Casey Tolbert, founder of Nettie's Hats

Q&A with Casey Tolbert, Founder of Nettie’s Hats

Casey, tell us a bit about Nettie’s Hats.
Nettie’s Hats is a small business that I run from Facebook. I’m still in the beginning stages, as I only started this venture 3 months ago.

Some hats are posted and ready for sale. I also do custom work.

I design and create every piece myself. Nettie’s provides any style you are looking for; fascinators, wide brims, cloche, headpieces, bridal veils and hair accessories. I can also make hats for the Red Hat Society.

What gave you the idea for your business and how did it start?
I’ve always loved handmade things, and always been crafty. While browsing Pinterest one day, I came across an adorable cloche hat. My first thought was not “I want to wear this”, but rather, “I can make this!”

After discovering some health problems and 3 hospital stays, I lost my job. So, I started studying the art of millinery- everything I could find. I put my new found knowledge to practice, started a FB page and Nettie’s Hats was born.

What’s your favorite thing about your job?
That would have to be designing, and being creative. Also, I love to make people happy. Seeing the smile and the look on a customer’s face when they try on their hat for the first time. And seeing them stand a little taller with the confidence that a hat brings is all very satisfying.

What are your keys to making yourself productive?
I love doing this so much that productivity comes very naturally.
Of course, we all have ‘those days’, and when I do, I remind myself that this is my job. If there’s no product there won’t be any sales.

Tell us one long-term goal in your career.
One thing I hope to see one day is one of my hats being worn by The Duchess of Cambridge. She wears them so beautifully and with such confidence.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?
I make mistakes, and that is okay. I’ve made many and I try to learn from each of them.

What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?
Have patience. Get a mentor. Believe in yourself!

What are your favorite things to do outside of work?
I have been blessed with two beautiful children (well, they are adults now). I love spending time with them.

Name a few influential books you’ve read and/or websites you keep up with that you’d recommend to readers.
The Hat Academy has a great website for learning. You can ask questions and share your knowledge. It is an awesome community of milliners.

Also, Copyblogger has helped me so much in learning how to market my product and page.