Happy Hats and Saddle Creek is a small family-run business based on the Warwickshire/Northamptonshire border that started trading over 20 years ago.
My lovely mother-in-law Jackie set up ‘Happy Hats’ after business trips to Nepal with her late husband, Richard. Initially it started with the import of velvet jesters and top hats. Over the years, through regular visits to Nepal, together they developed a close relationship with the family who make the hats, namely Naryan and Ramkamari. More recently she has expanded the range to include fleece-lined woollen hats and wrist warmers and a range of luxury cashmere accessories which Naryan and Ramkamari arrange to have made for us in Kathmandu. All our hats are handmade to our bespoke designs so although the patterns and colour is fairly constant, the sizes can vary slightly. The leap into cashmere is an extension into the accessory market and the cashmere snoods and wrist warmers are hugely popular.
‘Saddle Creek’ was set up in 2007 by Jackie’s son Sam and he successfully ran this business for several years before pursuing a passion of his and a career in the wine industry at which point the companies merged.
The main appeal of the brand Saddle Creek lies in the sustainability and high quality of the fabrics used, and in the vibrant colours of its products. The boxer shorts and socks are predominantly made of bamboo cotton. This material is extremely soft, smooth and comfortable and has a luxurious feel (similar to cashmere) as well as being much more environmentally friendly than normal cotton. Bamboo fabric continues to grow in popularity because it has many unique properties, such as being antibacterial and more sustainable than all other textile fibres. We do not use 100% bamboo in our clothing, as it needs to be mixed with another material for it to retain its shape and fit. Therefore, we use a blend of bamboo and cotton to gain the best feel.
At the end of 2021, Jackie kindly agreed I could join the business. I look forward to helping her at fairs and specifically working to grow and develop the online and social media side of the business. I have 2 children who are now
10 and 8 and having left my job in senior NHS management over 7 years ago (at the time we moved out of London) to look after them, I am just now finding I have a little more time on my hands. I am hugely looking forward to this next chapter in the life of Happy Hats and Saddle Creek and to working together to change, develop and grow the business with Jackie over the next few years.
Mum to Harry and Martha