Wednesday, September 15, 2021

National Felt Hat Day

Today is National Felt Hat Day and I thought that I'd mark the occasion by paying homage to my first business endeavor, making customized mouse ear hats.

I've shared the origins of Happily Ever Hatter before.  I customized Disney's felt mouse ear hats for a few years before stepping back to make way for creating 3D printed ears full time.  At first, I missed making ear hats, but the truth was that I just didn't have time to make them anymore.  Most of my ear hats and supplies have all been put away for a few years, but recently I've been doing a lot of thinking about their future.

At this point, I think that I've retired my customized ear hats for the most part- at least on the business side of things.  Before I put them on the back burner, making them was growing increasingly more stressful.  I felt pressured to turn them around quickly and I didn't give myself enough time to make them before Etsy was telling me it was time to ship them out.  I also wasn't charging enough for the time they took to make.  

No one else was making anything quite like my ears, so I was getting a lot of inquiries about custom designs.  I'm a people pleaser and I didn't like to say no.  But as time went on, it got harder trying to live up to customers' expectations for their orders and the whole process became less fun and way more stressful than it was worth.

So for the foreseeable future, I'm going to officially retire my custom ear hats.  I've been holding back from making it official for a while trying to see if my feelings would change, but they haven't and I'd like to move forward.  Today is the perfect day to send them off in style and make it official.  I've got so many ideas for new products... I just don't find myself being called to make the ear hats for the business anymore.

However, I still have supplies that I've already bought for a bunch of designs.  I would still like to make those when I have time.  A lot of them were personal passion projects anyways... so hopefully I'll be able to make those at some point!  The mouse ear hats are perfect for displays and I plan to put them around the house with similar products.

Plus, I'm still finding inspiration for them here and there, so that's encouraging.  When I saw Mickey and Minnie's new outfits for the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary, the first thing I did was start looking for supplies to make hats. I have the hats I made for Disneyland's 60th Anniversary that I plan to display along with some of our collectibles from the celebration.  I'd love to have a pair of hats for WDW's 50th to match those!

This certainly isn't the last you've seen of my custom ear hats, but for now it is the end of me making them to sell.  Maybe at some point I'll change my mind... but I'm ok with this decision and ready to move forward to different things.

But before I send my ear hats off, I am taking a minute to acknowledge how incredibly amazing I am.  It's been so long since I made an ear hat that I've forgotten I made most of these.  (It's been fun going through all of my photos!)  From my extremely popular Anna and Elsa ears, to Disney Channel ear hats of Jake (from Jake and the Neverland Pirates) and Elena (from Elena of Avalor).  I've made ear hats for Snow White, Cinderella and Kiss the Girl Ariel.  I've made custom gradation ears, one of a kind floral Eeyore ears, and peacock themed ears.  I've made ear hats for members of our armed forces.  I've made hats for Make a Wish kids.  I've made ear hats for friends and family members' birthdays.  I've also made Christmas versions of both my Anna and Elsa ears since the originals were so popular!

I've made Zootopia ears for Eliot and I to wear to California Adventure.  

I've made us Tigger and Eeyore ears to honor how we first met.

And I made the ears that started it all... the mouse ear hats that put Happily Ever Hatter in motion- our custom bride and groom ears for our honeymoon.

I've started classic Belle and Beast ears.  I think Belle is done but Beast is still a very early work in progress.  (Those have been sitting on my side table for at least 2-3 years...)  I've got supplies to make my brother Jeremy some Darkwing Duck ears.  I've got supplies for a few different Once Upon a Time designs.  I think I bought supplies to make Enchanted Winter Belle and I know that I've got supplies for Live Action Belle's yellow gown.  Let's be real... I've probably already bought supplies for ears that I've totally forgotten about!  It will be like Christmas when I finally organize my supplies!

Eliot and I have made so many wonderful memories with my handmade mouse ear hat creations.  And I'm so darn proud of myself for all of the hard work that I've put into making all of these designs.  I've truly put my heart and soul into creating these little pieces of wearable art, and I will always be grateful that I have been blessed with the talent to brainstorm them, design them and bring my visions to life.

I first opened Happily Ever Hatter on National Hat Day seven years ago and I'm sending my ear hats out on National Felt Hat Day.  The circle of life is complete.  °o°

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