Jackie Sanders ’14
Looking for the perfect holiday present? Harding-Lane hats are ideal for both girls and boys at Trinity. Since Henry Howard ’15 started selling them this Fall, he’s made quite a profit. Harding-Lane hats feature a signature needlepoint design on the front in a variety of patterns and colors. The hat itself was designed from scratch to have a deeper, more comfortable fit. They also do custom designs for large orders, and, for a small fee, you can add a monogram or lettered stitching. The hats have been featured in many publications such as Glamour, Nylon, Women’s Wear Daily, and Town & Country. With the standout white sailcloth strap on the back, the hats are hard to miss!
Harding-Lane was started in 2009 by a brother and sister duo who always dreamed of working together. Growing up in Massachusetts, both Sarah and Steve Gifford became familiar with the New England style. They also realized how difficult it was to find the perfect fitting baseball cap that didn’t have brand names or team logos on it. Today, the company is based out of Dedham, Massachusetts. While they now offer many different needlepoint hats, they started with just a few designs: the striped bass, the seagull, the crab, and the duck.
Henry Howard ’15 purchased a few of his own Harding-Lane hats before he began working for the siblings. After wearing his hats at Trinity, he received many compliments and realized how well sales would be on our campus. While the hats usually retail at $30, Henry sells them at a reduced price for only $20. He also makes 20-percent commission on all sales, and has made a fair amount of money this fall. When asked about his sales, he said “Trinity has the best clientele for Harding-Lane. Sales have been incredible, much better than Steve, Sarah, or I even thought when I brought the hats to campus in September.”
This past fall, Howard has sold the hats at school events where he thinks there will be a huge student turnout. He had particular success at homecoming and parent’s weekend, and hopes to sell the hats on the quad during spring weekend as well. Howard uses social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to advertise and reach out to the Trinity community. Recently, he added the convenience of accepting all credit and debit cards which has helped sales as well.
In the future, Harding-Lane hopes to expand even more, particularly in the South, both in stores and on college campuses. They also plan on releasing more designs as the seasons come. In the near future, be sure to look out for the “skier hat,” which should come out sometime this winter. Later down the road, Harding-Lane will hopefully bring in other accessories as well. Both Sarah and Steve look forward to expanding their company.
For Howard, working for Harding-Lane has been extremely useful. He has gained important entrepreneurial and advertising skills. He looks forward to continued partnership with Harding-Lane, and enjoys seeing the company grow and being part of a great idea launch. Howard knows he’s doing his job as the Harding-Lane hats are becoming more and more frequent sightings on campus.
Howard is also planning on creating a custom Trinity hat exclusively for our school. He imagines a big needlepoint “T” on the front. He in currently in the process of working through the logistics and assessing the interest level before committing to such a large order. Keep an eye out during the Spring semester for this unique design!
Harding-Lane hats can be purchased at www.harding-lane.com, in various stores in New England, and on several college campuses. If you’re interested in buying from Howard, you can find him on Facebook or via cell (781)752-8895. He has a great selection of hats in stock from now until December 17. In addition, he is running a promotion of three hats for $50, which is an incredible deal. Whether you’re looking for a holiday present for a parent, sibling, significant other, or best friend, a Harding-Lane hat is the perfect choice!