I can’t believe we’re just a few weeks away from the end of the year! The lead up to Christmas is such a busy time here at Hayfield that the hours and days simply fly by in a whirlwind of feathers, fedoras and bespoke orders. Of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way and to be busy as a small business is far better than the alternative.
I have to admit that there have been times during 2020 when I wondered if I would still have a business at all by the end of the year. The Covid-19 pandemic was something that came so suddenly and has totally altered the way I do business. Instead of taking the Hayfield stand to events and seeing all your lovely faces for a chat, I suddenly had to adjust to an online only business model. I went from such a sociable job to being in the studio nearly all day, every day. I haven’t been able to see some of my wonderful family for months, including my grandmother who is in a care home. It all felt rather bleak.
However, when you’ve built up your business from scratch and love it as much as I do, you find a way to make things work. I knew that I needed to make sure my customers and followers could still see the results of my hard work and that meant getting truly digital! I had already started work on a website and we pushed that through as quickly as possible to ensure customers could browse and order Hayfield products online. I redoubled my online marketing efforts with social media posts showing everything from the latest Hayfield designs and behind the scenes snippets to our wonderful customers rocking their new hats.
I had so many plans at the beginning of the year for new products that I wanted to unveil, so I took a deep breath and did it all anyway. From the tropical brights of the Rio feathers to the summer Henley Fedora and the beautiful new Dorset Fedora, there are more choices than ever before. And the response from my Facebook and Instagram followers was amazing. They liked, commented and shared so much and helped me reach a huge number of people. It’s also been the most amazing year for press coverage for Hayfield too, with my hats appearing in Country Life, OK! (on the head of the gorgeous Vogue Williams, no less) and Horse & Hound, among others. Wow. That really was an “I think I might have made it!” moment.
So, what will 2021 hold for Hayfield England? I watch and wait with everything crossed that the vaccination rollout means we can plan to attend events from late spring onwards. Perhaps by summer we might be back to something like normal life? If so, I can look forward to seeing the smiling faces of my customers as they try on hats and eventually find the one which makes their face light up with joy. Here’s hoping! For now, thank you to everyone who has helped support Hayfield this year, whether that was by buying something or simply cheerleading for me online. I’m forever grateful. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!