By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
Twelve-year-old Kaia Haley from Glenlake turned the COVID-19 quarantine into a positive as she learned how to sew, and subsequently started making bucket hats, selling them and donating some to MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital in Houston.
Since last April, Haley has made some 50 hats and so far 16 have been donated to MD Anderson.
Haley created a Honey Blossom Bucket Hats logo, website and Instagram account all on her own. She even set up a payment method and created stickers to go along with the packaging.
“I had no idea she knew how to do any of that! She learned it all through YouTube and TikTok,” said her mom Jessica Haley.
Hat making has slowed since starting back with virtual classes at Four Points Middle School but she gets a few made each week during her lunch break while at home. Kaia Haley took time to answer a few Four Points News questions about her business.
1) What inspired you to start a hat business?
It just kind of happened! We’ve always had a sewing machine in our laundry room, but it never got used. I always wanted to learn how to use it, but never had time until I had to stay home because of COVID. My mom taught me how to use it and at first I started making pillows for my dog and then I made masks for me and my family. My hat business came later after I tried sewing different things.
2) How did you launch Honey Blossom Bucket Hats?
After I got used to my sewing machine I looked on YouTube for ideas of what else I could make. I saw other people making bucket hats and decided to try that. It took me a few tries, but I finally figured it out. Once I finished a few hats, I got my friends to model them. They all wanted to buy them and asked me to make custom hats for them. I figured I could make some extra money making them for other people so I built a website and opened an Instagram account. Once I posted them on social media I got a lot more business.
3) Why do you want to donate hats to MD Anderson?
My family volunteers at a place called Generation Serve and we sometimes make things for kids in the hospital. I learned that some kids lose their hair when they have to take cancer medicine and I thought they would feel better having a hat to wear when that happens. I want to make the kids look forward to something and give them a gift. I also just wanted to give people a reason to be happy during this crisis.
4) What is the most challenging part of your venture?
The most challenging part is probably when my sewing machine gets jammed. I’ve had to learn how to take it apart and fix it. I usually have to rethread the whole thing which takes a long time and can be frustrating. It’s also kind of hard to find time to make them since I have a lot of orders now.
5) What is the most fun and interesting part of Honey Blossom?
I really like creating things so it’s fun to start a new hat with a brand new fabric. I’ve been putting words on them now and doing some for different holidays. I also like packaging them up and counting how many I have to give to the Children’s Hospital.