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From Heartbreak to Hatmaker: How This Lady Discovered a New Like to Make Cash

In 2016, heartache led Teressa Foglia to her true ardour — hatmaking.

“I went by way of a very exhausting breakup, and I simply couldn’t be in California anymore,” she says. Every thing there jogged my memory of him, and I used to be only a mess, and I needed to get away. I really like Europe, and I might been doing lots of journey previous to that, so I simply booked a one-way ticket.”

You would name it a sabbatical. Foglia, now 30, paid for it by working as a contract digital advertising and marketing guide. She began in Barcelona, Spain after which traveled to Stockholm, London, Rome, Paris and all the way in which down the coast to Croatia. Nevertheless it was within the south of France that she fell in love once more.

“I at all times cherished hats, and I believed it will be enjoyable to go to France for the week and see how they really make handmade hats,” Foglia says.

She took a week-long millinery course to study basic methods like blocking, trimming and stiffening. As an alternative of a brand new somebody, a brand new one thing had simply walked into her life. And it was clear early on that others shared the identical love.

“From the second that I began sporting my hats from the hat-making course, folks would praise me on this hat that I had made,” she says. “Individuals simply began asking me for them.”

The Start of a Enterprise

By way of crowdsourcing, Foglia was in a position to open a storefront in Brooklyn’s Business Metropolis, a enterprise park for innovators. Photograph courtesy of Business Metropolis

When Foglia’s visas expired, she settled down in her dwelling state of New York with a brand new objective in life. Nonetheless, she knew promoting hats at the next value level was going to be difficult. Plus, she wanted a spot to make them. So she crowdfunded cash to open her first store in Business Metropolis, a enterprise park for innovators in Brooklyn, and named it Teressa Foglia. She’s been worthwhile ever since.

Her ethically sourced, sustainably handmade customized hats vary from $300 to $1,500. They’re named after the locations she’s traveled, folks she’s met and her favourite musical artist, John Mayer. No two hats are the identical, and no day is alike by way of gross sales. So she hasn’t give up freelancing as a digital advertising and marketing guide — but.  

Foglia laughs as she adjusts the beaver-grade felt hat on her head. “You may spend all the weekend within the retailer and perhaps you might need a buyer or two,” she says. “However then you definitely’re in right here on a Monday morning, simply by your self and somebody [who] noticed your hat someplace simply is available in and orders two customized hats. And also you’re actually enthusiastic about it.”

Foglia makes use of Instagram as a platform to market her merchandise. With 27,000 followers, it’s working. Celebrities like Keri Russell and Jamie Chung have worn her one-of-a-kind creations.

Hat-making With a Serving to Hand

Foglia’s sustainably handmade customized hats vary from $300 to $1,500. No two hats are the identical. Photograph courtesy of Business Metropolis

Foglia has realized she will’t do it alone. As a solo entrepreneur, she depends on family and friends to assist out. Not too long ago, college students have utilized for style internships.

“[In] New York Metropolis, there are such a lot of unimaginable universities, and I’ve… a number of emails a day from college students which can be in search of internships that will like to be part of this,” she says. “I really like having them. My interns, actually, typically I contemplate them my boss.”

Though Foglia works seven days every week, she wouldn’t commerce her new life as a hatmaker for the world. Foglia encourages anybody struggling to search out their ardour to take a leap — in any case, you by no means know the place it could take you.

“I undoubtedly had a imaginative and prescient for one thing, and now we’re simply dwelling it,” she says.

Christie Put up, supervising producer and host at The Penny Hoarder, is at all times discovering methods to make tales visible. You may see the movies she produces on YouTube. Subscribe and provides her a shoutout @christiepost.

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