Hat Trick

I have too many hats. Most of them were store inventory since I had a costume business for kids – field trips, book reports, etc. I sold on Etsy for five years until they became a corporate company with plans to streamline the buyer’s experience. Just click a button and order with your credit card. Forget the fact that the seller is making a custom order and needs your child’s measurements and preferences. I wasn’t shipping inventory Made in China. Each order was carefully curated by yours truly. But I needed information.

How tall is your daughter?

What’s your son’s favorite color?

What size shirt do you buy him, and don’t say medium, please?

Etsy and I had a mutual parting of the ways.

I could still sell to local kids and from my tiny website.

Then the pandemic hit. Sales dropped to zero, except for a random birthday gift here and there.

One of my adult offspring came to move in with me. Another offspring moved her worldy belongings from her dad’s place to my place, since he was leaving the state.

Suddenly the garage was full of adult children’s belongings again. There was no room for store inventory. As I schlepped it down to the beach house, carload by carload, I realized the vintage hats would not do well in the damp garage in Monterey. I dragged in the clear tubs from my garage and sorted them into groups.

My offspring grumbled when he saw that hats had taken over the family room. I listed them on Facebook Marketplace. For good measure, I also posted it on Craiglist.

A woman named Tammy wanted to come over to buy 50 hats. We arranged a time. I was sure to be home and ready for her. She had come from the city. She consigned at a tea room in San Francisco.

She brought cash. She oohed and ahhed as she selected hat after hat. Before too long she had chosen 63 of them. I explained that I’d bought them on ebay from every corner of the country for Eleanor Roosevelt report day, 100th Day of School (where kindergarteners and 1st graders dress up like grandparents). I explained my OCD and how my favorite part of the business was shopping.

Sis’s incontinence supplies had just been delivered, so I had two big empty boxes. Once those were full, I found one more.  Then, on the way out to the woman’s car, I noticed a tub of hats that we’d missed.

She stopped and chose nine more. Her husband, waiting in car, had money for the extra nine hats. By the time they left, every inch of the trunk and car’s interior was filled with fluffy, furry, feathery, flowery, colorful vintage hats.

She was happy. I was happy.  I still have 100 hats to sell. But not the best ones. 72 hats left with Tammy and her husband for their new lives in a San Francisco tea room.

I’m not sure how the sports term hat trick came to be, but today I am stealing it back to use for this post.

3, 2, 1 . . . hat trick!

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