YET AGAIN!!! Another fabulous friend with a fantastic fashion sense and ambition. (I like to think that if I surround myself with these beautiful and wildly successful women that I, too will become beautiful and successful). Ladies, Kelly of Heidi Hat! Heidi Hat is a legging and hat centered brand, with the most fun, vibrant, crazy, and unique prints for your workout needs. I can’t get enough of these hot-shorts (if I had the courage to wear them) and the ease and oomph of the leggings. LOVE!
How did Heidi Hat come about? When did you get involved with the company — and is it something you always thought you would end up doing?
My mom and I started heidi hat purely as a hobby, years ago, maybe even a decade ago now. We started mixing and matching fabrics and designs, brocades, faux fur, fleece and creating hats and accessories for holiday gifts. Not long after, friends were asking us to design them a hat of their own. Over time, we grew an affinity for yoga, where our designs began to evolve into the yoga world, as we discovered a need for appropriate, chic attire.
The heidi hat brand now includes a complete collection of athletic-inspired clothing and accessories that embody femininity with a comfortable approach, a manifestation of our desire to enhance a healthy lifestyle and active endeavors.
Are you most known for your hats or your bottoms?
Initially, we were solely designing hats, (then on to scarves and other winter accessories). Over time, as the bottom collection was created and evolving, for a bit, they were gaining more popularity than the hats. Now I’d say we’re quite balanced, depending on the seasons and time of year Spring/summertime is all about heidi bottom… the booty shorts, skirts, mini skirts, cropped leggings, while winter is all about cozy hats and accessories. I do get excited when the cold weather stirs, because then I get to pull out my favorite fashionable, warm and soft winter hats/furs, wraps and scarves. I accessorize much more in the winter because I end up wearing lots of darker, solid colors, so our bright and colorful hats and scarves are perfect for brightening up cold winter days and nights.
Where are your products made?
We label heidi hat as “Made in the fashionable USA”; heidi hat is entirely USA-based. Located outside of Aspen, Colorado, our line is eco-friendly, as the collection is completely manufactured and produced not only the United States but in Colorado; hand-sewn by seamstresses that live in the Roaring Fork Valley. From start to finish, the apparel is designed, created, manufactured, distributed from within Colorado; the subcontractors/printing/press services/vendors we associate with are local contractors. All fabrics are sourced from the USA (NYC and LA). We are committed to local manufacturing and production in all aspects, as well as committed to designing and producing apparel that is durable, thus lessening our carbon footprint. Our swimsuit fabrics are high end, quality materials; they are quick drying, flattering, long lasting, and more appropriate for sweating and athletic endeavors.
Do you create your own prints?
We do not create our own prints… yet! (Designing our own prints is a dream!) My mom and I hand pick all of our prints and fabrics, and really, it’s quite easy and fun, because we are very opinionated about what we like. We tend to stick with classy, timeless prints, prints that fit within our favorite genres (leopards, polka dots, paisleys, lace), and we have to touch and feel every fabric before we purchase. We can tell immediately if a fabric/print will work for us by the way it feels.
What and Who are your inspirations?
We have always been artistic, creative and lovers of fashion. Our entire line is inspired by haute couture and runway looks, combined with living in the scenic, athletic, naturally beautiful mountain town of Aspen. Our collection really reflects functional couture, which is quintessential Aspen. We like to take fabrics such as tulle, netting, embellishments/vintage brooches and adorn those details to a simple fleece beanie or classic shaped ski/après hat; or add rhinestones on hot yoga shorts, in order to create something fashionable but completely wearable. We have always loved designers that make a statement with bold, colorful prints and patterns, think Emilio Pucci, Diane Von Furstenberg, Missoni, and we love the eternally classy looks of Chanel.
What is your dream for the company?
With the opening of our first boutique in downtown Aspen, we feel this has really validated us as a business and as a brand. We sell our line in our Aspen boutique, as well as via our website on a global level, and we also have a wholesale business, with yoga studios and women’s boutiques carrying various pieces of our collection. We would love to consider opening up more stores, as well as being carried in larger, more high profile/high fashion stores. We love our direct sales marketing approach and catering directly to the consumer. This has always worked well for us and allows us to pursue more custom individualized sales.We strive on a daily basis to sell more product and promote our brand and what we represent; aiming to make more women feel great about how they look and inspire them to be active, healthy and fashionable.
How do you get the word out?
A great deal of our customer base comes from word of mouth. This may seem as a crazy way to grow, seeing as we are such a small brand, but Aspen is embodies a global, transient locale, with customers who shop heidi hat and then travel the world and spread the heidi hat love, so to speak. And, of course we have a website with e-commerce, so we generate new customers through online advertising and target marketing. But, still, a lot of our loyal customers emerge through friends – friends who wear our product out and about and send new fans our way. We are very lucky and gracious to have the loyal, supportive fan base that we do.
What is your favorite product you sell?
My favorite item changes, depending on my mood, the season, the weather… but for right now, I guess I have a few: For hats, our couture winter collection has been really popular and so much fun to sell, I think because of their unique extravagance but also wearable nature. I always (always) am wearing our hot shorts, whether to yoga, bed, swimming, tennis, and my favorite print is always changing, but today, I’m loving our new missoni-inspired print for hot shorts or leggings. As well as our gem-toned hot shorts (I’m loving the dark navy/rich merlot/eggplant colors: paired with the mallard bandeau top (which adds some shine and brightness to the look).
What makes your product different from the other fitness brands currently on the market?
Our collection is really unique, for one because we are hand made and therefore innately unique. You aren’t going to walk in to your normal fitness/yoga class and see anyone else wearing the same print as you in our cropped leggings or hot shorts. We also pride ourselves on the fit, quality, durability of what we make, so we not only feel good about what we are making but also about our environmental impact. Our fans appreciate the attention to detail we put into both our creations and in doing what we love, and we have a mutually beneficial relationship with our heidi hat lovers. We also only make what we ourselves want to wear. If it doesn’t work for us, we won’t make/sell that particular item.
Do you want to stay in the legging and hat market, or move in a different direction?
We will always be designing to bridge the gap between fashion and function, and as we evolve, we’d love to design more tops, different dresses, various winter accessories and simply expand upon our current line and what our customers already love and appreciate about our collection. And of course, as with any fashion designers… Shoes! Handbags! Home! Heidi no. 5! Why not!
So, do your booty and workout a favor, and get some heidi hat leggings for yourself!