Start a Designer Hat Making Business

Start  a Designer Hat Making Business  


Hats can be worn for protection against the elements, for fashion or to cover up a bad hair day. Hats and caps are a popular accessory to accent outfits and to make a personal fashion statement. Become a part of the fashion industry and start your own hat business. You can start a retail store that sells others' hats or design your own.

It is the role of a hat designer to create new design ideas for hats and other headwear. These would traditionally have been made by a milliner, but many of today's hat designers work in both areas.
The type of work produced by a hat designer depends on the market level of the company or client. Those operating on a freelance basis will usually be working in exclusive markets, designing to the client's specific requirements. Those working for a high street shop or chain may spend much of their time liaising with overseas suppliers that specialise in mass production.
Hat designers usually work irregular hours as their workload depends on the number of commissions they have. Those employed by a larger company or hat design franchise may have more regular hours.
Most designers will work in a studio, small workshop or factory. The job is likely to involve travel to trade shows and to meet clients.
A successful hat designer needs:
  • creativity, an imaginative eye and good artistic skills
  • practical hat-making skills and production knowledge
  • a good understanding of colours, textiles and patterns
  • an interest in fashion, design and textiles.
When designing for high street ranges, a hat designer/milliner may spend more time liaising with overseas suppliers that specialise in mass production.
Typically, a hat designer may be involved in:
  • analysing fabric and colour trends
  • liaising with clients, buyers and production teams
  • producing computer-aided and hand-drawn design sketches
  • adapting and modifying existing designs for use in mass production
  • sourcing, selecting and buying fabrics and trims
  • developing samples and prototypes
  • attending exhibitions and trade shows
  • supervising and assessing quality and cost for mass-produced hats.
Cost control is an important element of the job. In mass production, a designer may also need to advise on technical design problems.
The technical process of making hats may involve:
  • cutting fabrics
  • blocking (forming the hat shape using a wooden or aluminium mould or block)
  • using hydraulic machinery to shape mass-produced hats
  • applying specialist chemicals to shape and protect hats
  • sewing pieces together, by hand or machine
  • experimenting with new techniques and fabric dyeing processes
  • adding embellishments and trims.

Skills and personal qualities

A hat designer or milliner needs:
  • creativity, an imaginative eye and good artistic skills
  • practical hat-making skills and production knowledge
  • a good understanding of colours, textiles and patterns
  • an understanding of materials and how they can be used
  • business and marketing awareness
  • excellent communication and people skills
  • knowledge of head sizes and what types of design will suit different face shapes
  • to work well alone or as part of a team.


A hat designer or milliner should be interested in:
  • fashion design and textiles
  • working in a creative and fast-paced environment
  • past and future fashion styles
  • working with his or her hands and developing products.


  1. To Sells Hats

  • Find a niche in the market. Malls across the country already have stores that strictly sell hats as well as department stores and sports-apparel stores that sell hats. Research the market. Visit these stores and discover a niche in the market that is under-served.
  •   Register for sales and use tax through your state department of revenue. It may be required by your state to collect tax as well, as it exempts you from paying taxes on wholesale purchase. Apply for the appropriate business license for sole proprietorship if you are the only owner, partnership if you are going into business with someone else, limited liability company if you want to reduce your personal responsibility, or corporation to create the business as a completely separate entity from you.
  • Seek venture capital to help pay for retail store lease, hat and cap inventory, and to pay employees. Save your own money. In a Huffington Post article, bestselling author Rick Smith writes, "Live off your current job as long as possible. There is no reason you cannot explore and experiment through your entire first year of launching a new business while holding down another full time job."
  • Hunt for retail space to lease. Get applications, rental rates and traffic projections from malls. Request information on kiosk rental if you want to start small and build from there. Find empty lots in shopping plazas. Hire a Web designer to create a website to sell hats online.
  • Find hat and cap wholesale distributors. Ask different retailers who their suppliers are. Get recommendations. If you want to create your own hats, buy materials, sewing machines, and scissors to do them at home. Sketch out your designs and send them to an overseas manufacturer.
  • Gt insurance to cover losses in the event someone steals from your store. Cover yourself from the damages of lawsuits by getting business liability insurance.
  • Post an ad in the classified section of the city newspaper to find employees. Purchase the required workers compensation insurance if your state requires it. Request that they have knowledge of headwear and accessories.

          • Order your first batch of hats from your distributor. Buy hat racks and display cases for your store. Purchase dummy heads to sport your caps in the store.
          Start marketing through local television ads and newspaper ads a month before your store opens. Highlight the best benefits of wearing your hats. In "The Young Entrepreneur's Guide to Starting and Running a Business" Steve Mariotti explains it's important to sell benefits. As an example, he says a hat seller could "sell hats that last long, are washable, fold without wrinkles and come in many great colors."


          Popular posts from this blog

          Start a Jute Sacking Bags Manufacturing Business