Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Christys' Hat Factory

Rebecca and I had a very exciting morning last Thursday at Christys' Hat Factory, just the other side of Witney. We were there to have our heads measured for the gorgeous Christy top hats we're lucky enough to have being sponsored for us. The very generous Justin, of hornetshats.com, is providing Jive Pony with top hats for the 2009 season, and the time had finally come for us to be fitted!
We had both been looking forwards to the visit to the factory for a while, and weren't disappointed when we got there. I have never ever seen so many hats in one place, and so many different styles, shapes and sizes! Have a look at christys-hats.com to get an idea of the massive range we saw. There were also stacks and stacks of the beautiful big red Christys' hat boxes, embossed with the gold lettering and towering up to the ceiling. Whilst we were waiting to be fitted we were shown around the factory, which was amazing. The most modern piece of equipment in the factory dates back to the 1950s, with much of it being older - from the 1910s and 20s!! The people working there were so skilled, and showed us how a fur melusine top hat is steamed, waxed and polished up so it shines like glass - Dave we were impressed! We also tried on lots of the hats, which was great fun as each one gave us a different character - click here to have a look at the photo's and see if you can find my Sherlock Holmes and Rebecca's Miss Marple!
It was finally time to choose our very own hats, but we couldn't decide whether we preferred the black top hats or the red ones, both were absolutely gorgeous and looked amazing - the black being more classic but the red being so striking and different - when Justin solved the argument by suggesting we both have one of each! Before we knew it we were having them fitted, which the lovely Steve (Managing Director of the company no less!) did fantastically, steaming and stretching them in no time at all. Having had our hats fitted and told how to look after them properly we were just getting ready to leave when Steve presented us with four of the gorgeous red and gold hat boxes we had admired earlier - one for each of our new hats!
We both had a fantastic day, and were completely overwhelmed by everyone's generosity, especially Justin and Steve. We currently talking about doing a promotional photoshoot with the horses for both Christys' Hats and Hornetshats.com, as neither Tinker nor Ronan want to miss out on any of the action! I'll let you know how we get on.
In the meantime preparations are in full flow for the first show of the season - now less than three weeks away. Hope to see you there!
Lots of love
Rosie xx

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