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Tilley | LinkedIn

We asked Alex how it all started:

"I had an elegant sailboat which I called ‘Karmananda’, but I needed a hat to go with it. In 1980 there were no such hats available. None!

So, knowing nothing about hat making, I decided to oversee the making of a ‘proper’ hat as a midwinter’s hobby-project, one in keeping with the beauty of my sailboat. I figured that other Toronto sailors needed one too.

It took three months to arrive at the prototype stage. Because the Hat was so costly to hand-craft, I never thought it would sell in a store, and that it would always remain a hobby.

But by selling them at numerous boat shows in my early days, I learned that people would pay for quality."