A visit Down Under was the inspiration for Boulder’s Wallaroo Hat Company, which makes beautiful chapeaux that also provide great sun protection.
“Everybody looks good in a Wallaroo hat.” So says Stephanie Carter, CEO of Boulder’s Wallaroo Hat Company, which launched in 1999. “My favorite thing to do is help someone who comes up to one of our booths at a trade show saying, ‘I look horrible in hats!’ I say, ‘Just wait. Just wait. Let’s try a hat on.’ You get the right hat on somebody, one that matches the shape of their face, the length of their hair, their stature, and they look in the mirror and get this little smile, and realize they actually look good.” Carter, who last year bought out friend and founding partner Lenya Shore to become sole owner of the business, is proud to say that today, Wallaroo sells on Amazon, Shopify, and its own website, but also in places as diverse as hardware stores, nurseries, farmers markets, and Four Seasons resorts. “I love going to trade shows and hearing customers’ feedback—‘Oh, I love your hats. I have five of my own, and I bought one for my mother and one for my sister, and all my kids have them,’ ” she says. “But I also love seeing the same people who have worked with us for 15 or 17 years; knowing that they have had continued success with the brand makes me feel good, like we’re doing something right.”
How did the business get started?
“I’m married to an Australian, and in 1998 we visited his parents in Australia. I’d always been an avid hat wearer, but at the time I was working as an attorney. One day, I noticed my mother-in-law out in the garden wearing this very pretty periwinkle-colored hat, and it caught my eye. So I brought a bunch of these hats back to the States, and any time I’d wear one while hiking or around town someone would comment on it.”
“Yes, I think the category is certainly growing. We’re transitioning back into the idea of people wearing hats, the way they did in the 1920s. And we make a point of never copying anybody. Our designs are unique and individual to our brand. Now, everywhere we travel in the world, we see people in Wallaroo hats, and that is amazing.”
A Boulder maker of colorful SPF-rated sun hats.