The heidi hat
My trucker hats were born on the river. I started stand-up paddle boarding a few years ago. My friend and I were out every weekend chasing desert winds and river swims. We were poor and could barely afford the gear, but between sponsorships and hand-me-down equipment, we made it work. It’s hot in the Utah desert even if you are on the river. Some things are essential; drinking water, snacks and sun protection. We scored some foam trucker hats from some sponsors and from the moment we put them on our sopping wet heads we were addicted. They were perfect for the river. They provided shade, but with the mesh they stayed cool. They acted as a swamp cooler when wet and would float so we could retrieve them after a swim in the rapids. Plus they made “river hair” a style we’d rock at the sushi bar at the end of a long day’s paddle. The only down side was we could only get our hands on simple branded hats or basic screen print designs, nothing really unique. I had a lot of pent-up creative energy at work so I decided I’d start designing my own truckers. I researched possible ways of getting them manufactured… and I hit a wall. It turns out in order to place an order overseas you have to order a minimum of 100 hats. This would be fine if I could have ordered multiple designs in that 100, but unfortunately they had to all be the same. This limited me a lot because I was broke and had no idea which designs would sell or not. About this same time I learned about a fabric printing company that would print one yard of fabric at a time. SO I put computer knowledge, creative handiness and basic sewing skills to work. I developed a system that allowed me to print just a few “panels” that I could hand sew onto the front of a trucker. Hence the tagline “Hand Sewn with love and curse words”. I put them up for sale online and over time I had more demand for hats than my fingers could keep up with so I enlisted the help of some local women to sew. We sewed and sewed and sewed! to the point where I could hire a gal to help for a whole summer just prepping and sewing hats. Before this project the hats available for women were scarce, limited and seemingly ALWAYS pink. I wanted more variety, and If I wanted it then other women probably wanted it too. So I created truckers for women that were all different with fun full bleed graphics that were mostly not pink. There’s just no need to sacrifice style while adventuring. We should love the gear we tromp around in.
About a year in we were getting some feed back that some ladies just couldn’t wear the regular sized truckers. It was just too tall and wide for tiny lady heads. We set about to fix this. Luckily enough there were youth sized truckers that were exactly the same as our regulars but slightly smaller in the dome and with a shorter bill. We dubbed them as Tiny-Lady-Head Size.
In the summer of 2018 we opened up a small shop in Oakridge, a small mountain biking town in Oregon and I heard those glorious words again and again…
“OMG Truckers! There are so many deigns I just can’t decide!!”
Today the hats are still going strong. We mostly do festivals and custom jobs for women’s events. People ask why I don’t get them manufactured now that we have more demand. The truth is I feel like we’ve created something special, the look and feel of Heidi Hats are unique. You know lots of effort, love and curse words by me and other local women went into your hat and that means something to our outdoor community.
We’ve added thrift store up-cycling to our line of printed hats and we’ve never had more fun. Salvaged Hawaiian shirt trucker?! Yes please!