The Hat Farm: An Example of Social Enterprise Using Instagram || Eps 29 #InTheLab

Born out of necessity the Hat Farm has grown into an amazing example of Social Enterprise.

The Hat Farm started at Carmichael Outreach in Regina. Carmichael Outreach is a place where people can get clothing, food, a cup of coffee, help with housing, drug addiction, plus pretty much anything else people need when they have no where else to turn. In 2014 Carmichael Outreach served 53,689 meals to people in Regina. In 2015 it’s looking like that number will be closer to 70,000. They’re growing, and that’s not a good thing. I mean it is great people who maybe weren’t getting a meal last year have the chance to but as an organization they can’t just keep growing.

Some how you have to get ahead of the problem.

So what do you do? You constantly have to raise more and more money to supply the demand of the people you serve with no end in sight. That is a really difficult reality to face every day but the people at Carmichael do it week in week out. Please if you ever meet someone who works there, shake their hand and thank them, they do so much for a community in Regina that is largely unacknowledged.

Enter our solution: Social Enterprise

Nick in the video says that the Hat Farm was started out of necessity, someone needed a small amount of money to send there rent off in the mail, then it was crutches that were desperately needed, then a VCR chord. So what do you do if you really need cash now? Sell something for money of course! The Hat Farm was born. From donations of hats, Nick began saving the really nice ones, the hats that people would pay money for, and shared them on Instagram.

The stories are what got me. Could you image not having any extra money, not even enough for a VCR chord? It’s not just asking for a handout, it’s selling something of value, something that the owner will love. The hats they are getting are amazing vintage pieces that collectors would love to have. If you are a hat collector you have to check out their Instagram.

It can feel like our world is going backwards sometimes, that we’re only treating the problems and never getting ahead of them. To me, social enterprise is an example of business for the sole purpose of helping others. I can get behind that and to others it’s hard not to. Lets stop asking for handouts and start producing some real value. To Nick at the Hat Farm, my heart goes out to you, I think what you are doing is amazing. And to the rest of the folks at Carmichael, you are a part of an amazing family that is influencing an entire community. Please don’t stop. 🙂