Satya Twena wants "to resurrect the art of hat-making," reports Elizabeth Holmes in The Wall Street Journal (12/20/13). Her mission is largely personal: Satya took a course in millinery after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer; her goal was to make "her mother hats that kept her newly shaved head warm." Satya has been on her quest since 2010, at first "working out of her home," and then enlisting "the services of a 5,000-square-foot factory." When the factory closed suddenly last October, she bought it and then launched a Kickstarter campaign to re-hire some of its workers. (link)
On Kickstarter, "supporters can get hats for pledges starting at $97, considerably less than the $320" Satya’s hats “typically sell for, and special designs … for $197 to $325" via "a few friends, including Erica Domesek, the do-it-yourself guru behind the company PS – I Made This, and photographer Jamie Beck of Ann Street Studio." Stacy London, a stylist, has also created a special hat, and comments: "We joke around about ‘artisanal’ being the catchword, but we’re usually talking about jam or beer in Brooklyn. We don’t usually apply it to fashion."
When she first started out, Satya made hats "in the kitchen of her fourth-floor walk-up apartment, using pots to mold the hats and an oven to bake them." She continues to promote this do-it-yourself spirit, offering her Kickstarter supporters the opportunity "to visit the factory to make their own hats that start at $450 for one, up to $5,997 for a 10-person party that includes a live jazz band. Her goal is to make it an event in itself," as Satya explains: "By touring a factory and picking out your own materials, it’s experiencing an Old World New York."