UMH Stories

Heads at Fifteen Feet

Karina Edwards @ 2019-06-16 21:08:19 -0400

It was the day after Christmas, and I had given everyone the day off. I was alone at the showroom. It was a quiet day and I was straightening up. I got a ring from downstairs that somebody was on their way up. I answered the door and a nice gentleman in his thirties came in. 

He was enthusiastic about hats, so I indulged him with all my knowledge. He was there for quite a bit, asking me questions about how the hats are made, where I got the raw materials, how I got involved, everything from soup to nuts....

A Brother from Another Mother

Karina Edwards @ 2019-06-16 21:07:28 -0400

I had received a phone call from Harry Rosenholtz, the owner of Worth & Worth at the time. He called to inquire about some new designs for his hat company. We met at my old loft in hell's kitchen. At the time I was influenced by the surrealists and had fabricated hatstands that resembled giant bent nails, and I had them coming out of the walls and the floor. The room was painted in stark white and we had stenciled large black and red ants forming a series of trails through the room. Harry seemed curious and we sat down to get to know...

Getting Ready for Paul

Karina Edwards @ 2019-06-16 21:09:49 -0400

It was early spring and Vaughn had called to let me know Paul Simon was on his way. When Paul arrived we greeted and proceeded down the hallway to the atelier we call “the kitchen”. 
I had heard Paul was working on a new album. So, I asked Paul how it was going with the new album. He stopped dead in his stride and with a gleam in his eyes, like a child wanting to show off his new bike, he answered: "you wanna hear it." I, of course, replied YES and he went down to the car and pulled the tracks.
 When he came back...

Hat Blocker to Go

Karina Edwards @ 2019-06-16 21:03:17 -0400

I had put an ad in the hat trade paper advertising with my new profession:  "Hat block maker". I got a few hits locally and started on my path. Then I got this phone call from a hat company in Colombia. They needed new blocks made; they wanted to revamp their look. So after a series of conversations, I suggested that instead of going back and forth on the new designs, and since my tools were all portable, why didn't they fly me to Bogota and I could do all the work on their premises? They went for it.  I packed my...


Karina Edwards @ 2019-06-16 21:05:31 -0400

Business had really started to pick up and I had to get a larger space. Joe, the super and I had been having coffee together in the mornings for quite a while and would shot the shit. 
I had told him of my predicament and asked him if he had any open spaces in our building, it so happens that some business had moved out of the 13th floor.  
After our coffee, Joe took me up to the space to take a look. It was huge, 3000 sqft. It was raw, it was wide open and sunny. So I "decorated the mahogany" as they say and...

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