Hat company gets ahead
ALSTONVILLE hat manufacturer Jack Cunningham had his work displayed on the world stage as 400 Australian gymnasts sported a Cutuna Hat Company original at a world gymnastics event last week.
The Australian Gymnaestrada team wore the hats during the opening ceremony at Lausanne, Switzerland, two weeks ago.
“I don’t know who recommended me, but I was called out of the blue in March,” Mr Cunningham said.
“It was a pretty standard design and the hardest thing we had to do was add a chin strap.
“They wanted wide brim hats and that style of hat has become more popular in recent years.”
The ceremony included a march with thousands of participants from 55 nations.
It rained during the march, making the wide brimmed hats even handier.
“If nothing else the hats would have been good for a bit of protection in the rain,” Cunningham joked.
“It was the first time I’ve made anything for an Australian team and I was surprised that they came to me.
“Most people shop around and usually order from overseas.
“After they first made contact with me, I thought that would have been the last time I’d hear from them.
“It was a bit of a one-off and I would be surprised if it happened again.
“It would be great, but it is a tough industry to get noticed in.
“About 90% of our orders are from the internet these days.
“Business has changed a bit in the 20 years I’ve been involved and I hope we can keep attracting customers.
“I had two hats ordered from Norway last week.”