A couple of years ago I was at the London Ski Show and my sister appeared with a fantastic beanie. She had just purchased it from a girl who was standing at the show with her own brand of hand-made beanie hats.
It was a Zaini hat.
In the months following, particularly when I was in the Alps, I saw a lot more of these bright and colourful beanies.. Then last year at the Ski Show I went to visit the much larger Zaini stand and was really pleased to meet Miranda Harper – the woman behind the beanie!
This is her story…
“Zaini hats, the brand, launched as a result of an impossibility to find a comfy, colourful and stylish enough beanie hat. Scottish ski instructor, Miranda Harper, turned to making her own whilst in the resort of Haute Nendaz, Switzerland in 2010. No beanie was baggy or bright enough for her style, so she made her own to fit her fashion needs on the slopes. The trend was quick to catch on and suddenly everyone wanted one of these hats……
On returning to the UK, and being based in a small village in the highlands of Scotland, the weather permits people to wear beanies all year round and once friends, colleagues and family saw her hats they all wanted one. So she got back to her crochet hook and put together more designs including – Hot pink and Blue, Neon Green and Purple and Neon Orange and Purple. They only use 100% super soft acrylic yarn, which ensures a non-itch, cashmere feel and is durable to outdoor weather.
With the orders coming in think and fast Miranda needed a helping hand – that helping hand came from her grandmother. Crocheting is a skill that takes patience and commitment so to keep her on track with her first few orders Granny came to save the day. Loaded with balls of Neon Orange, Purple, Blue, Yellow and Neon Green yarn they set up a production line and set to making as many hats as they could.
And that’s when Zaini hats was launched. A company dedicated to bringing people new, colourful and unique hats. All designed in Scotland and all handmade with attention to detail in everyway. Since then Zaini has grown to become an established brand which sells and distributes hand made products throughout the world.”
I love stories like this. Miranda through hard work, commitment, passion and determination created her own successful business. She went for it and now look at where she is. I also love that it was her Grandma who taught her to crochet hats in the first place and who was there to help when the orders came flying in.
A Zaini beanie became my hat of choice and now to my delight I am working with Miranda and her hats will be joining me, not only on my future adventures, but also regularly on my head day to day … because they’re really cool and I love wearing them!