Born out of necessity the Hat Farm has grown into an amazing example of Social Enterprise.
Did you hear us on the radio? @cbcsask Afternoon Edition had us on, along with an online spread! Thanks for the support!—————————HAT FARM exists out of necessity; housing in Regina is grim. Racism rules, as we saw in recent housing listings in Prince Albert. Classism is rampant as many landlords refuse to rent to those on Social Assistance. People lack adequate personal and financial supports which are necessary for everyone to maintaining stable housing. Large populations are unable to obtain housing because the housing that could support their needs does not exist. HAT FARM exists to sell hats but also encourage discussion about what’s going on in your own neighbourhood. Get informed!
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.
We sold this beauty this past weekend and here is where that money went: Last week a Carmichael regular was released from hospital with a full-leg cast to his hip and was discharged without a pair of crutches. We used HAT FARM money to pay for crutches. We drove him home and found his VCR didn’t work. With HAT FARM money he was given a new VCR cord so he had something to pass the time while healing up. Daily we have community members who don’t have the community supports or funds to get them through crisis or can barely afford an adequate home based on their physical or mental needs. #hats #hatfarm #yqr #saskatchewan A photo posted by The Hat Farm (@thehatfarm) on
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.
This week, money raised with Hat Farm sales went towards paying the money order fee for a person’s rent payment. Many community members’ budgets are so tight they cannot afford small things such as the $7.50 it costs to make a money order to pay rent to their out-of-town landlord. #yqr #hats #hatfarm @carmichaeloutreach A photo posted by The Hat Farm (@thehatfarm) on
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. 🙂
*SOLD* – “I Spent My Vacation At The Gas Station” rainbow gradient. We are still trying to really understand the social commentary of this hat. #vintage #snapback #hats #hatfarm #vintagehats #strapback #shopyqr — If you want to buy anything you see on Hat Farm, message us on Instagram or email thehatfarm(at)gmail.com.
A photo posted by The Hat Farm (@thehatfarm) on