Hats and fascinators design: Here is how you can make money from them

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Hats and Fascinators can be traced back to the 16th century during the Renaissance era. The queens of those days made fascinators from ostrich feathers as head decorators most especially among the European Royal Courts. Fascinators are lightweight hood worn about the head and it’s typically knitted or crocheted.

As of today, fascinators are worn on various occasions and events all around the world. A fascinator is mostly worn with fairly formal attire. Fascinators are made with flowers, feathers or beads and usually been attached to the hair by a comb, clip or headband. A fascinator can be worn by brides as an alternative to the bridal veil, especially if the gown is non-traditional.

Mrs Anne Udobia is an indigene of Akwa Ibom State, a Masters Degree holder from the Warwick University, United Kingdom; she is passionate about making fascinators and other handcrafts. She is the CEO of Chayilanne crafts.

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According to her, she started her fascinator business as a joke in 2018 when she ordered some hats from Lagos to gift her mum as a birthday gift but she wasn’t impressed with the quality of the hat that was delivered to her and decided to go into the business. 

She ventured into her craft business in 2018 just after she had her first child and after she had just relocated to Uyo from Lagos, so she wanted something that she can do from home.

Anne says that she makes money from the hat and fascinator business. She informs, “My customers are always very happy with the quality of my hats/fascinators so they always come back and also refer people. Although people do not really appreciate crafts in this part of the world, I see in recent times, things are changing. Social media is also helping craftsmen and women to easily showcase their work and let people see the professionalism we put in making one headpiece a reality.”

Hats and fascinators are worn all over the world, it’s worn by people of all classes. It is estimated that over N45,000000 is spend annually in Nigeria to buy fascinators and about N20,000000 is spent on the importation of fascinators into Nigeria. Fashion evolves every day and women embrace fashion as they seek to change their wardrobe. The current high exchange rate has affected a lot of importation which is good for the business as many customers cannot more order from the U.K so they have to buy locally in the country.

Anne started her business with N30,000 only. Her major highpoint has been getting online orders and referrals from the USA. She hasn’t had any low point in hat and fascinator making as every challenge is a learning curve to her.

Anne informs that Chayilanne crafts is a child company under a mother company that is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission. Anne does certain aspects of the work herself. In her words, “I make very delicate styles myself. Your staff cannot interpret what’s in your head when it comes to craft. I also make freehand sculpting of some of my headgears. It is not like gele tying where you know anyone can copy, mostly it is inspirational.

Anne has two Ghanaian milliners as her mentors and also looks up to her tutor in the American hat academy for guidance.

She looks forward to engaging with policymakers and investors to scale her business for expansion.

Mrs Anne advises other entrepreneurs who want to venture into her line of business to do what inspires them. “Hat making is a craft, you have to be passionate about crafting before you can enjoy it. Craft thrives on inspiration and creativity, copy and paste is not sustainable” she affirms.

Entrepreneurs impart skills to people and help reduce the unemployment rate in society, let the story of Mrs Anne Akanimo inspire you to start your hats and fascinators entrepreneurial journey.

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