Funding Unsuccessful This project’s funding goal was not reached on .
Photo-main
Play
00:00
00:00

Chicago hat manufacturing start-up to produce collection for online retailer Zappos.com and create new jobs in the fashion industry!

Zappos.com selects Tonya Gross Millinery as a 2013 Zappos.com Emerging Designer.  Kickstarter project to produce hat collection to sell on Zappos.com

millinery (mil•li•nery)- the art of designing, blocking and trimming head wear using the finest materials. The word millinery was derived from the city of Milan, known for producing beautiful materials.  

 

Tonya Gross Millinery has produced hats for the cast of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, Season 4
Tonya Gross Millinery has produced hats for the cast of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, Season 4
The Poppy fascinator on Sophia (BMG) by tonya gross millinery for Zappos.com. Photo by Antonio Rivera. Styled by Misha Geno. Hair and make-up by Heather Fredrickson.
The Poppy fascinator on Sophia (BMG) by tonya gross millinery for Zappos.com. Photo by Antonio Rivera. Styled by Misha Geno. Hair and make-up by Heather Fredrickson.
The David trilby on David (Ford Models) by tonya gross millinery for Zappos.com.  Photo by Antonia Rivera.  Styled by Misha Geno. (As mentioned in the video, the David style hat is a reward for this campaign.)
The David trilby on David (Ford Models) by tonya gross millinery for Zappos.com. Photo by Antonia Rivera. Styled by Misha Geno. (As mentioned in the video, the David style hat is a reward for this campaign.)
On Carol, the Cynthia hat from the Kentucky Derby collection for Zappos.com by tonya gross millinery
On Carol, the Cynthia hat from the Kentucky Derby collection for Zappos.com by tonya gross millinery

about my project. 

Hi, Kickstarter! I am Tonya Gross from Tonya Gross Millinery. I am a hat designer, also known as a milliner, based in Chicago, IL. I produce bespoke, couture and ready-to-wear hats for men and women. I am excited about an opportunity that most small businesses like mine dream of; I have the opportunity to produce and sell my collection of hats through online retailer Zappos.com. This collection will be made in Chicago, IL, USA!

Recently, I was selected by Zappos.com for its 2013 Emerging Designer Program, a program initiated by Zappos.com employees to promote up-and-coming designers like myself. In March of 2013, my Tonya Gross Millinery CAPSule Collection for the Zappos.com Emerging Designer Program will be prominently featured by Zappos.com through an online boutique, and through social media and marketing campaigns. I am thrilled for the opportunity to partner with such a prominent online retailer like Zappos.com, and so honored by this distinction. As a fledgling designer, it is the “big break” for which I have worked so hard for many years. 

The opportunity to present my line of hats to such an esteemed buying team, and for my product to be seen by millions of Zappos.com’s customers, is a boon for my hat business and welcomed attention for the US hat industry. This is a unique venture in that I will produce handmade, ready-to-wear hats for a large volume online retailer that are locally produced and plan to hire a talented pool of pattern makers, stitchers, and design assistants drawn from the Chicago fashion industry; I am really proud of this.  But, I need your help to produce this collection.

Special event head piece by tonya gross millinery for the Real Housewives of New Jersey cast, Season 4
Special event head piece by tonya gross millinery for the Real Housewives of New Jersey cast, Season 4

I need your support.  

I start manufacturing hats in February 2013 and I am seeking your help to generate the start-up funds to produce this collection for Zappos.com.  The funds from this Kickstarter project will be used to purchase foundation materials such as woven straw, millinery grosgrain ribbon, trims, hat boxes, and fabrics; the labor to finish these designs; promotional and shipping materials; shipping the finished product to the Zappos.com warehouse; and for the rewards for this Kickstarter project. 

By contributing to my project at the $75 level, you will have your choice of driving cap from my Zappos.com Collection.  The driving cap is one of my favorites in that it looks great on men & women, can be dressed up or downtown, and is my preferred alternative to a baseball cap any- and everyday!  This driving cap will be made for men and women in a variety of colors and fabrics.

The TJ driving cap sample from my Zappos.com Collection linesheet.  One of the rewards for this project, shown here in black linen.
The TJ driving cap sample from my Zappos.com Collection linesheet. One of the rewards for this project, shown here in black linen.
A coffee-dyed men's trilby for the winner of Top Chef Season 9 (and one of the rewards for this project).  Yes, dyed with coffee!
A coffee-dyed men's trilby for the winner of Top Chef Season 9 (and one of the rewards for this project). Yes, dyed with coffee!
Recently added Reward:  a version of the sculptural hat I made for Teresa of the Real Housewives of New Jersey this season
Recently added Reward: a version of the sculptural hat I made for Teresa of the Real Housewives of New Jersey this season
Some of the raw materials I use to produce head wear
Some of the raw materials I use to produce head wear
Some of the raw materials I use to produce head wear
Some of the raw materials I use to produce head wear
In the work room, prepping materials before "blocking" with steam on a hat form
In the work room, prepping materials before "blocking" with steam on a hat form
On Carol, the Charlotte hat from the Kentucky Derby Collection by tonya gross millinery
On Carol, the Charlotte hat from the Kentucky Derby Collection by tonya gross millinery

I am thrilled for the opportunity to begin this journey with Zappos.com and initiate a start-up manufacturing operation that will create jobs in Chicago. I cannot produce this collection without your support.  THANK YOU for viewing this campaign and for your contribution!  

- tonya

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Meeting production goals: My goal is to produce a beautiful collection of handmade hats to Zappos.com and to fulfill orders generated as rewards for this Kickstarter campaign on time and on budget. While I have produced many, many hats, this is the first time I have produced a large volume of hats and the process to make a hand-finished hat takes time. I will try to anticipate these challenges by hiring additional help and communicating with both Zappos.com and the Kickstarter community.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

Ask a question
30
Backers
$3,176
pledged of $11,000 goal
0
seconds to go
Tg_spring_2010.medium

See full bio

  • Pledge $1 or more
    You selected

    0 backers

    As a thank you, a hand written note from me to you! I truly appreciate your help in funding my project!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $20 or more
    You selected

    5 backers

    THANK YOU for support and helping me fight the good fight! You will be mentioned in one of the periodic video updates during the course of the Kickstarter campaign and receive a personalized thank you note from me.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    THANK YOU for support and helping me fight the good fight! For your generous contribution, you will be entered into the drawing to win the "Name a Hat in the tonya gross millinery collection for Zappos.com"! Named after YOU or your sweetie, perhaps?; you will be mentioned in one of the periodic video updates during the course of the project; and receive a personalized thank you note from me.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $75 or more
    You selected

    3 backers

    Thank you from me to you for your generous support with a hand-finished driving cap for male or female from the tonya gross millinery CAPSule collection for Zappos; you will be entered into the drawing to win the "Name a Hat in the tonya gross millinery collection for Zappos.com"! Named after YOU or your sweetie, perhaps?; a mention in one of the periodic video updates during the course of the production; and receive a personalized thank you note from me.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $100 or more
    You selected

    11 backers

    Thank you, friends! A hat for you! This reward includes a hand-finished driving cap for male or female from the tonya gross millinery CAPSule collection for Zappos; you will be entered into the drawing to win the "Name a Hat in the tonya gross millinery collection for Zappos.com"! Named after YOU or your sweetie, perhaps? In addition, you will receive an invitation to the Zappos Collection Launch Party in Chicago in March (sorry, no travel or accommodations are included); a mention in one of the periodic video updates during the course of the production; and receive a personalized thank you note from me.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $175 or more
    You selected

    1 backer Limited (35 left of 36)

    NEW Reward! Limited edition couture hat inspired by those I created for the cast of the Real Housewives of New Jersey on an episode this season! Own a version of the green sculptural head piece worn by Teresa Giudice and Lauren Manzo of the Real Housewives of New Jersey! 4 color options.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $200 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    NEW Reward! BONNIE & CLYDE: TWO hats for you! This reward includes a hand-finished driving cap for male or female AND a straw trilby for male or female from the tonya gross millinery CAPSule collection for Zappos; you will be entered into the drawing to win the "Name a Hat in the tonya gross millinery collection for Zappos.com"! Named after YOU or your sweetie, perhaps? In addition, you will receive an invitation to the Zappos Collection Launch Party in Chicago in March (sorry, no travel or accommodations are included); a mention in one of the periodic video updates during the course of the production; and receive a personalized thank you note from me.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $250 or more
    You selected

    2 backers Limited (48 left of 50)

    Wow! Thank you for your kindness. This reward includes a hand-finished straw trilby for male or female from the tonya gross millinery CAPSule collection for Zappos; you will receive an invitation to the Zappos Collection Launch Party in Chicago in March (sorry, no travel or accommodations are included); a mention in one of the periodic video updates during the course of the production; and receive a personalized thank you note from me. And a hug if you'll let me.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $500 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    Thank you, dear supporter! How can I express my gratitude but with a bespoke, couture hat for you in materials for spring/summer along with a consultation (guidance on fit, choice of embellishment and hat size)? Choose your inspiration for your hat from 3 styles; you will receive an invitation to the Zappos Collection Launch Party in Chicago in March (sorry, no travel or accommodations are included); a mention in one of the periodic video updates during the course of the production; and receive a personalized thank you note from me.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $1,000 or more
    You selected

    0 backers

    Gobsmacked. My favorite word. So applicable here. Thank you. His and His, His and Hers, or two hats for you...maybe for the Kentucky Derby or Royal Ascot? Let's create a pair of bespoke and couture head pieces for you and a partner. The reward includes a consultation for both (for guidance on fit, choice of embellishment and hat sizes); please allow me to thank you in person with an invitation to the Zappos Collection Launch Party in Chicago in March (sorry, no travel or accommodations are included); a mention in one of the periodic video updates during the course of the production; and receive a personalized thank you note from me.

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (30 days)