Thursday, July 26, 2012

Customer Question: Shipping Safety

For most people it's summer. But for those of us in the fashion industry, which works a season into the future, it seems like fall already and the holidays are just around the corner. I've been finishing samples for our fall/winter collection, making extras of popular styles to have stock on hand, getting packing materials together, etc., all to be ready for the holiday rush which will be here before you know it. Just received this very pertinent question from Facebook fan Traci: 
Can you tell me how on earth do you box and ship these fabulous hats without damaging the feathers?
On most House of Nines Design hats, the feathers are easily removable. I travel often with a box or two of headwear, and have a big collection of hats but not a lot of storage space, so over the years I've had to devise ways to pack hats into the smallest possible space without damage.  When designing a hat, I only permanently affix feathers if it's necessary to the design, so that they may be removed for packing separately.
Removed feathers can be laid flat in the box with the hat for shipping or travel. The feathers are less likely to be damaged that way than sticking up out of a hat, and not as large of a box is required, so the hat is smaller to store and cheaper to ship. Except for the largest hats (for which there are not gift boxes large enough), I always double-box for maximum safety. I pack each hat carefully in a gift box padded with tissue, and then put that inside a larger shipping box lined with packing peanuts. I've never had a hat damaged in the mail yet, so it seems to be working! (knock wood)
Thanks for the question, Traci. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New for Fall: 'Johnnie' Prototype

As you may have gathered, small top hats are my best-selling style. Over the years, I've collected a few different sizes and shapes of mini top hats, to suit different sizes and shapes of people. I've had the 'Johnnie' style around for a little while but up until now have mostly just used it for custom work. With its shorter height but almost-full-size headsize, it's been universally flattering to the people who've tried it on (unlike some of the other top hats, which tend to look best on a particular type of face). It's coming into ready-to-wear rotation for the fall. Here's a prototype of the new style.