This hat that I had found in Paris, I started to ship it around to different people and people were really kind. My career started off of the general generosity of people’s time like yours.
There was a lot of generosity in terms of people from the factories—and I was cold-calling cowboys in Texas—and people like Amish people in Pennsylvania. I’m like, “You guys wear hats. Where are you making them?”
Everyone did think I was a little peculiar that I wanted to make a men’s dress hat for women and try to make it bring it to mass and bring it to market on its on a place that I could scale it.
It was really just persistence. If people told me no, anyone on my team will tell you, “Okay, just watch her.”
So I ended up finding a factory—which was essentially cowboy hat makers—and I was like, “This is what I want to do.” I used that hat that I had found and that malleability and in the softness. I was like, “I want to make it wearable. I don’t want something that you could break a glass window with. Let’s make it soft.”
After a lot of pushback, someone agreed to make it for me. I could only afford I think it was six samples. That’s what I had to launch the brand.
I sat on them for a while, because I was scared. I felt like I didn’t have what it took to do this.
Then all of a sudden, press wanted it. I’m at my dad’s house. I’m just like, “Holy cow, this is really insane.” Then Barney’s email me and they were like, “Send me this line sheet.” Of course, I had to figure out what the heck they were talking about, but they were my first retailer.