Imagination is more important than knowledge. Philanthropy is more important than profit. Reusing existing materials is better than buying new. These three credos guide what I do.
I craft my hats mostly by hand from recycled textiles, furs, leathers and found objects. Each hat is a unique piece of wearable art inspired by cities I have visited, museum exhibits and my personal cultural and historical studies.
I am a self taught artisan based in Seattle, Washington. I have been credited with keeping several hundred pounds of textiles out of landfills over the past 30 years. August Phoenix Hats is a woman-owned business, a DBA of Lao Hats and a registered trademark in Washington State. Designs on this page and my website are copyright. You are welcome to share photos as long as you credit my work.
Lao Hats rebranded a few years ago, with the help of my followers on Facebook. After polling my followers, we came up with a combination of August - a synonym for resplendent' and Phoenix - the mythical bird referenced in several cultures as being reborn from its own ash. The new name reflects the fusion of cultural and historical influences that dominates my work, while highlighting my philosophy of giving new life to previously used materials.
I donate a percentage of my sales to selected non-profit organizations. You can now select the charity I 'pay it forward' to from a drop down menu in your shopping cart. The percentage will be at least 10% of your purchase price. You may see more about my chosen non-profits in the Philanthropy section of my FAQ page.