Penticton business owner hanging up her hat after seven years - InfoNews

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Penticton business owner hanging up her hat after seven years

Penticton's Hat Hideaway is closing its doors in November after seven years. Owner Nancy Browne says she is discounting inventory and selling off more than 500 hats between now and then.
April 16, 2019 - 7:30 AM

PENTICTON - Time is starting to run out for Penticton and South Okanagan residents interested in a good deal on a new hat.

After seven years, Nancy Browne is preparing to close the Hat Hideaway at 439 Main Street in Penticton.

Browne, who has been at the Main Street location for the past seven years, except for a short stint last summer, says the store is no longer viable because of the struggle to get through the lean winter months as a retailer in the Peach City.

“I’m discounting sales and closing shop in November. I can’t really make it in the winter time, but it’s something I love to do,” she says.

Browne got into the hat selling business after running the music club out of the location for a number of years.

“The music club was a really cool thing, but it ran its course and I had to change directions,” she says, eventually deciding to specialize in head apparel.

“Hats have been really fun. I’ve met so many wonderful people,” she says.

“It’s a good business in the summertime, but it’s hard to get people downtown in the winter. If they aren’t out walking around, hats aren’t on people’s minds,” she says.

Browne has over 500 hats of every shape, style and size in her inventory. She has fedoras, flat caps, newsboy caps, outback hats, gambler’s hats, felt hats, canvas drover hats, panama hats made in Ecuador, squishy hats in a bag, ladies cloche hats, vintage hats, ladies hats in modern styles, including “fascinators,” and lots more.

“The fascinators were a great thing during last year’s royal marriage. People liked dressing up with them, even just trying them on and taking selfies. They were also popular at themed parties,” Browne says.

These
These "fascinators" were very popular last year during the royal wedding.

She also has a number of hats with a sunscreen rating, including hats for kids.

“The kids’ UPF 50 hats are quite popular with parents as people are realizing more and more they need that protection,” she says.

Amongst Browne’s customers are cancer patients. She was shocked to find out just how many of her female customers were being treated for the disease.

“It’s made me aware of just how many women in the community are going through chemo and losing their hair,” she said after discovering in one week alone she had 10 customers who were women undergoing chemotherapy and were losing their hair.

“It was a real awakening to me, to find out just how much cancer is going around,” she says. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to help people find something they are comfortable in."

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Browne says people enjoy the aspect of being able to come in, try different hats and find exactly what they are looking for, in addition to getting the best possible fit.

“I don’t know how people can order a hat online and get it to fit. I have to fill my orders online and often find what I ordered wasn’t what I thought it would be,” she says.

“I have no interest in pursuing the business online. I enjoy helping people find a hat that suits them, and I can help them get a perfect fit. There’s no pressure to buy until you’re totally comfortable with what you’re buying,” she says.

“It’s something I love. It’s been so much fun helping people find the perfect hat,” Browne says.

Hat buyers should consult Browne’s Facebook page for contact information, and operating hours.

Browne has a large number of men's hats in stock, including double X sizes.
Browne has a large number of men's hats in stock, including double X sizes.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED /Hat Hideaway Facebook page

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