Archie Burkel discovered the miracle of hats as a young girl living in Chicago.  Although her first foray into the hat world was for warmth, this woman's love of headwear has been unwavering.

And rest assured her passion for hats is not just a passing fancy.

"Wearing a hat has been the most meaningful thing I have ever done.  At the drop of a hat I created The Hat Ladies, which is a group of ladies of all ages who love hats of all colors.  We are a stylish brigade of volunteers who make a difference in the community," said Burkel, who now lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

What is remarkable about Burkel's passion for hats is that it has extended beyond the realm of fashion.  It's ore like a crusade.  "My merry band of Meaningful Hat Wearing ladies and I have been in the trenches the past ten years wearing hats and knowing how good it feels to experience a day filled with smiles and compliments."

To help others experience this exuberance, Burkel and her husband (John) lead The Hat Ladies Easter Promenade down the historic streets of Charleston.  The 262 members and their families all wear hats and stop traffic by their mere presence.  The cameras click as they walk by wishing everyone a HaTpy Easer! (They brought back this tradition from years of extinction).

It is all part of Burkel's desire to restore the elegance and tradition of hat wearing.  "What is deep is my passion for hats.  They are a universal symbol; everyone speaks the language of hats.  That's why I created The Hats of The World Luncheon for female ambassadors and officials of the UN every January.  The Bollman Hat Company provides hats for everyone and Hats in The Belfry donates travel hat bags.  This endeavor validates my love for and belief in, the power of hats.  It cuts across every culture, bringing people together."

Burkel also believes that wearing a hat elevates ones self-esteem.  "The moment a woman takes a look at herself before she walks out the door she feels great.  That good feeling continues all day in the form of compliments and queries about our hats.  It provides that with a hat on your head and a smile on your face it makes the world a better place.  Now that's something everyone can hang their hat on."

To learn more bout Archie and her Hat Ladies, log onto www.hatladies.org

HAT GROUPS: Hats of Charleston


Archie Burkel is the founder of a group called The Hat Ladies.  There are 200 members, and they all have one thing in common: They wear Hats, love Hats, and want everyone else to wear Hats.  Burkel and her Hat Happy members live in Charleston, South Carolina and are entering their 11th year as Hat Ladies.

Archie, a motivational speaker, thinks about hats 24/7and enjoys hat wearing and hat promoting.  "I believe people are born hat wearers, whether male or female, but they don't always have the confidence or occasion to wear them.  I created the Hat Ladies to give women confidence and the occasion to wear them."

The group has a monthly luncheon and does wonderful charity work.  "I cannot walk down the street without people of all ages - male and female - complimenting me and sharing their hat stories.  I can't drive down the street without people honking and giving me the thumbs up," said founder Burkel.

Burkel and the Hat Ladies recently hosted the female Ambassadors and Officials to the United Nations at their 2nd annual Hats of The World Luncheon at the Romanian Mission in New York.  The international ladies wore hats that represented their country and left wearing new hats compliments of Bollman Hat Company.

The Hat Ladies are also involved in philanthropy.  They support different organizations and volunteer at fund raisers and cultural events.  And, they wear hats wherever they go.  "We are a stylish brigade of volunteers making a difference in the world and in self-images."

The Hat Ladies also visit a local children's hospital, bringing hats and material for the children to decorate hats.  They also give money to a graduating high school female who exemplifies their ideals - a concern for her appearance, an ability to relate to people of al ages and volunteerism.

Their Motto is: "When you look good you feel good, and when you feel good you do good."

If you want to know more about this group (or be a sponsors of the next Hats of The World luncheon - or join their Easter Promenade (April 7th) contact Archie at Hatladies@aol.com - http://hatladies.org

Archie, Top Hat