In 1980 frustrated that he couldn't find a worthwhile sailing hat, the Tilly Hat owner decided to oversee the making of some proper hats for himself and other Toronto sailors. A proper sailing hat had to float, stay on, be unshrinkable, last indefinitely and look attractive. Fortunatley, he knew nothing about headgeat so didn't realise that it was thought impossible to make such a hat. He received design advise from a milliner, information about materials from a sail-maker, and then oversaw its' manufacture by a local hat maker.
Because he worked on it simply as an enjoyable mid-winter's hobby, he was able to take his time to get it right. Also, since he never dreamed that the hats would be sold in stores, he didn't care how much they would cost to make, only that they would be made as well as possible. Although acknowledged the best-made and most practical hats of their type in the world, they continue to have fun trying to make our 'stuff' even better. The hats are handcrafted by in Canada where we keep a watchful eye.