship bracelet


Taylor Swift fans have famously worn and sold personalized friendship bracelets throughout the US leg of her “Eraaz” tour, usually bearing the names of her songs and albums. So when Swift played at Arrowhead Stadium in July, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said he made a play for Swift by attempting to give her a friendship bracelet with her phone number on it.

“I was disappointed that she doesn’t talk before or after her show because she has to save her voice for the 44 songs she sings,” he told his brother in July on his podcast “New Heights with Jason & Travis Kelce.” Told.

Fast forward to Sunday’s game between the Chiefs and Chicago Bears, when Swift was seen cheering on Kelce in her family suite, wearing a red and white team jacket, next to Kelce’s mother Donna.

Swift’s display of support comes after several weeks of speculation — by various NFL broadcasters and the vast majority of Swifties — that she and Kelce are dating. Although the two have not publicly confirmed any romantic link, Kelce said in an interview with ESPN last week that he finds Swift and the focus on her “hilarious.”

The tradition of selling friendship bracelets at their concerts is inspired by the lyrics of the song “You’re on Your Own, Kid” from their most recent album “Midnights”. Swift sings about making friendship bracelets as a way to connect with others over a shared experience: “Because the pages were turned with bridges burned / All you lose is a step you took / So make a friendship bracelet, take the moment and savor it” / You have no reason to be afraid.”

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Taylor Swift reacts while sitting next to Donna Kelce while watching the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Chicago Bears game during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on September 24 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Throughout the tour, fans and celebrities, including Jennifer Garner, Gigi Hadid, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicole Kidman, and Keith Urban, posed for photos with dozens of bracelets on their arms. As a result, some Etsy shop owners who focus on making friendship bracelets have brought in thousands of dollars.

Jamie Tompkins, for example, works full-time as an events manager in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, but she said she stayed up past midnight to make friendship bracelets for Taylor Swift concertgoers . The 46-year-old mom said she sold more than 5,000 Taylor Swift-themed friendship bracelets on her Etsy shop over the summer, generating nearly $16,000 in sales. “There were weeks when making bracelets paid more than my full-time job,” Tompkins told CNN.

Tompkins, who plans to make more for Swift’s international concert dates, said she got the idea to sell them at her store, Pigtails & Pixiedust, when she had dozens of bracelets left over that she wanted to wear at Taylor Swift concerts. Was not available to give. Earlier this year in Arlington, Texas. Her daughter suggested she list it on her Etsy shop, which typically sells hairbows and headbands for babies and toddlers.

“Eraz Tour has made my business,” said Tompkins, who sells a 5-pack for $15. “My sales were very low before Taylor Swift friendship bracelets became a trend.”

Now she’s saving her earnings to quit her job and focus on running her Etsy shop full time. “As long as people want them, I’ll keep making them.”

Rodrigo Oropeza/AFP/Getty Images

A fan shows a bracelet bearing the name of American superstar Taylor Swift before her performance at Foro Sol in Mexico City on August 24, 2023.

However, for Amy Peterson, selling Taylor Swift friendship bracelets is a necessity. Peterson is using the funds from her new Etsy shop, Sunshine Bracelets, to help repay a $5,500 loan she took out to pay for four tickets to Swift’s Nashville show. Like other Etsy shop owners, she put her leftover friendship bracelets online and has made about $1,800 so far. Peterson plans to put even more effort into her international exposure.

“We still have some ways to go to get our money back,” Papson said, adding that moving to Nashville was a dream for her and her children. “I turn on my headlamp at night, listen to Taylor Swift, and make bracelets for eight hours straight. I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.”

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