I finished two Leifur Fedoras this week and I didn't bother to upload all the images of these two hats. You have seen these so many times already. One 100X Beaver felt ready for the Marketplace and a custom order in 30X Beaver Blend.
Let's get to it. First update, I don't think I wrote about it last week, is about 30X Beaver Blend felts. They are off the custom order list. Meaning, I am not taking orders for 30X Beaver Blend hats anymore and the felts are not being replenished. I do have a couple of 30X felts in stock, but I will craft hats for the Marketplace instead with the remaining stock. Gives me me a bit more creative freedom. Besides, not many colors left and the size of the felt bodies vary. It would be difficult to cater to each and every size for a custom order. Therefore, better to take it off completely. I will only offer 50X Beaver Blend and 100X Beaver felts from Portugal as the premium custom orders.
This week I updated the photos for the available colors in Portuguese Beaver. Have a look at the page for colors for more information. These will be continuously replenished on a yearly basis. There are more colors coming in, but they are expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2024. Felt orders still take a very long time to acquire. 9+ months up to a full year. I am well stocked, there is no issue there. But felts tend to move quickly. I can only make that many hats per year.
Do I offer anything else? Yes, I do have a stock of western felts as well as the unique Nutria felt. I have not yet uploaded photos of those felts, mainly because they are not from my regular supplier and I don't know when I can get my hands on more of those felts. They are hard to come by and very expensive to import to Europe. That's why I love the Portuguese felts, there is no import tax and the quality is much more superior to other manufacturers of felts. If you are looking for anything in particular, just reach out and I will let you know if I can make it for you.
Bowlers? Yes, still in the works. I am tweaking the shellac solution that I use for making these hats and I have had another breakthrough a couple of weeks back. Takes time to produce a sample as I am busy with custom orders and hats for the Marketplace. Maybe I should change the name of that page as too many are confusing it with the Facebook Marketplace. The fault is my own. I know.
Custom orders, what is happening? My craft is popular. That is great! But I can only make a certain number of hats each year. I am considering to hire help, but that is a long and expensive journey which is not worth it at the moment. I don't even pay myself a full salary for the work I do. I invest the revenue back into the company in order to grow. Which brings me to an important update. I have take down the automatic order function for custom orders. You would have to email me directly in order to place an order. Basically, that's what customers do already. But I am also limiting the amount of custom orders that I take on at the moment. I am still brainstorming how the function should be. Perhaps it's only available as a member section with a login etc. Still looking into that. But there is more going on.
I am looking into becoming a part time fireman, which seems to be a popular choice for hatmakers in the world. I wonder why? My local fire station reached out to me once I moved here and asked if I would care to join to help the community. I have started the process of becoming a fireman, but only time will tell if it fits my current physical strength or not. In the past years I have had back problems related to stress and working under horrible conditions abroad. Since moving to the country side, my health and physical strength has improved a lot but I do not know if it is well enough. I did pass the initial physical test at the fire station, climbing up 30 meters in a ladder (I rode up in a basket, didn't actually climb), and other various tests which I can't even begin to describe. It was indeed exciting.
With that said, I also wish to alleviate the stress of having customers asking for updates on orders which can be quite stressful. Don't get me wrong, I love the customer interaction. I wish to make hats. Many many hats. But I want to craft them in my own time and often in my own style. At the same time, I don't wish to reject anyone wanting a custom fedora. I could simply say that the hat will be ready when its ready, anything from 2 months to 1 year and leave it at that. I think most would not appreciate not knowing when their hat would be ready. I sure don't want to place an order for something that I don't even have a hint at when it can be finished. There are a lot of decisions that I have to make now. I don't think raising the price is the answer. In my own pace, I can push out more ready made hats and have them available through the site. I would be able to become more creative and present more styles.
I am going to make a test run for the remainder of the year. I will stop taking custom orders on 1st of November 2023 and see how it goes in January 2024. During this time, I will finish all orders on hand and craft ready made hats. Let me know what you think, my mind is a bit divided in this matter.
Thank you for your continued support! Love you all!
Mikael Einarsson | HUFVUD HATMAKER | Askeröd, Sweden.