American Made Since 2013

Janine Thormann

Boulder, Colorado
I hand-make hats from reclaimed sweaters for women who will be losing their hair due to chemotherapy - designed to stay on heads with hair or not
Crafts, Fiber Crafts

Tell us about your business.

After watching several friends lose their hair because of chemo try to find hats that not only look good but stay on a head without hair, I realized I could make cute hats from high quality reclaimed sweaters that would stay on, keep their heads warm and let them feel good about how they look. I enjoy combing the second hand and thrift stores for beautiful sweaters that will become even more beautiful hats. I look for the softest fabrics to put next to sensitive skin and combine them with fun patterns in pleasing colors then embellishing them with vintage buttons, fabric flowers and other one-of-a-kind items, creating very limited edition creations. I would love to grow this business into a place for women to find a new sense of beauty and worth by employing some of the same women to help create the hats while recovering their health. If they have simple sewing skills and a place to set up a sewing machine, they can earn a little money when they are feeling well enough.

Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.

My husband converted an unused bedroom into a sewing studio where, although small, everything is within reach and I can create to my heart's content. Every inch of usable space has storage for sweaters, buttons, and all the equipment and materials I need for my creations.

What inspires you?

I love working with colors, textures & unusual knits to create hats with style & flair which will reflect the individuality of the wearer as well as letting them feel good about themselves while recovering their health. I think a feeling of self worth helps speed the healing process.

What makes your business stand out?

Having spent most of the last 40 years creating clothing from natural fibers and importing and selling vintage Japanese kimono, I've developed an eye for color and design which makes my creations unique. My business supports a sound ecological ethic of repurposing previously worn high quality knit materials. Not only do my customers feel good wearing my hats, they also feel good about supporting the environment.

What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?

Don't get discouraged when starting out and stick with it.

What does American Made mean to you?

American Made means having pride in making a product that supports our communities

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