SARATOGA SPRINGS — Hatsational, a hat shop in Saratoga Springs, was named ‘Retailer of the Year’ by The Headwear Association (THA) last month. Hatsational has not one but three locations on the span of Broadway.
THA is a 111-year-old trade association, the oldest in the fashion industry. Their mission is to promote hats and the headwear industry internationally, and to foster goodwill and fellowship among those engaged in the headwear industry. Winners are voted based on their stores and volume.
“It’s really about what they feel is the best stores that represent the headwear association,” said Joyce Locks, owner of Hatsational.
Hatsational began in 2007 after a trip to the horseraces at Gulf Stream Park in South Florida. Locks was a licensed horseman attending a race, hoping to be in the winner’s circle and realized she left her hat at home.There were no hat stores to be found elsewhere.
“So I just came home and I was impassioned,” said Locks.
Hatsational began as a pop-up in Congress Park 12 years ago. Soon Locks was hosting hat salons in her 1890 Queen Anne Victorian era home, National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame and both Belmont and Saratoga Racetracks.
Locks opened her first brick and mortar store in 2013, selling men and women hats which became a regular stop for people attending the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont and Saratoga races.
“When doing my business, more and more people were enthusiastic; and then they wanted accessories, and they wanted this and they wanted that... That started growing like a weed and it just, evolved to what it is today which is a great business,” Locks said.
“I love what I do,” she added. Hatsational has expanded to men and women’s dress hats, fascinators, wool hats and caps, as well as accessories and clothing. “Our inventory is beyond what you could ever imagine, it’s pretty intense,” said Locks.
Locks still hosts hat shows, derby parties, private parties and kiosks at the Saratoga racetrack.
“People buy hats and they just put them on and feel happy... So all we do is make them happy,” Locks said.