It is fair to say that 2012 was not the greatest year in the business careers of hatmakers Margaret Chatelier and Monique Rebeiro.
As the family-run business Hatz, in common with several other concessions that used to operate out of Allders in central Croydon, they had to go for months in the early part of last year without receiving the proceeds of their sales, as the 150-year-old department store’s “cashflow crisis” impacted them and other small businesses.
And then in the autumn, Hatz lost their location, as Allders finally succumbed to the realities of the modern retail market and closed its doors for the final time.
Yet undaunted, and with the support of their families, Chatelier and Rebeiro are continuing to make hats and this week they provided the headgear for members of the London Mozart Players when Croydon’s resident classical performers took their place on the borough’s float for the New Year’s Day Parade in central London, offering a musical fusion with dubstep…
Toby Harrison, aged 16, whose beats are already familiar to London clubbers, was on hand at the decks to provide the more modern music style, although he eschewed the Hatz-made toppers worn by the classical musicians.
Fortunately, the day proved to be sunny and dry – in marked contrast, also, to so much of 2012 – drawing large crowds along the route.
“We had a lovely day, we were lucky to have sunshine and not too cold,” said Margaret Chatelier, who provided the pictures used here.
“The atmosphere was wonderful with so many people come out all along the route.”
Hatz is still without any permanent premises since the closure of Allders. “We have not found a shop as yet, and have no plans as yet,” she said.
“We will wait and see what the 2013 brings.”
For more details about the central Croydon-based business – maybe even to order a titfer – visit their website here.
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