Tuesday, June 18, 2024

'Hat bar' trend inspires new local business

Mineral Independent | January 10, 2024 12:00 AM

American clothing designer and style icon, Kate Spade, once said, “A woman can conquer the world with the right hat.”

And with a one-of-a-kind headpiece created by Kimberly Helton’s brand-new business, Hat Envy, you just might be able to. A recent transplant to Mineral County, Helton formed her creative and artsy personalized hat venture after attending a hat bar.

“I’ve always been very crafty and love decorating. I’m always the go-to person for friends and family for decorating advice. I had the opportunity to visit a “hat bar” and just loved the idea, but not the very long drive to get there,” shared Helton.

This intriguing new trend of fashion boutiques across the United States isn’t your normal tavern down the street. A hat bar specializes in the customization of a wool or felt hat, in classic styles like fedoras, and ranchers of various shapes and colors. After picking a hat, then begins the accessorizing. Choose a hat band, and add jewelry pieces, dried flowers or foliage, feathers, lace, beads, or scarves.

But rather than patrons coming to a boutique to make a hat of their own, the workshop will come to them.

Helton remarked, “I had the idea to start something of the same idea but more convenient to access, thus came the idea of bringing it to the customer. I love the idea of women, and men if they’re up for it, being able to put all the worry and stress away for a few hours to enjoy friends and unplug and create something just for themselves.” 

So, Helton’s company, Hat Envy, offers Hat Parties for anything from holiday gatherings, office parties, family get-togethers, or even a Mother’s Day brunch.

“It’s such a fun and different way to celebrate birthdays, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and everything in between,” said Helton. 

Her goal is to have a location in the area to open her hat bar and host everyone there. Her current inventory includes several different styles that are all adjustable.

“I can make any budget work; it doesn’t have to be something you spend a fortune on,” noted Helton.

Her styles are fedora, cordobes, gota, Utah, explorer, and golf. The brims are all similar, the main difference is the top of the hat with some being a little higher and some being shorter.

Helton expressed, “I hear so often things like “I just don’t look good in a hat” or “I’m just not a hat girl”, that is not true! It’s about finding the right style and fit. They can be dressed up or down and add such a fun touch to any outfit. Their popularity seems to keep growing and I love to see that.”

Everything is then secured onto the hat without making it permanent. Helton noted, “I like the idea of you being able to change up a hat you like with different pieces/fabric when you want to whether you DIY or bring it back to me for a refresh.” 

The creative process typically takes anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes depending on how much detail is added on.

Helton established Hat Envy this past fall, with hopes that she will have the opportunity to host many hat parties this year. She and her husband moved to Superior from Lake Havasu City, Arizona in March of 2022. 

“I’ve always been a mountain girl living in the desert. I was able to visit here about 10 years ago and fell in love with it and the community. Throughout the years and visits, I told my husband I couldn’t explain it other than that I felt like this area was where my soul was meant to be.” 

Leaving behind their adult children, and two granddaughters was very difficult.

But her husband has been her biggest supporter. 

Helton added, “He’s put in a lot of hours helping me to source everything from the hats to the brands to the decorations and I feel like we have found some really good resources to get me started.”

Hats off to Helton, who not only relocated to a new state but also took a chance and started up a novel profession. 

“It’s always a scary leap to try something new,” admitted Helton. “Starting a new business is always a leap of faith but I really want to bring something positive to a community that has been so welcoming.”

To check out Kimberly Helton’s business, Hat Envy, you can search for her company name on Facebook. Or you can email her at HatenvybyKH@gmail.com to order a custom hat, or to arrange a private hat party.