I believe quality products made by real people with real passions can become more than the sum of their parts. My goal is for people to feel a connection with me through the hats I make them. I want them to see my love for hats with their eyes and feel the quality of my products in their hands and on their heads. More importantly, I want them to feel joy and pride through my work.
Today's hats aren't made they way they used to be. Hand crafted, made to measure hats have become a luxury of the past.
The large scale industrialization of the hat industry has squeezed out custom hat makers. My desire is to bring that luxury back.
On my journey of hat making, I have acquired a small amount of hatters tools that allow me to make hats in a very limited amount of sizes.
I am looking to greatly expand my hat making capabilites with this Kickstarter. I will use over half of the funds raised to purchase 27 crown blocks in different sizes and styles, 18 brim flanges, 9 banding blocks, raw materials such as felt, ribbon, sweatbands and fabric. The other half will be spent on various tools that will help me achieve the same quality of product I currently produce but in a much faster time. Some of these tools include a table top crown spinner. This machine would turn the block with a motor allowing me to sand and iron the hats in a more efficient fashion. Currently, I am turning my hats by hand which takes several hours, this table top crown spinner could cut my finish time almost in half. I also need a professional steam iron to help set the felt on the crown and brim blocks. The clothes iron and old seven pound SAD iron I use are cumbersome and inefficient. One of the tools I look forward to purchasing the most is a hot foil stamping machine. This tool would allow me to emboss my leather sweatbands with gold lettering be this for my logs or personalized messages.
The hot foil stamping machine will also allow me to stamp, in gold, our signature skyline logo in the crown liners I make. While this simple machine will do nothing to improve the overall quality of my hats, it will greatly elevate its style.
For this campaign, I will offer a series of rewards ranging from small items such as stickers or key fobs to larger items such as rabbit or beaver fur hats. Most reward items will be limited to this kickstarter campaign only. They are the Kansas City Hatters logo stickers, key fob, t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, full zip hoodie and limited edition Gambler Hat.
Lets take a look at our pledge rewards and the choices you will have within them. The lowest reward for this campaign is our circle and skyline logos as stickers. Both stickers are clear and will look great on just about anything you place them on.
The Kansas City Hatters key fobs are made in-house out of genuine leather with a custom die I had made specifically for this reward.
Our T-shirts and long sleeve shirts are made of a soft, high-quality cotton with screen printed logos. They will be available in sizes small through extra large and the colors light grey, white, dark blue and black. These shirts do run a bit small and shrink a little in the wash. I would advise ordering one size up from what you usually wear.
Another pledge reward we are proud to offer is a full zip hoodie made from high-grade cotton with our skyline logo over the heart and stylized hat on the lower right sleeve. The hoodie is available in sizes small through extra large and the colors dark grey, dark blue and black.
The rabbit and beaver fur hats for this campaign will be offered in seven of the most poplar colors. Those being black, midnight blue, dark moss, grey, pecan, whiskey and sand.
The crown style offered in this campaign will come with one of the four featured styles pictured below.
These shapes give you a variety of flexibly with your style choice. The diamond crown is my personal favorite and harkens back to the hats of the 30's. Both the center dent and tear drop crowns give you a look that works just as well with dress as it does casual wear. The open crown is possibly the most versatile shape, it can be worn as is or be shaped by you for a personal touch.
You will also have the choice of black, chocolate brown, wine, champagne or classic white for your crown liner. The fabric I will use for this is a thick, luxurious bridal satin. It drapes nicely and has a beautiful natural sheen.
The last exclusive reward for this campaign is The Gambler fedora. This hat is a copy of my daily wear and is made from 50X beaver and rabbit blended western weight fur felt.
A 4" diamond crown and 2 1/2" brim with 3/8" curl make this hat perfect for both dress and casual wear. The ribbon used for this hat is special, it is vintage 1930's ribbon from France and the last 15 yards left of it in the world are in my possession. I will be keeping 5 yards of this ribbon for my own personal use but the remaining 10 yards will be used to make five limited edition hats for this campaign.
This hat is the only one I will be offering with a brim binding. I sew the brim bindings on by hand, a meticulous process which takes me an average of five hours per hat.
Another unique feature of The Gambler is the hidden stitches I place into the kick bow. With no discernible stitching, the bow looks like it is resting on the side of the hat holding the distressed mini playing cards up by luck.
Finally, the backside of each sweatband will come numbered 1 through 5 with a personalized handwritten message.
Thank you so much for your support in making my dream a reality.
Risks and challenges
Starting a business is always a scary and exciting experience. I am using this kickstarter as a bench mark to help me decide if this is something I would be able to pursue full time. I feel blessed to have found something that brings me so much joy and truly believe it will bring joy to others as well.
If this campaign is successful, I will need to hire an accountant and lawyer to help me set up the legal and accounting side of my business. I am an artisan and know my craft well, bringing others around me to help bridge the knowledge gaps I have in those areas is the best thing to do.
There is a possibility that my company could grow faster than I will be able to keep up. That is probably the best worst case scenario. If that does happen I will be looking to get a second set of hands to help out around the shop.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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