YAK Apparel Brightens Up Your Winter With Colorful Hand-Made Hats
Hand-made in Nepal, these knitted wonders are the perfect gift to give and get.
“Oh, the weather outside is frightful…” You hear the words to that holiday song and immediately picture cold, frosty winds and snow all around you. Which is perfectly fine when you’re indoors, it’s just that when you’re outside it’s miserable! You know you have to bundle up, but who wants to look like Ralphie from A Christmas Story? YAK Apparel’s winter hats are cheerfully printed bundles of cuteness that keep your head warm and your hair protected by nasty weather while doing good at the same time.
You see, everything that’s created for YAK Apparel is made in Nepal. Marion Surette and Sanjay Ranjit co-founded the line back in 2009. They met at an M.I.T. Entrepreneurial event. At the time Marion was importing handbags from Italy, and Sanjay was exploring the idea of importing items from Nepal. As she tells BettyConfidential, “I guess we are both entrepreneurs to the core.”
Between their trip to Kathmandu (Sanjay’s home town), Sanjay’s mother visiting them in Boston, and the reactions of their friends when they saw the hand-knitted hats, mittens and scarves, they just knew that YAK Apparel had to be born.
YAK apparel hats are definitely adorable (and warm) but one of the things that make YAK Apparel so different from other companies is that they were founded upon the ideals of sustainability and Fair Wage.
As Marion told us, “YAK Apparel was created because we wanted to support Nepal as a country and its people and at the same time we realized from the reaction of friends and family that everybody loved the hats, mittens and hand warmers his Mom had brought. So it grew naturally. I think people responded to the fact that these items were real: real wool, made by real people, they were based in the authenticity of the earflap hat which is a century old design.”
Each item is lovingly made by hand from artisans in Nepal, yet YAK Apparel is based in Boston. So there has to be a bunch of emails flying back and forth when they design them, right? And who decides if a hat’s going to be pink or have a pom-pom? Marion let us in on how the design process works…