Mother-daughter duo inspired to create successful startup
LSU may have come away with the win in November 2019 at the University of Mississippi. Still, Park Cities interior designer Dana Vidal and her daughter, Sophia, scored the inspiration for a new venture.
“Both of us have always been big hat wearers particularly like for school events, game day,” Dana said. “During the football game at Ole Miss, my daughter’s friends and other people kept asking us where we got our hats, and she was like, ‘Mom, we should start a hat business.’”
Dana, Topped Hats co-founder with Sophia and Linda Uphoff, said they started looking into different hat lines, created a logo for the fledgling company, and began curating inventory through the beginning of 2020.
“After trying to buy additional lines, we were ready to launch before COVID, and then obviously when COVID happened, we didn’t do anything,” she said.
However, the pandemic also provided opportunities.
“A lot of the companies that had turned us down suddenly were open to opening this account and selling,” Dana said. “So, we were able to stock up heavily during COVID, and we launched May 2020, and it’s just grown crazily ever since then.”
Topped Hats offers many styles and hat adornments, from the wide-brimmed Western variety to fashionable fedoras and felts.
A ‘hat bar’ experience, available in-studio or through virtual personal styling appointments, lets clients participate in the design process and choose among adornments and accessories, including feathers, scarves, beaded bands, and more.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Dana said. “We’re creating a line of hat jewelry and accessories along with all the scarves [and] beaded bands that my niece makes.”
The first event for the new company was in June of 2020.
They’ve since partnered with American Airlines Center to create hats for entertainers coming through town, including one for Colombian singer Moluma this fall, participated in events, including the Round Top Antiques Fair in Round Top near Austin a couple of times per year, and a party with a ‘hat bar’ for Cattle Baron’s Ball.
“We had no idea we’d be selling the volume that we’re selling, doing the amount of events that we’re going to,” said Dana, who hopes to do more corporate events in the future.