Student Small Business Spotlight: Happyy Hat Co

Sophomore Trinity Fay makes custom cowboy hats to help Baylor students fit in with Texas traditions. Photo courtesy of Trinity Fay

By Lauren Holcomb | Reporter

As the saying goes, everything is bigger and better in Texas — even the cowboy hats. Highlands Ranch, Colo., sophomore Trinity Fay is elevating the classic cowboy hat with her own twist of custom colors and designs with Happyy Hat Co.

Coming from out of state, Fay said she immediately knew that she would need a cowboy hat to fit in with the Texas traditions. She wanted one decked out with fun colors to embody her personality, but everything she found pre-made did not live up to her expectations. She made a couple for herself her freshman year, but it was not until recently that the business idea sparked.

After going through Pan-hellenic sorority recruitment in January, Fay’s hat creation idea was reignited. She received a custom hat from a friend in her sorority, which reminded of her freshman year crafting, and began making hats again.

“I posted on my story and said, ‘Wait, if I sold these, would people be interested?'” Fay said. “People were really into it. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.’”

Bored at home on Baylor’s snow day, Fay and her roommates decided to start the business. One roommate, Maui, Hawaii sophomore Michelle Tasaki manages the social media accounts as the online media director, while also helping with side projects for the business.

She said it is difficult to organize schoolwork and a posting schedule, but Tasaki loves that Happyy Hat Co’s target audience are the people she is around daily.

“I’ve always had a love for social media and how it can connect people or grow businesses,” Tasaki said. “I think public relations is something I could integrate into my future career, however it ends up looking like. My favorite part about this business is seeing Trinity’s creativity come to life in her hats. I truly believe in this product.”

Fay said Happyy Hat Co would not run as smooth if it were not for the help of her roommates.

“Every person in my apartment has specific jobs that they can put on their resumes,” Fay said. “My roommate Laura, she does the business side of it. She’s financial; she makes all the spreadsheets. My roommate Angelina, she does the Google Forms and she takes the orders and emails people. And then there’s Michelle, and she runs all the social media. Then Bri, she handles all shipping.”

Creativity is the backbone of every custom hat. Fay says she usually works on orders during her homework breaks as an outlet to escape from her school life. She says she is a perfectionist with the intricate details, and the average hat takes about four hours to produce, ranging from $25 to $35.

“I really like making them, especially when orders say, ‘I trust you on this.’ So, it’s literally artistic freedom, and I just get to kind of do whatever I want,” Fay said. “Then, I send them a photo, and they’re like, ‘I love it.’ … I like the satisfaction of getting the approval, the affirmation that I’m doing a good job.”

Fay originally began creating hats for sororities, but she says it has been a nice surprise to see her audience expanding. From birthday celebrations to fraternity hats and even hats designed around a customer’s workplace, Happyy Hat Co has broadened its horizons.

“I didn’t really have any super expectations going in, which was nice because it didn’t make me stressed that [Happyy Hat Co] wasn’t going one way,” Fay said. “It kind of just took off on its own and did whatever it wanted.”