Suggestions needed for selling hats at art festivals.

Last year I took part in an art festival selling jewelry. It was successful so I’ve decided to expand my collection of wares to include crocheted items.

I make a lot of hats ranging from normal to quirky. A lot of people want to try them on just for fun. I’m not bothered by this because I think it’s fun, too. What I am concerned about is lice.

My daughter came home with them once and it was a nightmare. The idea of spreading it or bringing it back home is not a pleasant one, to say the least.

For those not familiar with this “joy”, please do not suggest Lysol. It is not effective. The best way to get rid of lice, on an object like my hats, is to either completely freeze it or to place in a plastic bag for a very long time. Heat also works, but would damage the hats.

When packing up after the show, put each hat into a Ziploc bag and thoroughly sweep off the display table or rack. As time and space allow, freeze each bagged item, not opening the bags until this is done.

Can you have “sample hats” for trying on? That way you only have to freeze or wash a few, as opposed to a potentially larger remainder stock after an event.

Yes, I have plans to do this. My question is more in regards to during the event itself.
As for sample hats? No. Most of the hats I make are one of a kind. The samurai one, for example, was a fun challenge, but not one I’d want to remake anytime soon!

Also, it might be because I’m not an mega expert in crochet, but I one of the biggest difficulties I have is making exact copies of an item. If the tension is even a little different, the size can be off. It might not be much, but even a tiny bit will change the size from “too loose” to “just right”.

Yeah, that makes sense. I crochet, too (have made lots of hats myself!) but I didn’t know how elaborate/one of a kind yours are.

I suppose you could use permethrin spray if you are super worried.

My daughter gives me challenges: ok mom, can you make one that looks like …

Thanks for the advice. I know I’m a bit of a phobic about lice. Just thinking about it makes my head itch. It turns out that out of all in the house, I was the tastiest. Blahhhh!

Best I can come up with is some kind of thin, throw-away shower cap to slip on under the hat. Not sure how you diplomatically ask someone to use them, tho.

That made me laugh.
“Excuse me ma’am, you seem to be that… Sort… of person”

For full effect, I should have opera glasses to look down upon her. :slight_smile:

Hopefully I’m just being a worrywart. The majority of my hats are for adults, so that might curtail a big chunk of my worries.

Call some hat stores and see what they do.

The exact size of almost any “real” hat (not adjustable, not mass produced out of molded plastic, etc.) can vary a little bit from the nominal size, and sometimes that little bit makes all the difference in the world between a good fit and a lousy fit. When I buy a hat I buy the specific one that I’ve tried on – I wouldn’t trust a sample to be precisely the same.

ETA: Even getting a routine haircut can affect the fit.

What you need is some sort of disposable bonnet like medical folks in operating rooms use. Some of those are big and poufy, others are snug fitting. You want snug.

The way to pitch it is NOT that the bonnets are provided so your hats stay clean.

Instead, you’re providing them *gratis *to protect the current hat-trying customer from those filthy *other *people who tried on your hat 5 minutes ago.

Never underestimate the power of germ-o-phobia once it’s triggered by a suitable reminder.

If this event is full of Suburban Soccer Moms my approach will work awesome. If it’s more Rehabbed Old Town Hippie Granola Arty folks, they won’t like the bonnet idea at all.

And then at the end of the day you still need to freeze your hats because not everybody will use a bonnet and after all, you’re germ-o-phobic (or at least lice-o-phobic) too.

Prior to allowing someone to sample the product, shave their head. Involuntarily, if necessary. Effective and fun!

  1. Insist on haircut to try hats
  2. Conveniently have a booth next door that cuts hair for $5
  3. Profit x2 !!

Yes, this is very true. No two hats are ever the same no matter how much I try. Hair is a big issue when trying on hats.