Over the past few years of running Hudson Sutler, we've had the distinct pleasure of meeting tons of "Brand Friends" who not only are making amazing products we believe in, but they're kick ass in their own right. #TBT; a few years back we chartered a 737, yes a jumbo jet, and flew a crowd of well-ish behaved NYers from the city to Nantucket for Figawi Weekend (true story...we'll share it over a Cisco sometime). On that trip we were introduced to Harding Lane and have been eager to collaborate on something new ever since. Finally we got the chance. But before you buy the hat, rock it in pride after you hear the Harding Lane story, directly from the team behind it.
Give us your “How it all started” story, you woke up one day and thought, “You know what the world needs, needlepoint hats”
- It was a summer afternoon in July down on cape cod in 2009, and Sarah and I were talking about how great it would be to go into business together. Sarah had just been laid off from her job in NYC as the recession was at its height, and I was getting ready to graduate from college that following January. We had always loved going to the cape in the summers, and we felt so fortunate to have been able to do so over the years. We wanted to come up with an idea that resonated with those cape cod summers. After talking about a product that represented the cape and the wonderful experiences we had there, a sort of light bulb moment occurred. Why not try a different spin on a baseball cap? I had always worn hats, but could never find the perfectly fitting, perfectly faded hat. Sarah had grown up needlepointing, and we thought it would be pretty cool to make a baseball cap with a needlepoint emblem on the front of it. Our first idea for a design was a needlepoint striped bass on a faded red baseball hat.
You’ve worked with a ton of killer brands and organizations...are there any specific collabs or projects that stand out as having been especially cool for you?
- Yes we have been really fortunate to work with a number of cool brands. One that stands out (besides Hudson Sutler!) would have to be Cisco Brewers on Nantucket. Sarah and I love their story and their brand (and of course their beer) and it has been really cool to see our hats sold at the brewery over the years. We have also worked with Orvis, which has also been a really cool partnership for us over the years.
Harding Lane is doing more than making great needlepoint hats, you have a philanthropic mission as well, can you speak about it a bit more?
- The social purpose of H-L was certainly important to us when we started. We look up to companies such as Patagonia and all that they do for the environment. We try to do our small part by donating 1% of our annual revenues to The Trustees of Reservations. The Trustees is an amazing organization that is dedicated to preserving natural spaces in Massachusetts. More info can be found about them on our website at www.harding-lane.com.
When you’re not designing and running the company, where on earth is your "happy place"? It can be a beach side destination or a quiet spot in your apartment. Just let us know why it's your spot.
- I think for the both of us, our happy place would have to be on one of the sand flats at low tide outside of Chatham Harbor. When you catch the right tide and find a flat all to yourself, it is hard to beat, especially with a cold beer in hand! The flats around Chatham are quite and peaceful, and the scenery is tough to beat. As mentioned, we have been so fortunate to be able to spend time in Chatham, and we do our best to not take it for granted.
Do you have a quirky travel ritual? Like are you a weirdo who brings your own pillow onto the plane?
- Well, Sarah hates flying, so she loads up on Xanax and is usually out to lunch by the time the plane lands.
What’s your favorite H-L Item of all time?
It would have to be our Striped bass on Weathered Red hat as it was the first product we ever made.
What music are you listening to these days?
I am a sucker for classic rock and have the Rolling Stones pretty
much on repeat!
What’s your happy hour drink of choice?
I guess it would depend on the season, but seeing as Summer is quickly approaching, a Dark 'n' Stormy is the go to.
Best bar in the World?...go
Go To Hudson Sutler Product:
So many great ones to choose from, but obviously for me it is the Chatham Cooler Bag!