I didn’t always make sun hats. In fact, I started out in the fall of 2008 making fleece winter hats for babies with hand stitched appliqués, like this one. That went fine for awhile and I had some success with it on Etsy and through some local shops with consignment. Ultimately, though, I found that I was competing with some really cute knit and crochet hats, ear hats, and all sorts of other cute winter hats. The market was pretty saturated, and when summer rolled around, I decided that I needed to figure something else out.
And it was also around that time that I realized that I was in need of a sun hat for my own baby. I wanted to make a really colorful hat that she could wear with a variety of different outfits, but also a hat that provided great sun protection coverage. At the time, she was around 9 months old and I made a couple for her to try out. When I took her places, my sun hats were an instant conversation piece and I had a lot of people ask me where the they came from.
So I decided to add a couple of the baby sun hats to my Etsy page in early 2009 and they were snapped right up so I started working on a variety of different print combinations. Here’s one of my first sun hats. Early on, I purchased my fabrics retail, from stores here in Austin, Texas. Eventually it became clear that I needed to purchase fabric in bulk quantities and I also wanted to offer a higher quality product so I got some recommendations for fabric wholesalers from a friend of mine also making children’s products. I tried working with several companies, but ultimately the great customer service, high quality of material, and excellent selection of cute prints from Michael Miller won out.
These says I don’t make winter hats except by special request (sometimes I get custom requests from customers I’ve had since those early days). My sun hats have expanded to hats for children (and even adults) and I offer more than just my original floppy design, with conductor caps and bucket caps rounding out the line. I even offer a pattern for my conductor cap so customers can experiment with their own fabric combos.
I’ve grown a lot since 2008 and I appreciate all my customers more than I can express!