Do you get overly attached to some of your hats?

There are times when I think I have an unhealthy attachment to my hats.  I want each and every hat to go to a good home where they will be appreciated.  I didn't realize how important this was to me until I recently sold one of my free form hats that I had lovingly formed, stiffened and added touches of what I considered beautiful lace.  I sold the hat at an event where several women had commented about how beautiful and unique it was.  Several tried the hat on and found it beautiful, but out of their price range. The woman who purchased the hat was in a hurry, grabbed the hat and plopped it on her head, looked at me and said, "I guess this will do."  I smiled and asked how she would like to pay for the hat, processed the transaction, lovingly packaged my baby, and handed it to her. This was one of my higher priced hats, made from quality materials. She flung it over her shoulder and hurried off.  I wanted to grab my hat back and hide it out  of her reach.Only moments before it had been touched so lovingly by others who were very careful not to damage it, knowing the price. Do I have a problem, or has anyone else wanted to take down a customer with a flying tackle and reclaim your delicate creation? 

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I make hats for community theater.  I hand them over knowing they will be poorly treated.  I recently went to a production and saw that they had put this long black polyester scarf around my hat and the wired brim was bent in an awkward manner.  I had that hot flushed feeling.  The actress later told me how much she liked the hat.  I bit my tongue.  I felt like charging her with rape of an inanimate object, but I didn't.  Instead, I told her how much I enjoyed her performance and urged her to keep the hat.  She was delighted.  

Yeah, I get where you're coming from, Bridget.  :)

LOL I was hoping I wasn't the only one.  I know it is *gasp* just a hat, but it was obvious, she had no idea what she was even paying for. When I sell hats to non hat wearing individuals, I try to educate them on the proper hat for their face and stature, care, etc.  I explained the difference in wool felt, fur felt, you know the drill. Most of the women listened carefully and remarked that they appreciated that I had such passion for hat making, and had never thought about all the different elements that were associated with hat making, but this one, well I guess I was talking to a brick wall.

Oh Bridget, I do feel your pain!!! If you take a look at my slideshow, you will see a confection of champagne sinamay, with an oversized seersucker bow. It was the first wide brimmed hat I ever made, and it sold for a mere $210.00, which was fine for the time and materials. A woman bought it in Oklahoma, to wear to her wedding.  As her wedding date approached, I still hadn't heard how she liked her hat, so I followed up with an email, saying that I assumed the hat had arrived by now, and how did she like it?? She responded TWO days before the wedding that it had NOT arrived!! I flew into a panic!!  WHY had she not contacted me? So, I tracked the hat with USPS, and the hat was listed as having been delivered.  I wrote her back with that information, and as it turns out, they had tried to deliver it, and left her a notification. Which she apparently never saw.  Maybe I'm crazy, BUT if my wedding hat had not arrived, one would think I'd contact the seller?????!!!! That hat sat in her post office for 23 days!!!!!!!!!!  Finally her daughter wrote me and said her mother got the hat.  NO thank you, NO "it was beautiful",  NOTHING, NADA, ZILCH!!!!!!   I envision my beautiful hat, now tossed into the corner of her closet with piles of shoe boxes fallen on top of it!! Your feeling are justifiably valid!!! We put a lot of love and good karma into our hats!!!  And like puppies and kittens, they deserve good and loving homes!! Nothing sadder than an abused pet or beautiful hat!! I just don't get some people!!!!

I know a lady who makes wedding cakes, and she says she's amazed that people aren't more complimentary.  She gets loads of return business from the same families and referrals, so she knows she is doing a good job.  She is always paid for her work.  I guess some people just aren't very emotive.  

I could not imagine not following up, if my wedding hat had not arrived.  I don't want to imagine such a beautiful hat under a pile of shoes and boxes.  I am going to imagine that your hat is lovingly packed in a sturday hat box waiting for a daughter or grandaughter that it will be passed on to.


Or - even if it is buried under a pile of shoes and boxes - 100 years from now a young woman will unearth the hat as an archaeologist who just discovered a rare find!  It will become *her* prized possession.  

Well, Cynthia, by that time it will be a flat dish hat!!  Soem have tried to console me by saying that maybe it was her 3rd marriage!! LOLOL!!  I can make no sense of that situation!!!

I looked at your photos.  That is a really pretty hat, alright.  :)

Thank you so much Cynthia!!  I loved making that hat!!!

Dear Bridget, I don't think it's an unhealthy attachment at all! It's simply the curse of being a passionate artist. :) I spent 10 years in the commercial design world and even after years of design school hammering into me "Don't get married to your designs!", it still happens. The customer has no idea how many hours we have painstakingly toiled over choosing the materials and molding them to the perfect form...and basically, they just want to walk away with something pretty and well made. I would have felt the exact same as you (heart in throat)- we all want our babies to go to a good home and be adored! I have a few pieces in my collection right now that will be so hard to part with - the customer won't know (or care) about the dead stock vintage materials used that are super hard to source. *sigh*. That's not to say that all customers will be that way, by any means. In fact, I think the majority of customers who are willing to pay for one-of-a-kind artwork respect it for what it At least we're in it together! XOCara

Makes me so very, deeply, humbly grateful for the handful of adoring customers that really get my work!!!!! Wish I could clone them!!!

You are so right, Cara. Every time I think about it, I remind myself of all the customers who commented about the "unbelievable" quality of workmanship.  At least some people understand a little about the difference between a well made product and a stamped out assembly line product.


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