Archie Burkel was born Barbara Goldsmith. It seemed every other female baby boomer was also named "Barbara." Not content with being, "Barbara Who?" she eventually (symbolically) pulled the nickname, "Archie," out of a hat.
Archie first experienced the joy of hats when she was ten years old and discovered them in a trunk in her girlfriend's attic. Although she wore them with panache in The Windy City, they were mostly donned for practical reasons. It would take a move to The Holy City in 1998 with husband, John, for her to fully realize their potential for fun as well as fashion. In doing so, she realized her potential as well.
Hats proved to be the perfect way to bring people together, something Archie had always loved to do. No one can resist commenting on stylish hats. Once communication starts, it can lead in wonderful directions; it did for her and 100's of others.
At the drop of a hat, she created The Hat Ladies, an Organization of women of all ages who love hats of all colors. She soon added "community service" to their camaraderie and found herself described as "The Top Hat of a stylish brigade of volunteers who are making a difference" (Better Homes and Gardens). Their accomplishments have been featured in numerous local, national, and international media.
Archie was honored as A Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts and one of the top ten Women of The Year by Skirt! Magazine. She was the winner of The Charleston Regional Business Journal's Influential Woman in Business Award and The Knights of Columbus Charity Award. Archie and The Hat Ladies were named Community Catalyst by Charleston Magazine and the Coastal Community Foundation as part of their annual Giving Back Awards. They have carried their love of hats to the United Nations where they host an annual Hats of The World Luncheon for female ambassadors and officials.
Most recently, she was selected as one of the 9 finalists to win The Spotlight Award, established in memory of each of the 9 victims gunned down by a white supremacist following a prayer service at The Mother Emanuel Massacre. It is one of the highest honors awarded in the Charleston.
If there is one word members of The Hat Ladies use to describe what being part of this Hat Organization has meant to them, the word is "joy." If there is one word members of the community use to describe what The Hat Ladies has brought to them, the word is "joy."
But the joy in hats extends beyond the hat itself. Whether or not you wear them, joy can be in your life if you apply the philosophy contained in hat expressions to your life.
Therein lies the true meaning of The Joy of Hats.
The Joy of Hats